Early winter wheat planting underway in Illinois

The USDA reports 8% of winter wheat is planted in Illinois, well ahead of the five-year average.

Morrisonville, Illinois farmer Joe Bloome tells Brownfield he has about 260 acres in the ground.

“We’re always late. It’s always about the second or third week in October when we’re usually planting and this year the conditions were right and we had some crops out and everything was ready to rock’n’roll. And so I said, well, let’s try to be too early one year and see how that works.”

He says he’s never planted this early, but he is hopeful it will lead to an earlier harvest next summer to follow up with double crop soybeans.

“As soon as I can get a crop in the ground, the better and I want to get as much tillering and kind of get the process started. We are really dry, so I don’t know how much growth I’m going to have immediately anyways, so might as well get it in the ground and catch any rain it can.”

Bloome says wheat also serves as a cover crop over winter and getting it planted early could help with soil health.

Audio: Interview with Joe Bloome

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