- Associated Press - Tuesday, May 13, 2014

ST. LOUIS (AP) - Corn growers in Illinois and elsewhere are putting their spring planting into high gear, more than making up for a soggy slow start.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says 78 percent of Illinois’ corn crop is now in the ground. That’s 25 percentage points above the average pace of the previous five years. And it dwarfs the 16-percent pace of last year, when one of the wettest springs on record got farmers in many states off to the slowest start in decades.

Nationwide, 59 percent of the corn crop is planted, in line with the five-year average.

Missouri growers have 86 percent of their corn crop in the ground. Iowa, the nation’s corn king, has 70 percent of the crop planted, mirroring its five-year average.

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