Most Illinois farmers are now in the thick of their 2015 harvest as the majority of both corn and soybeans have matured and are drying down. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, 78% of corn is mature, up from 61% during the previous week. Statewide 80% of soybeans are now dropping leaves, compared to 62% last week. Once soybean plants are mature, they change color from green to grayish brown and eventually drop their leaves as they dry.
So far 13% of all Illinois corn acres have been harvested, more than double the previous week of 6%, but well behind the 5-year average of 22%. 3% of soybeans have been harvested, just slightly behind the average of 4%.
Winter wheat, which is planted or sewn in the fall, often times after soybeans have been harvested from the same field, is now at 3% planted. And the third cutting of hay is now nearly complete, with 3% of acres baled.