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Frigid cold and snow put harvest on hold

Some Tri-State farmers are still working to finish up harvest, as just 71 percent of corn in Illinois has been harvested, according to the USDA.

Farmers said the winter weather is just another bump in the road in a long and exhausting year.

The cold and the snow are keeping many Tri-State farmers out of the fields.One said another day inside just means more work this harvest season. But before they do that, they need warmer weather.

It’s a busy day of maintenance work at the Hyer farm as the frigid temperatures and s now force Adams County, Illinois farmer Rob Hyer inside.
He said while some farmers have everything out, he still has corn to get to and this weather doesn’t help.
“The corn has to be dried a little bit yet and with these cold temperatures, it’s really not feasible to try and dry it right now,” Hyer said. “They’ve got warmer weather coming, so we’re just planning on waiting a day or two.”
While Hyer said running the dryers is too costly, that’s not the only concern.
“Right now the concern is, it’s hard to shell the corn because if there’s snow on the stalk and ear, it will get in the machine and plug the machine,” Hyer said. “It will just carry over and it’s difficult to harvest.”
However, Hyer said there is some good news.
“I’m very pleasantly surprised with the yields this year so far, especially with the adverse weather,” Hyer said.
Hyer said he was lucky to get his beans out last weekend because beans cannot be harvested in the snow.
“There’s some guys who still have beans left, but mostly concentrated on corn now,” Hyer said. “We’re down to the final stretch on what we’ve got. Hopefully in a week to ten days, we can get the rest knocked out.”
Hyer said this quick cold spell shouldn’t ruin any crops and he’s just happy to make it through an unforgettable year.
“I’ve been farming with my dad for quite a while,” Hyer said. “He’s in his early 70’s and says he doesn’t ever remember a year like this.”
Hyer said once he gets all the corn out, there’s still a lot of work to be done.
He said this year’s wet weather moved a lot of the soil, which means more digging and fertalizing before planting season.

Kara Biernat

Kara Biernat is a MultiMedia Journalist for WGEM News.

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