Dry weather fuels big strides by Illinois growers to catch up on harvests of corn, soybeans

After a slow start, Illinois farmers have caught up on their harvesting of corn and soybeans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says more than three-quarters of the state's corn crop now has been brought in from the fields. That's just 1 percentage point down from the average of 78 percent over the previous five years.

The USDA credits minimal precipitation with making the difference. That enabled growers to put their combines into high-gear. That wasn't the case weeks ago, when frequent rainfall left the fields too muddy to harvest.

The USDA says 83 percent of the state's soybean crops are now in the bin. That also is roughly even with the norm over the past half-decade.