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Tall corn & more in central Illinois

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Agriculture.com Chicago Markets Bureau Chief Mike McGinnis found tall corn, green soybeans, and aerial crop spraying this week in McLean County, Illinois.
 
After pulling back the shucks on this ear of corn, near Cooksville, Illinois, it's evident the corn is off to a great start. Grain fills the ear all the way to the tip. The grain length measures about 7 inches.

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This week, USDA rated the Illinois corn crop 47% good/excellent, and soybeans 48% good/excellent. These fields are located just outside Cooksville. One local farmer says the crop is looking good. But, he still questions whether this crop will be as good as last year's.

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Here is a nice, even looking corn field from an over-the-top angle. The Cooksville, IL grain elevator towers the corn, in the background. With nearly all of the corn in Illinois in the tassel stage, the USDA rated the Illinois corn as 72% silking versus a 41% five-year average.

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More and more farmers in central Illinois are applying fungicide to their corn. A local farmer, near Bloomington, says the arial application costs about $26/acre. With that cost, a 10-15 bushel bump is needed to make it worth the extra chemical costs.

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This central Illinois cornfield shows the current trend of higher plant populations. A recent survey, conducted by an ag consultant, through the Midwest, indicated an average increase in plant populations of 500 per acre vs. last year. On average, farmers in Iowa, Nebraska, Illinois, Indiana seeded a 29,700 plant population in 2010.

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This cornfield is looking very healthy. This area of central Illinois is need of rain. This week, USDA rated Illinois' rain amounts at 1.50 inches. However, fields near Bloomington have been without measurable rain for two weeks.

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This corn represents the state of growth in central Illinois. This week, USDA rated the Illinois corn crop as 72% silking, way above a 41% five-year average. Also, 8% of the corn crop is in the dough stage, and 1% denting.

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Corn or sugarcane? I stand 6 feet tall. This corn, located outside Lexington, Illinois, looks like it is 10 to 11 feet tall. Interestingly enough, there are many reports of unusually tall corn in the Midwest this year.

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This week, USDA rated the Illinois soybean crop as 43% blooming versus a 38% five-year average. Most soybean fields appear to be in very good condition and are very clean.

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These soybeans, located outside of Bloomington, Illinois, are growing nicely. Notice the beans are standing as high as the 3.5' umbrella. These soybeans are in the bloom stage. You can see the pods just coming on.

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When you look a little closer to this soybean field near Bloomington, Illinois, you can see Japanese beetle pressure. McLean County, Illinois, farmers have been fighting these pests for the past few years.

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