Yesterday, the USDA released their report on soil moisture conditions for Illinois. Overall the state looks moist, especially in southern Illinois after weeks of rain. Statewide, 95 percent of the topsoil moisture and 93 percent of the subsoil moisture is rated as either “adequate” or “surplus”.
There are two areas of concern. The northwest crop reporting district is showing 28 percent short on topsoil moisture and 24 percent “short” and 2 percent “very short” on subsoil moisture. The northeast crop reporting district is showing 8 percent “short” on topsoil moisture and 28 percent “short” on subsoil moisture. That area has been running 4 to 6 inches below average on precipitation for the last 6 months. This is part of a larger pattern of dryness across the northern half of the Corn Belt (map below).
USDA defines topsoil as the top 6 inches of the soil profile. Subsoil is the next layer in the soil profile from 6 to 20 inches deep.