I-80 Harvest Tour: Illinois Farmers Wrap Up Harvest, Thanks to Dry Fall Weather

November 12, 2015 05:00 AM

Harvest is wrapping up around the Corn Belt and for most states, that's much earlier than normal. 

Most fields are now bare in Illinois. But if you look closely, some farmers are still finishing up.

“I just started a little later so I’m getting done a little later,” said Matt Burgener, who farms in Moweaqua, Ill.

Burgener is rolling on the last of his acres. He said this harvest went by fast because it’s been one of the driest on record.

According to the Illinois State Water Survey in October by the state’s climatologist, late October rains moved the state from the second-driest October on record to the thirteenth-driest.

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While harvest has gone quickly, the whole growing season didn’t run as smoothly for Burgener. His area received about 15 inches of rain in June. He says his fields turned out OK, but the damage starts to show just twenty minutes down the road. “We were extremely wet in June. Not as wet as everyone around us, but it didn’t seem as if it was going to stop raining in June," Burgener said. "After mid-July, it did stop raining and it didn’t start up again."

To Burgener’s surprise, soybeans exceeded expectations, like most of the eastern Corn Belt, corn was variable. “Corn was average," he said. "Nothing as good as last year, probably twenty lower than last year. Other than a few isolated cases where we had too much water, soybean yields well above expectations, running 60, 70, some even 80-bushel beans."

He’s filled up his on-farm storage, and he’s now busy hauling grain to town.

“Trucks were turned around fairly quickly. Only rarely did we have to wait in line,” said Burgener.

Today he’s watching the sky, hoping for a fall shower. “Harvest weather has been amazing," he said. "This is some of the nicest harvest weather I’ve seen in a long time,” said Burgener, who's ready to start prepping the dusty fields for 2016.

How was your harvest? See how yields are shaking out on AgWeb's harvest maps and share your photos with AgWeb's Crop Comments.

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