CENTRAL ILLINOIS, Ill. — Farmers in Central Illinois are nearing the end of what they called a disastrous year for crops, but this week farmers got a bit of good news. The latest Crop Progress Report shows things are trending in the right direction.
Both corn and soy beans saw minor improvements (corn 1% and soy beans 2%), despite having the lowest good to excellent numbers in years.
“Over the last couple of weeks most areas have had pretty decent rains,” said McLean County Farmer, Mark Hines. “While that doesn’t really turn things around completely, it definitely stopped any further deterioration.”
The news of the improvements, however, doesn’t overshadow this year’s unique combination of conditions. Mike Doherty with the Illinois Farm Bureau says mother nature couldn’t make up her mind.
“It (the weather) left so many acres of corn and soy bean crops stunted because of too much rain fall,” said Doherty. “Then right when we thought we could have a recovery, with some late planted crops, we ended up with a drought over much of our state as well.”
Despite the improvements, harvest is nearing and with it being this late in the year, farmers say they are less interested in progress reports. Some say they have already turned their attention to preparing for next season.
“We hope this is a one-year thing,” said Jeff Kirwan, Mercer County Farmer. “Now we start to look at tools that will help if I have an opportunity to plant earlier. Looking at things that will make me plant faster and maybe even getting some larger equipment.
For those farmers looking to learn new techniques about planting and harvesting, the Annual Illinois Farm Progress show kicked off Tuesday morning and will go on until Thursday.