Cool temperatures, rain slowing down Illinois corn harvest

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ST. LOUIS - According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, cool, wet conditions across Illinois have put farmers behind schedule in their corn harvests.

The USDA is blaming the below-average temperatures and above-average rainfall for the late start.  Only 2 percent of Illinois' corn crop has been harvested, down by 12 percentage points from the previous five years' average.

Nearly half of the state's corn crop was rated as good, and another 31 percent was rated excellent.  Record yields are also expected in several states, with officials predicting 172 bushels per acre.  The current record is 165 bushels per acre, set in 2009.

Last month, the USDA said it expected this year's harvest to be the largest ever, with an estimated 14.4 billion bushels set to be brought in from the fields.  The USDA credits cool temperatures and adequate rain for the large harvest expected this year.

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