A new week, same song! It’s cold, wet, and 2 inches of snow hit. Still waiting for Mother Nature to let us get in the field. Everything is ready, and now the talk around here is the farmers who do not have anhydrous on are thinking of switching to side dressing 28%.

First, we in central Illinois want to send our thoughts and prayers to our fellow farmers in Iowa and Nebraska who are dealing with the floods. Here, it is starting out with a cold and wet 2019 spring. As of seven days ago, at 4 inches, the ground temperature was at 40 degrees. All the equipment is ready and seed is in the shed waiting on Mother Nature.

John and Justin Maitland are a father-son team farming near Bloomington and Danvers on a farm started by their ancestor, John P. Walker, in 1898. They grow corn and soybeans and Justin is phasing in a cow-calf operation. They have a mix of conventional, no-till and vertical till. As a tribute to the farming heritage, each of the males has Walker as a middle name, including Justin’s new baby, Jameson, who may become the sixth generation farming here.

2018 was a very good year for the Central region of Illinois. Mother Nature showed how wide of a weather disparity one region can have. This seems to be becoming more of the norm than the exception. Most growers had some trying moments this year they could mention. But, when the combines rolled, yields were at or near record for most operations. Take some time to work on improving your efficiency and return on investment this winter. Please introduce yourself if we cross paths at a meeti…

Snowfall blanketed most of the region last week. More than 6 inches fell in the southern parts. Accumulations diminished to the north, with Peoria receiving around 2 inches. Field operations are shut down for this week. In the north, I would estimate 10 percent of the dry fertilizer has yet to be spread, and more anhydrous would be applied if the opportunity arrives.

There’s still a few rare fields with crop standing in the northern part of the region. A 1-inch snowfall closed out last week. Fall fieldwork should be able to resume towards the end of the week without any additional precipitation. Most tillage is completed. However, fall fertilizer applicators still have about 30 percent of their acres left to apply. 

A mostly dry week last week gave way to a wet weekend. Crops in the field are becoming a rare sight across this region. Only a few remaining field in the far northern reaches. Fall fertilizer application is still very active. The pace of tillage has slowed as most fields are complete or too wet. 

There is very little crop left standing in the field. Some of the last corn was damaged by a couple of windy days. Fall fertilizing is in full swing. Soil temps have remained consistently below 50 degrees. Rain showers have slowed tillage work. 

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