Farm Briefs

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Dry weather aids corn development

Very little, if any, precipitation, was received last week across the state, which continued to speed the crops along in their development.

Temperatures were more moderate last week, with the statewide average temperature being below normal for the first time since early July.

There were 6.8 days suitable for fieldwork last week across the state, making it a good week to put up good quality hay.

The corn crop advanced to 87 percent dented, compared to the five-year average of 61 percent.

An estimated 34 percent of the corn crop was mature, with 2 percent being harvested.

Soybeans turning yellow reached 22 percent, compared to 13 percent for the five-year average.

Topsoil moisture was rated at 12 percent very short, 27 percent short, 59 percent adequate and 2 percent surplus.

Those moisture numbers were slightly drier than the previous week.

Temperatures statewide averaged 71.7 degrees, which was 1.9 degrees below the five-year  average.

Farmers were busy preparing machinery for harvest, as corn harvest could be in full swing in some areas in the next week or two.


ISP urges drivers to watch for machines

The Illinois State Police this week reminded motorists to slow down and look out for all farm machinery as harvest season gets under way.

A majority of farm equipment and motor vehicle crashes occur when the farm equipment operator slows down to turn left and the motorist moves to pass.  Before passing, motorists are advised to look for driveways into farms or fields where the farm vehicle operator could be turning.

Farmers also are reminded that they can again legally drive all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and utility-terrain vehicles (UTVs) on county and township roads for farming purposes. Gov. Pat Quinn signed the legislation last week.

“This legislation restores the ability farmers had to ride ATVs on roads legally in time for harvest,” said Illinois State Police Capt. Brian Hollo.

"Under state law, an ATV operator needs a valid driver's license and proof of insurance to ride on county and township roads. They also must display a slow-moving vehicle emblem on the back of the vehicle to help with visibility."