Illinois’ corn harvest is well under way. Thirty-six percent is harvested, about triple the normal rate for this date, according to the weekly USDA crop progress report. Crop statistician Brad Schwab tells us why.
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“We got such an early start getting the crop in the ground this year that it’s not surprising that we’re seeing that,” he said. “A lot of the first fields that were harvested were actually corn fields that were stricken by the drought and they just basically died on the stalk without any moisture, so farmers got out there early and hit a lot of those fields.”
Last year at this time, the corn harvest was at 9 percent. The five-year average is 13 percent. The condition is still a problem: 75 percent of the corn is rated poor or very poor. Soybean harvest is just under way now at 3 percent.