CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (WCIA) — Fall-like weather is here in Central Illinois, and farmers are already out harvesting. After drought and then rainfall, they’ve been facing a season of uncertainties.
It was a waiting game this June as farmers had to consider irrigation or holding off for rain. Now that they’ve had the rain, farmers need their crops to dry out, so they’re hoping the weather will stay calm just a little bit longer.
Paul Klein of Champaign said less than 1% of commercial corn — the stuff used in corn syrup and animal feed — has been harvested in the area, but that’s not the case for the crops used for next year’s seed.
Klein said he has harvested about 35% to 40% of his seed corn, by his estimation, but the soybeans need a little more airing out. He said he has yet to see beans being harvested elsewhere, but farmers should be able to get them soon.
“Bean-wise, we caught those rains in August, and I think that that definitely helped us maximize some more yield,” Klein said.
The first crops, planted in early April, are nearly ready. This is more-or-less on par with years past.
“I’d say by this weekend, we’ll be combining beans, and hopefully that keeps us occupied for four or five days,” Klein said.
As for the corn, farmers need the good, dry weather to continue so they can harvest it. Klein thinks that time will be about the middle of next week. He said if all goes as planned, farmers should be in the fields over the next four to six weeks.
With that in mind, Klein is asking people who are driving on country roads to be on the lookout for tractors and combines. Klein said farmers take into consideration when cars need to get by, and they try to get over as soon as possible, but people may need to be a little patient.