Farmers around the area planted later than usual this year and as a result and are harvesting much later.
Kent Mellendorf, who farms 200 acres on the south side of Effingham County, grows corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. His beans are harvested, and corn is just getting started. Mellendorf estimates his bean harvest to be 31 to 55 bushels per acre.
“We had very little rain after the 4th of July,” he said. “We received three inches of rain last week that will help the ground but not the crops.”
Mellendorf expects that bushels will be down from last year.
Dennis Wirth farms on the south edge of Moultrie County and the north side of Shelby County with his twin brother, Del, and son Mitch. He said that so far they have harvested 80% of their soybeans and 30% of their corn. Worth said that though the harvest season is later than the past year it is progressing well.
“It’s better than we anticipated but not as good as last year due to the later planting season and the wet spring,” he said.
John Beckman farms 500 acres in Bishop Township. His crops are corn, beans and wheat. He is half done harvesting both corn and beans.
“The corn is coming out wet, so we are trying to go slow so that we don’t have to dry all the corn,” Beckman said.
He attributes the late harvest season to the wet spring and some fields being drowned out more than others.
Beckman anticipates the conditions will affect on his crops, estimating that he will be 40-50 bushels an acre less on corn and 15-20 bushels less on beans.
Brian Rincker farms in Shelby County along Illinois Route 16. He plants corn, soybeans, wheat and hay. His fields are half harvested for both soybeans and corn. He did have to replant spotted areas of corn and soybeans.
Rincker said the 3 to 3 1/2 inches of rain that came through last Thursday night did keep them out of the field until Monday. He anticipates close to or slightly above average bushels per acre with soybeans in the upper 60s and corn at 220 bushels per acre.
“We’ve done a little better than anticipated,” he said. “But the yields are 20% below what ran the last couple of years.”
Illinois State Climatologist Trent Ford said the big story for the growing season was the wet spring and early summer.
“The first six months of this year was the fifth wettest January to June on record at 32 inches, which is 12 inches above normal,” he said of Effingham County. “The crucial planting period from March to May was the ninth wettest on record at 18.29 inches, which is 7 inches above normal.”
Ford looked farther back at the nine-month period between October 2018 and June 2019 and found that it was the third wettest on record, at 41.05 inches, which is 14 inches above normal. The 12-month period between July 2018 and June 2019 was the wettest on record at 58.38 inches, which is 19 inches above normal for Effingham County.
Meanwhile, last month was the 16th driest September on record for the county, with 1.09 inches of precipitation, which is 2 inches below normal. Ford has gotten mixed reports on the impact from the dryness and combined heat in August and September.
“Some have said that it has helped mature late-planted crops,” Ford said. “Others report expectations of significant yield loss because of it.”