Illinois farmers catch a break with weather, make up ground in harvesting

Warmer, drier weather has given Illinois farmers a big boost in catching up on their harvests of corn and soybeans.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture says last week's corn harvest jumped 16 percent over the previous work, bringing to 59 percent the amount of the crop that's been brought in from the fields. That's still down from the average of 72 percent over the previous five years.

The USDA says nearly two-thirds of the state's soybean crop has been harvested, up 26 percentage points from the earlier week but still down a bit from the norm over the past half of a decade.

Above-normal temperatures and below-normal rainfall is credited with allowing the farmers to make up ground on the harvesting that had been slogging along because of nagging precipitation.