Fall harvest has been early this year thanks to the summer's hot, dry weather. (Photo used under Creative Commons from Flickr user Earl-Wilkerson)
By The Associated Press
PEORIA - Good weather has allowed combines to roll, and the Illinois Department of Agriculture says more than three-quarters of the state's corn crop has already been harvested, well ahead of last year's pace.
Patrick Kirchhofer of the Peoria County Farm Bureau tells the Journal Star that mostly dry days have aided the harvest season. Kirchhofer says Peoria County farmers are finding the harvest is better than expected, considering the hot, dry weather Illinois endured this summer.
Ross Pauli of Edwards, for example, says he's been "pleasantly surprised'' by what he's found in his fields so far.
Farmer Mike Hoeft, however, isn't happy. He's finding yields of 20 to 30 bushels an acre on some of his fields in Delavan. But Hoeft says "that's why you buy crop insurance.''