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. 

The end of harvest is in sight or has been completed for most growers across the region. Dry week of weather led to tremendous progress this past week. Temperatures were just borderline, but I did see some anhydrous ammonia being applied. Tillage will ramp up extensively this week with dry weather and the soil profile drying out from previous rainfall. 

Harvest has resumed after a seven to eight day break. Rainfall varied across the region. Around 3 inches was a typical total. Parts of Livingston County had snow stick to the ground briefly. Corn harvest progress ranges from 60 to 100 percent complete. Soybean harvest ranges from 50 to 100 percent complete. 

Harvest 2018 now has its first intermission for excessive rain. Most growers across the region are more than halfway completed with corn and soybeans. Yields remain high. The moisture over the last seven days has kept soybean harvest isolated to certain days and afternoons. 

Dave Murphy farms with his father and uncle in Peoria, Marshall and Bureau counties. He is also active with his in-laws’ operation in Tazewell County. Find Murphy on Twitter at @murphy_farms.

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