The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

Harvest Coming To A Close

-by Dessa Rodeffer & Macy Davis/The Quill

According to John Twomey, at Twomey Company in Smithshire, harvest is 85-90% over in our area, whereas this time last year, the combines were just starting up. The culprit for such a change--summer.

It was unusually rainy this year causing crops to mature faster, and the dry fall made crops drier than typical after such a wet summer. The extra time left from the quick harvest is allowing farmers to do their field work that would otherwise have to wait until spring.

Farmers know that this year's harvest is a harvest different from most. But, because the yield is low, the good news is, prices are on the rise. Soybeans showed the most gain the past week with 50 cent gains, and corn ended positive as well.

According to Twomey, this year's yield is down 30% from last year, but market prices have seen a steady increase since harvest began. He said, corn is going for a little over $5, and beans for over $11; a very encouraging thing for the many farmers in his area.

Mr. Twomey shared that farming is an occupation that you have to love to survive. There are many hardships as well as large payoffs. "Farming is different from anything else you could do. That's what makes it so fun."

He also explained why prices are higher this year.

Each year, the government monitors the crops and estimates the yield. This year, the crops couldn't live up to the estimate, so, luckily, the market adapted, he said.

Most will agree that while it may be a busy and stressful time of year, nothing beats harvest in Illinois.

Byron Burg of rural Stronghurst, was finishing up harvesting a bean field last week, along Route 94 and the Raritan road.

His wife Catherine was working along side him, as well as two other workers, as they took turns receiving the beans and hauling them to the local Stronghurst Grain and Merchandise elevator.

-see more harvest story on -page 7