A lot of farm families will tell you: Harvest is their favorite time of the entire year. The days are long and so is the work, as the season can stretch from T-shirts to sweatshirts to Carhartts. But when the crops are good and the family’s working together, often with excellent farm employees, it can be a sweet time to bring in the efforts of the past year.
Illinois crops have matured ahead of schedule in general this year, and as of Oct. 1, 95% of the corn was mature, compared to the five-year average of 82%. Soybeans dropping leaves reached 83%, compared to the five-year average of 77%.
Harvest, too, has run ahead of schedule in 2021. As of Oct. 10, corn harvest in the state had reached 55% complete, compared to the five-year average of 46%. Soybean harvest was 43% complete, compared to the five-year average of 45%.
The corn crop itself has been in good condition, with 70% rated either excellent or good, 23% fair, and just 7% poor or very poor. Soybeans are nearly identical, with 71% rated excellent or good, 20% fair, and just 9% poor or very poor.
Check out this slideshow for a look at harvest on one Illinois farm through the eyes of Prairie City farmer Bridjet Blout, her parents Aaron and Julie Blout, and her grandfather Armin Blout.