Summer weather produces early harvest

By Joe Olmo

This summer, DeKalb County corn crops have thrived, unlike last year.

“This is a totally different year,” said Russ Deverell, a farmer in Kingston. “The heat has helped to push the corn along and helped the quality of the corn.”

Mariam Wassmann, director of information for the DeKalb County Farm Bureau, said last summer’s substantial rainfall made it a tough year for DeKalb County farmers.

“This year there has been a nice amount of rainfall and the heat units are adequate enough for the corn to mature,” she said.

NIU Meteorologist Gilbert Sebenste said this summer the county has seen a fair amount of rainfall.

“Last summer was wet, and this one was no exception,” Sebenste said. “We have had 16.24 inches of rain so far this summer, and on average, we should see 13.27 inches.”

Farmers are harvesting corn earlier this season because it is maturing earlier. A typical harvest does not start until the end of September, Wassmann said.

“Let’s put it this way,” said Paul Taylor, a farmer in northwest DeKalb County. “[The corn] is as ripe now as it was the first of December [last year].”

Taylor expects there to be enough corn locally and nationally for its needs such as food, export and ethanol.

“The market responded more vigorously last year,” Taylor said. “We’ll be able to harvest a little more and yield a little more than average.”