Kate Quinn and Beef with combine

Kate Quinn and her “combine co-pilot,” Beef, take a rain-imposed break Oct. 8.

UNION, Ill. — Northeast Illinois farmer Henry Zierer got off to an early start. Moisture rates in the crop were good, yields looked promising. Then it rained.

He was cutting corn for silage for his cattle. He parked the equipment and went inside to stay dry until he could get back to work. Seven inches of rain later, the equipment, on low ground, looked like it was parked on an island.

When the rain came again Oct. 5, he made sure the combine was safely parked in his shed, a common situation across much of Illinois into the next week, with more rain predicted in many areas.

Yields in the district have been running “pretty good,” Zierer said, with some drowned-out low ground showing lower yields. Some of his soybean fields with irrigation averaged 80 bushels per acre.

“The field by my house has no irrigation and got 82,” he said, because it got some timely rains.

But the victory of the season so far is on the main farm, which has pivots and sandy soil.

“It pulled in 99 (bu./acre),” he said.

Kate Quinn was also waiting out the rain Oct. 9 in McHenry County. She works with her boyfriend for Michele and Gary Aavang on their farm near Woodstock, Ill. Some parts of the growing season were dry this year, but it rained during wheat, soybean and corn harvest.

“We started a little bit ahead of schedule, but the last two weeks, with the rain, we are a little bit behind now,” she said.

Yields are pretty typical compared to recent years, with soybeans in the low 60s bu./acre and corn in the 220s, she said.

Phyllis Coulter is Northern Illinois field editor, writing for Illinois Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Missouri Farmer Today.