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home : local news : local news
November 18, 2018

9/19/2018 2:23:00 PM
Drying weather helps harvest get rolling again
Harvest in Crawford County and other parts of Illinois was back up to speed last week thanks to drier weather conditions.

Statewide, the average temperature was 71 degrees, 3.3 degrees above normal. Precipitation averaged .01 inches, .75 inches below normal.

No rain fell here during the week, compared to the first full week of September when 2.48 inches of precipitation was reported. Daytime high temperatures ranged from the upper 70s to mid-80s while overnight lows ranged from the low 50s to low 60s.

There were 5.9 days suitable for fieldwork during the week.

Twelve percent of the state corn crop and 4 percent of its soybeans have been harvested.

Corn at full maturity reached 75 percent, compared to the five-year average of 47 percent.

Soybeans coloring reached 87 percent, compared to the average of 62 percent. Beans dropping leaves was at 58 percent, compared to 29 percent last year.

Corn condition was rated at 2 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 18 percent fair, 45 percent good and 31 percent excellent.

Soybean condition was rated at 2 percent very poor, 4 percent poor, 17 percent fair, 47 percent good and 30 percent excellent.

Soils are drying out after the early September rain, according to Jennie Atkins, Water and Atmospheric Resources Monitoring Program manager at the Illinois State Water Survey, University of Illinois.

Topsoil moisture supply was rated at 3 percent very short last week, 10 percent short, 80 percent adequate and 7 percent surplus.

Subsoil moisture supply was rated at 3 percent very short, 15 percent short, 77 percent adequate, and 5 percent surplus.

Illinois has received 3.61 inches of rain as of Sept. 13, 2.31 inches more than normal. Most parts of the state are seeing a wetter than usual month, and soil moisture levels across the state have been affected.

Levels at 2 inch depths averaged .33 water fraction by volume, 120 percent greater than in 2017.

Soils have been drying during the second week of September, with moisture declining 20 percent from the highs of last weekend.

However, moisture levels remain high, especially in parts of southern Illinois where levels are above field capacity.

Soil moisture is also declining at depths from 4 to 20 inches after increases from earlier rain events. Levels at 39 and 59 inches remain high but steady.

Soil temperatures are increasing in mid-September.

The month began with higher than normal temperatures because of the warmer weather, but cooled off as the remnants of tropical storm Gordon passed through the state. Soils have been warming the second week of the month.

Temperatures at 4 inches under sod averaged 73.2 degrees on Sept. 13, up 2.5 degrees from the monthly low on Sept. 9, but 6.1 inches lower than the month's high on Sept. 5.

Temperatures are increasing at all depths with mid-month averages ranging from 72.1 degrees at 8 inches under sod to 75.8 degrees for 2 inches under bare soil.

Meanwhile, the Illinois Department of Agriculture is reminding all farm workers to stay safe, not only during harvest, but year-round.

Each year since 1944, the third week of September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health Week. Gov. Bruce Rauner once again proclaimed National Farm Safety and Health Week in Illinois now through Saturday with the theme "Cultivating the Seeds of Safety."

"Agriculture is our state's number one industry, and Illinois farmers put everything they have into feeding the world," Rauner said.

"Each year during National Farm Safety and Health Week, we focus the spotlight on agriculture safety education and health awareness," he added. "This week is not just for farmers, but for all consumers and communities, because every Illinoisan plays a part in ensuring our farmers are safe and healthy year-round."

"Illinois farmers do a great job practicing safety every day, but agriculture remains one of the most dangerous industries on a national level," said Agriculture Director Raymond Poe. "National Farm Safety and Health Week serves as a yearly reminder to make safety a priority, not only on farms but in rural communities across our state."

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