The fall harvest is underway in Illinois for the corn and soybean crops. The harvest is earlier this year, due to the drought during key parts of this year's growing season. Yields are expected to be lower this year than in previous years. DeKalb County farmers are expected to bring in an average of 160 bushels of corn per acre.
Mariam Wassmann is a spokesperson for the DeKalb County Farm Bureau. She says ideally, farmers would harvest around 200 bushels under normal conditions. She says the real surprise has been that soybean yields are on par with previous years:
"It is kind of remarkable in extremely dry weather we were still able to produce what we consider somewhat of a decent crop." - Mariam Wassmann, DeKalb County Farm Bureau spokesperson
Farmers are expected to continue harvesting through the rest of October. She says DeKalb County is faring better than other parts of the state hit hard by this year's drought. In DeKalb County, about half of the corn crop has been harvested compared with about 80-90% of the soybean plants.
Compared to 2008
Wassmann says even though farmers had to deal with drought conditions this year, it is still a better scenario than the dry weather of 2008. She says that is because of stronger seed genetics and better farm management.