CHAMPAIGN COUNTY, Ill. (WCIA) — Fall is here, meaning winter is right behind. Farmers in Central Illinois are beginning the final stages of harvest season, hoping to collect all crops by early November.

Chris Karr has been a farmer in Seymour for 53 years, growing both corn and soybeans. He said certain variables played into this year’s yield for his farm and others around it.

“It didn’t rain on people’s yards in town, but the variability has surprised the farmers in this area,” Karr said. “Meaning, we’ve had some really good corn yields and good bean yields, but we’ve also seen three or four miles away, we would have a reduced yield because maybe it didn’t rain as much in those areas.”

With about two to three weeks’ worth of work remaining, Karr said this time of year allows farmers to receive a report card from their land on how well the season went.

“This gives us a grade of how good of a job we did, but when we combine the genetics and the experience and all the different technology that we have, it makes farming fun now,” he said.

After this harvest concludes, the work continues, this time in the form of winter and spring preparation.

“As we go into October, November, weather will determine a lot of that when we get done,” Karr said. “So, what we’ll strive to get done with the harvest and then move into fall tillage. There’ll be some cover crop planted. There’ll be some no-till for next year. Those are things we’re planning for next year by finishing this year.”

With corn and soybeans more than halfway done and most farmers putting in grueling hours to complete the work, the finish line is in sight.