Heavy spring rain delayed the planting of Illinois' corn

Farm Landscape, Photo Date: 8/2/14 / Source: RichardBH / Flickr / CC BY 2.0
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CHICAGO - An unusually wet spring resulted in a delay in the planting of the Illinois corn crop.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says as of June 2, Illinois farmers have sown corn seed in 45% of the acreage dedicated to the crop. That is 53% below the five-year average. Of the seeds that have been laid, only 32% have emerged.

Rodney Weinzierl of the Illinois Corn Growers Association last Wednesday counted three rainstorms moving over the Bloomington area. Each narrowly missed his 500 acres of farmland, allowing him his first opportunity to plant this year. He worked through the day to get two-thirds of his corn seeds in the ground.

Weinzierl told the Chicago Tribune he expects most farmers to follow his lead and eventually plant corn. However, farmers can choose to switch to less profitable but easier to grow soybeans. Farmers could also elect not to plant altogether.