The third week of June again brought rain to east central Illinois. Amounts varied widely, from a quarter inch to greater than 4 inches in southern Ford County.  So some areas still need a decent drink, and others need to dry out. Crops are generally improving, and commodity prices are reflecting this, especially corn. Soybeans still seem short for this time of year, but root systems look healthy with good nodulation. Corn height ranges from a foot tall to chest level. With field operati…

It’s officially summer and the weather is acting accordingly. Heat and humidity have returned, and rainfall has become more sporadic. A good portion of northern Champaign County through Iroquois County received an inch plus of rain last weekend, with areas to the far north and south in my reporting district mostly left out. Crops are entering the rapid growth stage and seem to change daily. Dicamba applications to soybeans have been limited by high temperatures and winds. But overall, we…

Warmer and drier weather has been beneficial for crop development. Fields planted the latter portion of May and early June emerged in 4-5 days, with excellent stands as seeds went into warm, moist soil. Mid-May planted crops tend to look the toughest. Some of those fields are promising, but many show significant variability.  Soybeans in general seem to be growing slowly. Spraying and nitrogen applications are the main field activities. Roadside mowing has also picked up. If that task ca…

Two weeks ago I used the word wet several times in my report. This first week of June I’ll talk about replanting. One thing leads to another. Most producers were surprised with how many acres needed to be reseeded.  Not many whole fields, just a lot of patches.  A neighbor told me he went back to his seed dealer four times for additional bags.  Almost all replanting was corn. Soybeans are survivors and generally produced acceptable stands. As of today, 98% of crops are planted. Stages of…

Field activity resumed the last day or two of May. Monthly rain total at our Douglas County site was 5.42 inches.  There are areas with a fair amount of planting yet to accomplish. Other work has included replanting low areas, starting to side-dress nitrogen on early planted corn, and a lot of herbicide applications.

How many times will I use the word “wet” in this week’s report? The third week of May saw just a few sprinkles and showers. Unfortunately, it also saw little sun to help dry us out. Most fields remain too wet for any fieldwork. Heck, many lawns remain too wet for mowing. Herbicide applications will become a priority as several days of above-normal temperatures are in the forecast. That will cause rapid growth of both crops (yipee) and weeds (boo). A 450-mile trip I made through central a…

“The best thing one can do when it’s raining is to let it rain.” — H. W. Longfellow. Good advice, as most east central counties received 1 to 3 inches of rain for the week ending May 17. Northern Livingston and Kankakee counties had more than 4 inches. Planting did occur May 11-13 before the rain. Conditions were marginal to OK. Those with a couple days left, or many remaining, were the most motivated.  It’s possible 20% of the crop still needs to be seeded. April-planted crops have emer…

My old, worn winter coat continues to be a significant part of my wardrobe. And my weather station app is the most used on my phone. Enough rain fell during the first week of May to keep most out of the field. Then record cold temperatures the morning of May 9 put frost on emerged crops. Damage in the immediate area was minimal. The few wheat fields around were actually very pretty with the early morning sun glistening off the ice crystals. Mother’s Day was cold. Life is easier when you …

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