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Local News

  • Parent Category: News

Indiana barn fire keeps firemen busy for four hours

Brookston and neighboring firemen in Indiana battled a barn fire overnight. The barn and hay and old farm machinery were a total loss. The fire broke out Sunday night and kept firefighters on the scene 'til 1:30 this (Mon) morning.

94.1 FM, WGFA.

  • Parent Category: News

Farmers pleased with soybean yields at harvest

The mid-to-late summer dry period led to drought conditions in central-Illinois. But a few weeks into the harvest finds area farmers and grain elevator operators saying yields are good to very good.

Soybean yields very pleasing, according to local reports.
Despite the lack of rain in August and September, "soybeans are a huge surprise," according to elevator operators.

Parts of Vermilion, Iroquois and Ford counties, have typical yields in the mid-50 to mid-60 bushels per acre this fall.

In Vermilion County, "Everyone is pleasantly surprised with how the early beans are turning out, given the dry weather in August," said Tom Fricke, director of information for the Vermilion County Farm Bureau.

"It's not a bin-buster by any means, but it's what most would characterize as an average yield," he said.

Farmers already anticipated a good corn crop, and corn is slightly better than what was expected. The quality is really good. And there's no aflatoxin issues this year."
Despite a wet spring and a dry end to summer, the size of the corn and soybean crops will stack up well compared with previous years, Fricke said.

Only the 2009 crop was larger for corn, and only the 2010 crop was larger for soybeans, he added.

Although most farmers in this area normally start harvesting in mid-September, it was closer to early October when farmers got out in the fields this year. Area elevators are reporting, East Central Illinois farmers are approaching the halfway mark for harvest.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Woman dies in crash in rural Westville

Police are investigating a fatal crash early Saturday morning in rural Westville.

Vermilion County Coroner Peggy Johnson reported that 19-year-old Nicole Harris of Westville was pronounced dead at the scene at 12:43 am Saturday.

Ms. Harris was a passenger with three other people in a vehicle that crashed on County Road 1400 N near County Road 1460 E west of Westville.

All four occupants of the vehicle were ejected, according to Johnson.

The other three occupants were taken to Carle Foundation Hospital in Urbana.

Charges were pending. Police believe alcohol was a factor in the crash.

94.1 FM, WGFA

  • Parent Category: News

Watseka Police: Report of Assault unfounded

Street talk and social media rhetoric about an assault in Watseka this week are unfounded. That's the word from Watseka Police. Police Chief Roger Lebeck states in a news release, The Watseka Police Department investigated a report of an assault and battery that reportedly occurred in the Wal-Mart parking lot during the early-morning hours Thursday. The investigation revealed the report was false and was fabricated by the subject who reported the incident. Chief Lebeck says charges are pending against the person for filing a false report. 94.1 FM, WGFA
  • Parent Category: News

Corn harvest above expectations due to weather

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- Harvest is in full swing across the country, and farmers in many states are surprised at the abundance of corn they're getting from their fields. Dairy farmer Ben Steffen, who also grows corn, soybeans and wheat on 1,900 acres in southeastern Nebraska, said his first corn field brought in 168 bushels an acre, above the average of 140. "I'm surprised that what I'm hearing from my neighbors there are some really outstanding yields," he said. "I don't know if I would consider it a record crop at this point, but the numbers I'm hearing are going to be right up there." The best crops in the U.S. are in areas that received adequate rain combined with cooler temperatures at the time corn pollinated, a welcome sight after last year's dismal harvest due to the drought withering corn and soybean fields and burning up pastures. Record harvests are likely this year in many states, including Alabama, Georgia, Indiana and Ohio. All that corn will help refill bins that had been emptied after last year's drought-reduced harvest of 10.7 billion bushels, the lowest since 2006, said Chad Hart, an agriculture economist with Iowa State University. The U.S. Department of Agriculture has estimated the 2013 corn harvest at 13.8 billion bushels, beating the 2009 record of 13.1 billion bushels. Updated harvest estimates were to be released Friday, but the partial federal government shutdown has caused the USDA to suspend reports.