(SPRINGFIELD) Warm weather and drier than normal conditions allowed farmers to make excellent progress on corn and soybean planting in Illinois last week. The USDA reports there were nearly six full days suitable for fieldwork last week, on average. The statewide average precipitation from last week was less than a half inch (0.45), which was just over a half inch (0.56) below normal. Last week’s average temperature around Illinois was 66.7 degrees, nearly 6 (5.6) degrees above normal. As of this past Sunday, corn planted in Illinois was at 90% compared to 74% a year ago and soybeans planted came in at 66% which compared to only 22% at this time last year. The statewide winter wheat headed out reached 48% compared to 85% last year, although the state’s winter wheat crop is still rated 63% good to excellent, 26% fair, and 11% poor to very poor. Farmers in our ten county area confer with most of the NASS numbers, reporting that all the local corn has been planted and that soybean planting is three-quarters finished. In fact, some say they’re waiting on some rain to finish up. All farmers, workhands, and other ag-related workers are encouraged to remember “safety first” out there as the 2018 spring planting continues.