Combines Starting to Roll in Southern Illinois as Standibility Becomes an Issue

Farmers testing stalk quality to determine which fields need to be harvested first.

Harvest got underway in some parts of southern Illinois this week with reports of a combine rolling just west of Raymond in Macoupin County.

Concerns over standability and stalk quality are on farmers' minds in this part of the state. "We're going to be watching corn closely and testing stalk quality to determine which fields need to be harvested quickly," says Allen Borster, who farms 1,700 acres of corn in southeastern Illinois.

"A lot of corn has black layered," he points out, and has thus quit taking up nutrients.

The earlier you planted this year the better off you were," says Allen, noting that the August heat had minimal impact on early planted corn.

The Illinois Ag Statistic Service reported Monday that 9% of the crop had reached maturity, compared to 5% in 2006. Corn dented was at 60%, compared to 50% last year and 45% for the five-year
average. Soybeans turning yellow were at 5%, ahead of 2% last year and the five-year average of 3%.

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