2015 harvest nearly complete, but concerns remain for farmers
Only a few crop acres remain unharvested across Illinois. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, both the corn and soybean harvests currently stand at 93 percent complete. Winter wheat, which is often planted after soybeans are harvested, has now been planted on 84 percent of planned acres.
Many farmers are now waiting for soil temperatures to cool off enough to apply their fall fertilizers. USDA samples of soil temperatures showed a range of 45.6 degrees in Northern Illinois, to 56.6 degrees in Southern Illinois.
Farmers are also watching recent rains closely, hoping to reverse a weeks-long trend of below-average precipitation. Topsoil moisture was rated at 59 percent short or very short, with subsoil at 47 percent short or very short.
Most pressing for Illinois farmers however, are much tighter financial pressures this year due to a combination of reduced yields and lower prices for their crops, combined with an increase to the costs of inputs required to grow the crop.