John and Justin Maitland are a father-son team farming near Bloomington and Danvers. They grow corn and soybeans and Justin is phasing in a cow-calf operation.
Aug. 26: More rain and cooler temps
We got more rain over the past week. We have also had cooler temperatures, so what does this mean for the crops? It means they aren’t drying down as quickly and pushes harvest back even further than already expected due to the late planting this spring. Hope many of you got a chance to go to Decatur to the Farm Progress Show to see what our future holds as technology continues to be integrated more and more into our way of farming. As always, be safe!
Aug. 19: Cooler temps will add test weight
This week we got about 2 inches of rain in some areas, although rain was not widespread in Central Illinois. We have been scouting fields and have seen very little disease pressure in crops. We have noticed some corn tipping back and beans are in R5 stage now. Looking ahead, more rain in the forecast and cooler temperatures coming which means adding test weight to the corn and help filling out bean pods. As always, be safe.
Aug. 12: Rain helps corn fill out ears
We finally received the rain that has been needed for the last month and a half. This will help the corn as it has pollinated and is filling out the ears. Beans are in the reproductive stages now. The forecast shows we should be receiving a little more rain to help us out. Crops this year as compared to last year this time shows we are about three weeks behind due to the wet spring. Hope everyone got a chance to go the State Fair and enjoyed it. As always, be safe!
Aug. 5: Later corn struggling to tassel
As we enter into another week we are still having very warm and very dry weather. Some wet weather is very much needed at this point. Most of the earlier planted corn in the area has pollinated at this point. There is some later planted corn that is struggling to tassel. Beans in our area are flowering, but they are looking not as tall as we would like to see them. We are just sitting back waiting for Mother Nature to give these crops a much needed drink. As always, be safe!
July 29: Second-cutting in the barn
As we start this week out with light rain, some farmers in other areas of central Illinois got measurable amounts of rain Saturday night (July 27). The second cutting of hay is in the barn. The crop-duster planes are still in the air, getting fungicide on the corn. Some farmers are out spraying fungicide on beans now. It’s gotten to that time of year when county fairs are going on. Get out and enjoy the ones in your area! As always, be safe.
July 22: The smell of pollination
After a week of extremely warm weather, it looks like temperatures will get back to normal. There is no rain in the forecast for a while, and the crops could use a little right now. Despite that, things are still growing and looking good. Corn is starting to pollinate — you can smell it in the air. We have had crop dusters start to fly around as farmers start putting on fungicide. As always, be safe!
July 15: Crops growing fast, looking great
Warm weather has been the trend for this week in our area. Crops continue to grow fast and are looking great. Corn is starting to get into the reproductive stages in some areas. We’re looking at corn from V8-R1 stage. Beans are in the V3-R1 stage. After too much rain this spring it’s unfortunate to say that now the crops could use little bit of rain. As always, stay safe!
July 8: 'Warm weather and crops growing fast'
Hope everyone had a great holiday weekend with friends and family. This past week our area was hit by a surprise storm, and we got 1 to 3 inches of rain. This has been followed by warm weather and crops growing fast. Our corn crop is anywhere from V6 to VT. Soybeans are anywhere from V2 to V4.
June 28: Soybeans shooting up
Central Illinois had a good week of dry weather and sunshine. Corn continues to grow and is looking good. It’s anywhere from V4 to V10. Soybeans are shooting up as well. Spraying is wrapping up and farmers are starting to sidedress with Y drops now. Road ditches are starting to get mowed. Hope you had a Happy 4th! As always, stay safe.
June 24: Corn and forecast look great
Another week and more rain in our area. We have a great week ahead according to the forecast. No rain, sunny and warm weather. Corn around here is looking great. We are anywhere from the V2-V9 growth stage. Some area farmers still looking to finish up getting nitrogen on. Beans are all coming along great with them being anywhere from VC-V2 growth stage. As always, stay safe out there!
June 17: Soils getting dry from sun and heat
Another successful week in the fields with sidedressing and spraying. Some soils getting dry from sun and heat. We got 1 inch of rain over the weekend which the no-till beans needed. It’s nice to see the prices moving up, too. Stay safe.
June 10: Weather stays sunny and dry
Good week of weather staying sunny and dry made for a good, hard week of field work accomplished. In talking to several area farmers, seems all are getting close to done or done. Others are replanting ponds. Still no time for rest yet as farmers have spraying and side dressing to do. Have a safe week!
June 3: Hard work and long hours
We have been seeing a few days of warm, dry weather now over this past weekend. We have rain forecasted for middle of the week, so a few days ahead of hard work and long hours to try to get more crops in the field before Mother Nature shuts us down again. Sounds like a little wetter to the north Central Illinois, but a lot of farmers from Bloomington to Decatur and Lincoln are planting as of now. Be safe out there!
May 24: Emerging crops look good
We’ve been hit again with some wet weather; some areas more than others. Crops are starting to emerge from the ground with the rain and then warm weather. What crops are in and emerging look good, but the forecast doesn’t look too great for next week. This Memorial Day weekend, we honor our military and thank them for their service: the ones who have served, the ones now serving our country and those who have lost their lives fighting for our freedom.
May 20: 'Long days and late nights'
We have had long days and late nights this past week as most farmers have been able to play catch up around here. Mother Nature finally blessed us with dry, windy and warm weather to help dry fields out, allowing some farmers to get some crops in the ground. Some farmers are getting done with corn, going straight into beans at this late date. Sadly there are a few farmers still waiting for dry ground. Good to see markets moving in the right direction and fingers crossed that it continues. The forecast shows more rain is coming, so work hard and be safe.
May 13: 'Mother Nature was at it again'
Just when we thought we might be blessed with some sunshine, Mother Nature was at it again sending another inch of rain. As we check the forecast it looks promising for the next week or two. Praying that we will get great weather and be able to get the crops in before too long. The oats we got planted before all the rain are up and looking great. But for now the only tractor moving is the lawn mower in between rains.
May 6: 'New week, same song — rain'
New week, same song — rain, rain, rain. Forecast says we should expect another 1 to 1.5 inches this week. Not too much to talk about. No activity in this part of the state. Only crops we have growing is our oats and alfalfa. Hopefully Mother Nature with bless us with some good weather as we patiently wait to get rolling.
April 29: Hit with more rain
After having a few nice days to get the spraying, fieldwork and some planting started, now Mother Nature hit us with more rain. It is in the forecast for rain to continue all week so things will be shut down for a while and we will patiently wait for things to dry up.
April 22: 'Thank you, Mother Nature'
After a beautiful, warm Easter Day with family and church, it’s now time to get in the fields. Conditions are fit for spraying, working ground and cleaning up fence rows to prepare ground for planting. Henbit is starting to grow fast, so will have to hit it with 2,4-D and Roundup. Thank you, Mother Nature, for finally giving us this weather. Stay safe, everyone.
April 15: Switch to side dressing?
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%.
April 8: 'Waiting on Mother Nature'
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.
April 3: Introducing John and Justin Maitland
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.
Aug. 30: June corn hurting more than May's
As we look ahead to fall thinking about what the yields could be, we are expecting to see some variability throughout the fields. There are drowned-out spots from excessive amounts of rain this spring then going into a very dry July. Some of the June-planted corn may be hurting more than the May corn. June corn was trying to pollinate in the intense heat of July and was getting no help from Mother Nature. This has been an interesting year, and I’m sure the yields will show that. As always, be safe.
Sept. 9: Temps back in the 90s
Central Illinois received more rain over the weekend. The forecast for this week is back up in the 80s and 90s and will help mature this late crop. Noticing beans that were planted in April are at about 30% yellow. Seed corn production harvest is in full swing. The talk of the farmers around here is it will be after the first of October before harvest begins. Stay safe!
Sept. 16: Rain helps ripen beans
Central Illinois got rain over the weekend to help ripen the beans. The projected 80-degree weather this week will help dry the corn down. Haven’t seen any deterioration in corn stalks as of yet. Neighbors have hand-shelled corn and it is between 30-32%. Final cutting of hay is being done in this area. As always, be safe.
Sept. 23: Seed corn harvest in full swing
We had a few more rain showers over the weekend. Seed corn harvest is still in full swing. Corn is starting to dry out as the ears begin to drop. From talking to other farmers, we are still around the 30% mark, so we are at least a week to 10 days out still from starting. There are several early-planted bean fields in our area that have the leaves only halfway up the stems now. With the later beans, many fields are turning yellow but still a ways out from being ready. As always, be safe!
Sept. 30: Stalk quality 'hanging in there'
As we move into October we had another rain, around 2.5 inches. Some area farmers gave combing a try. The corn was anywhere from 24% to 30%. The stalk quality is still good and hanging in there. Few farmers were able start cutting their early beans and they are at 12.5%. The rest of us are still patiently waiting and will continue as the ground dries and so do the crops. As harvest has started, as always, stay safe.
Oct. 7: Corn yield 'all over the board'
A lot of combines started rolling last week. Corn is still 22% to 30%; the yields are all over the board in the field. After talking to some neighbors they are seeing a range from 125 to 240 bu./acre in the same field. Some of the April-planted beans have been combined in this area and they were running about 13%, but I have not yet heard any yields. We started this week out a little wet from a bit of rain over the weekend but it looks sunny for a few days ahead so we can keep rolling. So, as we start getting into full swing, stay safe out there.
Oct. 14: 'In full swing now'
We received some rain at the end of last week but it didn’t keep farmers out of the fields too long. The majority of farmers are in full swing now. With it being this late in the year, already several farmers aren’t wasting any time after the crop is out to get the fertilizers and lime down to get things worked. Everyone just trying to stay ahead as much as possible. As always, stay safe out there.
Oct. 21: Sharing the harvest
Some farmers are getting close to done with their soybean harvest. The corn is drying down more. We had some rain come through so it will set us all back a day or so. Some soil testing is going on now and fall tillage. At our farm, we had the privilege of sharing harvest with about 30 people in a local McLean County Chamber of Commerce young leaders group who are new to the farm environment. We talked about what goes on at a farm operation and showed them the process of getting the crops harvested. They all enjoyed riding along and many questions were answered. So now they understand the quote “If you ate today, thank a farmer.” As always, stay safe.
Oct. 28: Stalk quality withstands strong winds
Another great week of harvest followed by some rain over the weekend. Forecast shows we may receive more rain here the first few days of the week. They are even talking chance of snow. Not exactly what we are wanting to hear while we’re still harvesting. We had strong winds several days over the past week, and stalk quality is still good because corn wasn’t blown over. We had 25 mph winds with gusts up to 35 mph. Good week for beans. A lot of guys getting them out whenever they have a chance so we don’t end up like last year. As always, stay safe!
Nov. 4: Low 30s and 3 inches of snow
Crazy weather week here in Central Illinois. We went from mid 50s and rain to low 30s and 3 inches of snow. This set us back a few days for sure. Things are getting back to normal now and farmers are getting back in the fields. Several farmers have the end in sight and some still have a long ways to go. Farmers are still trying to get fertilizers and lime down while continuing fall tillage. As always, be safe!
Nov. 11: Long lines, limited hours at elevators
As many continued harvest this past week, it was a slow process as lines were long at elevators due to others being closed or on limited hours because they couldn’t keep up with drying the wet corn. As the week starts out we are hit with a snow storm. This will slow us down but hopefully help the elevators be able to catch up now. As always, stay safe.
Nov. 18: Harvest starting to wrap up
For most area farmers, harvest is starting to wrap up. With some more rain overnight, Sunday into Monday, this will keep those out for a day or two. Farmers have been working hard getting ground worked, anhydrous put on, and fertilizer and lime applied. We all are trying to stay on top of things and get them done with a shortened window for after harvest. As always, stay safe.
Nov. 22 Wrap-up: 'Ridiculous amounts of rain'
2019 has been one unlike any other. Spring started out with ridiculous amounts of rain, pushing planting back into as late as June. It was a nonstop year going from planting to spraying to sidedressing nitrogen to fungicides applications. Jumping into harvest, we saw some of the same things as in spring ... more rain! But things straightened out and farmers were able to roll. We are very fortunate having such great elevators in our area always willing to stay open late to help all of us out. As this 2019 crop season comes to an end as one we won’t forget, we will definitely look back on this year and hope that we don’t have another one like this for a long time.