Central Illinois sees first frost, farmers ready for harvest

Local News

CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Central Illinoisans woke up to frost for the first time this year, meaning winter is right around the corner.

As the leaves change from green to red, farmers begin to harvest crops they’ve been planting since the spring. Last year’s harvest was rough for most farmers, but this year is off to a better start.

Farmers woke up to a white ground for the first time this season, and now they’re breaking out the combines, gathering up their crops, and kicking off harvest season 2020.

Local farmer Kent Kleinschmidt said he woke up to a generous amount of frost on the ground.

“The ground was definitely white this morning,” Kleinschmidt said.

Kleinschmidt farms corn and soybeans in McLean, Tazewell, and Logan counties. He said although the frost made the ground white, it wasn’t cold enough to kill his crops.

“The corn is all mature enough that it doesn’t bother it and the beans, there’s a few leaves hanging on them yet, so it might speed that process up a little bit,” Kleinschmidt said.

This year’s frost came earlier for Central Illinois, but Tazewell County Farm Bureau Manager Emily Rogier said harvesters know to expect the unexpected.

“Most of them are just used to getting thrown one curveball after the other,” Rogier said.

Rogier said in Tazewell County at least, most farmers are having a better year than the last.

“Most of them are looking to be done by Thanksgiving this year rather than Christmas,” Rogier said.

As for yields, Kleinschmidt said he’s seeing a good return on corn and is still waiting to harvest soybeans.

“This field we had to re-plant because when we planted, it stayed wet for way too long,” Kleinschmidt said. “Some of it’s still wet but there’s still corn everywhere and there’s no zeroes on my yield so that’s always a good thing.”

Kleinschmidt said if all goes well, he hopes to be done harvesting all of his crops by the end of October.

The first frost last year occurred Oct. 12 and Peoria hasn’t seen a frost as late as November since 1991.

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