Illinois' corn harvest nearly 75 percent done

SPRINGFIELD — The Illinois corn harvest is proceeding much faster than usual, with 71 percent of the harvest complete as of Sunday, the Illinois Department of Agriculture reported.

At this time last year, only 29 percent of the corn statewide had been harvested. The five-year average for this point in time is 33 percent.

Andersons buys cob products company

MAUMEE, Ohio — Agriculture company The Andersons has agreed to buy an Illinois corn cob products company.

The company's purchase of Mt. Pulaski Products LLC of Mount Pulaski is expected to occur in the fourth quarter and is subject to certain conditions, according to The Andersons.

Corn harvest more than half-finished; beans just starting

CHAMPAIGN — Area grain-elevator operators say the corn harvest is about 60 percent complete — and the crop has more moisture than expected.

High moisture means the corn has to be dried, and the extra time needed for that has sometimes caused delays for those delivering grain.

Meanwhile, the soybean harvest is just getting under way.

Corn harvest going faster in southern Illinois

SPRINGFIELD — About 21 percent of the Illinois corn crop was harvested as of Sunday, while only about 1 percent of the soybeans were in, the Illinois Department of Agriculture reported.

In southern parts of the state, harvest was much further along, with anywhere from 36 percent to 47 percent of the corn crop harvested, depending on the region.

Commodities trader off to Mozambique

MONTICELLO — A Monticello commodities trader left Saturday for two weeks in Mozambique.

While in the east African country, Jim Traub will work as a volunteer for CNFA to establish a small-scale soybean processing line there.

Traub doesn't know yet exactly what that will involve, but he believes soybeans can be used to improve the diets of people there.

Drought, heat cut produce farmers' yields

VILLA GROVE — Drought and heat really took a toll on green beans and sweet corn at the Kleiss Produce Farm west of Villa Grove this year.

"We do a lot of irrigation, but it has really hammered the sweet corn and green beans pretty bad," Bob Kleiss said.

Extreme heat cut yields on green beans to less than 20 percent of normal, he said.

Freeze, drought hurt apple crop

CHAMPAIGN — Curtis Orchard will have plenty of apples to sell this year, despite a year that was hard on the local crop.

Randy Graham, co-owner of the orchard on South Duncan Road, said the orchard produced "10 percent or less" of what it typically does, as a result of an early spring, a freeze on April 11 and the summer drought.

Douglas County trying to find suspects in business, farm burglaries

The Douglas County sheriff's office, the Tuscola Police Department and the Douglas County Crimestoppers are seeking information to help them solve several burglaries that happened over the last few days.

These burglaries include:

UI hosts field day on pumpkin research

URBANA — Folks interested in the latest research on pumpkin production can find out about it Thursday during Pumpkin Field Day at the University of Illinois Vegetable Crops Research Farm.

Presentations on nine topics will be given in the research plots from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Farmland values still strong, but increases slowing, survey says

URBANA — Illinois farmland values are continuing to rise but at a slower rate than in 2011, according to a mid-year survey by the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers.