Local farmers are having a field day
Local farmers have joined their crop-picking peers throughout the state pickin’ and grinnin’ as they enjoy the bounty of good crops. Harvest season has kicked into gear, along with tractors and combines, and it’s off to a good start. This big green machine was mining ears for golden corn last week near Lynn Boulevard and Freeport Road in Sterling. The U.S. Department of Agriculture said that Illinois crops have been maturing more quickly this year compared to 2017. The agency estimated that 75 percent of the corn crop was mature by Sept. 16, compared to 37 percent last year. The average over the past 5 years was 47 percent. For soybeans, 87 percent had begun turning color by Sept. 16, compared to 67 percent last year. The 5-year average was 62 percent. The crops’ condition has been music to farmers’ ears. A naturally dried crop is more profitable because it doesn’t need to be heated at a grain elevator. Patrick Kirchofer, manager of the Peoria County Farm Bureau, said farmers are “way ahead of the game” this year.