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Illinois Crops Running Ahead Of Schedule

Guy Stephens/WNIJ

Forget “knee high by the 4th of July.” Thanks to a combination of rain and high temperatures, corn is tasseling, or silking, much earlier than usual in parts of Illinois. Some people are already eating sweet corn. Soybeans are blooming early, too.  

Mark Tuttle farms in DeKalb County. He described his land as being in something of a “sweet spot” this year. Everything – both corn and soybeans – is developing fast. He said he’s not alone.

“Driving around in northern Illinois and central Illinois,” he said. “You’re going to see a really good crop that’s probably ahead of its normal [pace] by a week, maybe even ten days in some spots.”

That’s reflected in U.S. Department of Agriculture’s crop surveys. They show that, overall, Illinois corn and soybeans are advancing much faster than average this year.  

Tuttle said places in southern Illinois have had some issues, as well as pockets elsewhere in far western, far northern and northeastern Illinois. That even includes parts of his own county.

“There are some problem areas. I don’t want to speak like everybody’s got a perfect crop. But generally speaking, I would say the northern half of Illinois is in really, really, good shape.”

There’s still a ways to go. But by and large, he said, the fall harvest looks promising.

Guy Stephens produces news stories for the station, and coordinates our online events calendar, PSAs and Arts Calendar announcements. In each of these ways, Guy helps keep our listening community informed about what's going on, whether on a national or local level. Guy's degrees are in music, and he spent a number of years as a classical host on WNIU. In fact, after nearly 20 years with Northern Public Radio, the best description of his job may be "other duties as required."