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USDA: Cooler temperatures delay Illinois planting

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Federal officials say cooler temperatures sometimes dipping below freezing have prohibited Illinois agricultural producers from planting until they find warmer soil.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture said in its weekly crop report for Illinois that fieldwork continues and the spring calving season has begun.

The USDA’s crop report said the statewide average temperature was 41 degrees – six degrees below normal. Precipitation averaged just over half-an-inch, also less than normal.

Topsoil moisture was rated at 74 percent adequate. Subsoil was 82 percent adequate.

The amount of corn planted was at two percent, while the five-year average is six percent. Oats planted jumped to 32 percent, up 19 percentage points from last week.

Pasture and range conditions were rated at 56 percent good, 17 percent excellent.