PEORIA, Ill. (AP) — A U.S. Department of Agriculture report says crops are maturing more quickly in Illinois this year compared to 2017.

The agency’s most recent Illinois Crop Progress and Condition report estimates that 75 percent of the corn crop was mature by Sept. 16, compared to 37 percent last year.

The report estimates that 87 percent of soybeans had begun turning color by Sept. 16, while 67 percent started changing color last year.

The agency says about 12 percent of corn and 4 percent of soybeans have been harvested so far, above the seasonal average.

Peoria County Farm Bureau manager Patrick Kirchofer says the recent hot and dry weather is perfect for harvesting. A naturally dried crop is more profitable because it doesn’t need to be heated at a grain elevator.

(© Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)