If farmers in East Central Illinois plant between April 20 through May 10, "we're in pretty good shape," said Jerry Watson who farms north of Villa Grove in the southern part of Champaign County.
Last year's planting season was a wet one, with farmers being forced to delay planting or replant after rains flooded fields. So far, this April has been cold and wet. Temperatures in the first two weeks were 4.5 degrees below normal and precipitation was 58 percent above normal, according to the Illinois State Water Survey. The first two weeks saw the statewide average temperature at a chilly 44 degrees.
Temperatures are expected to be warmer in the second half of April, but it still could end up being one of the colder Aprils on record, according to state climatologist Jim Angel with the water survey. The coldest April on record in Illinois was in 1907 with an average temperature of 43 degrees. The second coldest April was in 1926 with 45 degrees.
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