With Mother Nature continuing to provide Illinois farmers with mostly dry weather, the 2015 harvest is now beginning to wind down, much earlier than recent years.
According to the United States Department of Agriculture, the statewide corn harvest is now 71 percent complete, a big jump from 50 percent the week before, and well ahead of the five-year average of 59 percent. The soybean harvest is at a similar point, with 71 percent harvested compared to 49 percent during the previous week, and the average of 53 percent.
Much of the progress owes to drier than normal weather during recent months. Last week saw statewide precipitation average of just .03 inches, which is .54 inches below normal. Just 58 percent of topsoil is rated as having adequate moisture, with only 4 percent having surplus. The dry conditions are starting to cause some concerns over pasture conditions heading into the winter, with only 46 percent of acres rated as “good” or “excellent.”