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|Gains Made in Soybean Harvest
|The Illinois corn harvest continues to move painstakingly slow, but farmers in some parts of the state did make progress bringing in soybeans.
The weekly USDA crop progress report says farmers were able to get into the fields to harvest during the early part of last week before the rain arrived. Precipitation statewide averaged a little over 2 inches, more than an inch-and-a-third above normal. That allowed for just 3.1 days of work in the fields, some of which officials say had standing water that producers worked around.
The state's corn harvest advanced just three points to 14% complete. Soybeans, however, are now 33% harvested - a gain of 20% compared to the previous week. Both the corn and soybean harvest numbers trail last year's figures and the five-year averages significantly.
USDA crop statistician Mark Schleusener says the corn harvest is further ahead in southeast Illinois, and southwest Illinois leads the soybean harvest.
"There are many parts of Illinois where harvest is well behind. We haven't seen a harvest like this, as slow as this, in approximately one generation."
Corn in western Illinois trails the rest of the state with just 79% of the crop mature, and the region is tied for sixth among the nine crop reporting districts with 11% harvested. The western region is also last in soybeans harvested at 18%.
The area received a little over 2 inches of rain last week on top of fields that were already soggy. The USDA rates the topsoil moisture content 100 percent adequate or surplus.
Schleusener says three weeks of sunshine and gentle breezes would do wonders to dry out the ground and the crops.
|10 30 09 by Newsroom
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