Illinois farmers pleasantly surprised by harvest

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Central Illinois farmers say they're pleasantly surprised the harvest of corn and soybeans hasn't been hurt by this year's wacky weather that included heavy spring rains followed by a summer of drought.

Growers are bringing in the usual amount of both crops despite a wet spring, extreme heat in June and a dry summer, according to a story published Friday by the (Bloomington) Pantagraph (http://bit.ly/nwnldD ).

David Schneman of Farmer's City said his corn yields are at least 25 bushels per acre higher than he had estimated after he'd checked his crops in August.

"I wasn't sure where it was all coming from," Schneman said. He credits the resilience of modern seed hybrids and good plant population for the strong performance.

Soybeans are also thriving, and Bruce Klein of Lexington said he's expecting a record yield this year.

"It was perfect for soybeans after the first of August. Everyone remembers the heat, but the heat in July did not harm the soybeans," Klein said.

John Hawkins, a spokesman for the Illinois Farm Bureau, said yields statewide are about average, except some dry areas around Champaign.

Farmers in the area say they should be done with the harvest in about two weeks as long as there aren't heavy rains.

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Information from: The Pantagraph, http://www.pantagraph.com

Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.



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