WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Wet Weather Seriously Delays Illinois Harvest

Tri State Region – As December begins, thoughts of winter come with it. Those include snow days, holiday shopping and Dickens on the Square in Macomb.

You probably don't think of December as part of the harvest season. But for many Midwest farmers, that's exactly what it is.

The second wettest October on record helped delay crop harvesting by as long as two months in some areas.

The ground was too wet, which caused problems for farm equipment, and the crops were too wet to harvest. It would have been way too expensive to dry them.

Farmers no longer have much of a choice. As December begins, 72 percent of Illinois' corn has been harvested -- well below the five year average of 99 percent. Some area producers are drying product with a 21 to 22 percent moisture content, arguably better than the nearly 30 percent experienced in August.

To listen to a feature about how local farmers are coping with this year's harvest problems, click play on the audio link above.