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|2009 Illinois Harvest Among Slowest Ever
|Illinois farmers had yet another frustrating week trying to bring in the corn and soybean crops.
Last week's weather included another heavy dose of rain. The USDA's weekly crop report says the state received an average of 2.64 inches of precipitation, which is nearly two inches above normal. Two areas, the West Southwest and the Southwest districts, both had over three inches of rain. A little over 2.8 inches fell in western Illinois.
The state's corn crop is only 19 percent harvested compared to 63 percent at this time last year and the five-year average of 86 percent. The soybean crop is 35 percent harvested versus 88 percent last year and the five-year average of 92 percent.
USDA crop statistician Mark Schleusener says it's not a crop quality problem, at least not yet. "Virtually all of the crops are mature, " Schleusener said. "Corn (is) 92 percent mature, soybeans shedding leaves 98 percent. But what's holding farmers out now is that the fields themselves are too wet."
The USDA rates 81 percent of the state's farmland as having surplus moisture, and the weather last week allowed farmers just 1.3 days suitable for work in their fields.
The corn harvest in western Illinois is 13 percent complete, which is trailed only by the 3 percent in the Northeastern crop reporting district. Soybeans are 22 percent harvested in western Illinois, which is the lowest percentage in the state.
The USDA says this year's corn harvest is the slowest since 1967 and the third-slowest on record. The soybean harvest is the slowest since 1941 and the second-slowest on record.
This week's weather forecast could provide the break farmers have been looking for with mild temperatures and no rain.
(The sun sets over a farm field in rural Knox County along IL 8 Wednesday evening. WGIL News Story by Mike Perry. Photo by Will Stevenson.)
|11 05 09 by Newsroom
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