Jim Hood grows corn, soybeans and wheat in Franklin County. His family is originally from southern Illinois but moved to Indiana years ago, and Hood was born and raised in Yorktown. He got the opportunity to farm in Illinois 20 years ago and took it. “It’s been the best move I’ve ever made,” he said. His father helps but is largely retired.
Jim Hood grows corn, soybeans and wheat in Franklin County.
Introducing Jim Hood
April 5, 2021: Spreading dry fertilizer
The soil’s plenty cold and it’s still damp out there. There are some guys putting anhydrous on, but in my opinion, it’s a bit too wet for that. If that rain misses us we may get some corn planted. We’re spreading dry fertilizer. We put a garden out Sunday, and it was heavy, but if I don’t get that done now I won’t get it done. We just finished putting all of the nitrogen on our wheat. It looks really good. We may come back and put some fungicide on it. It looks outstanding. I got only about 400 acres planted; we usually plant about 1,800.
April 12, 3032: Looking forward to dry weather
Lots of rain on Saturday and Sunday morning (April 10-11). It will bring field work to a halt for a few days. It looks like we have a long stream of dry weather ahead. We still haven't planted any corn or beans’ we’re glad they are still in the bag. Some corn and beans are being planted in Franklin County. Hope everyone has a great week.
April 19, 2021: Freeze in forecast
It is cold here. Freezing temperatures were forecast for Tuesday and Wednesday mornings (April 20-21). We don’t have anything planted yet. All we can do is wait for a warm-up.
April 26, 2021: Getting into full swing
We got 0.5 inches of rain Saturday. We’re going to start planting corn on Monday (April 26). We’re spraying and getting things into full swing. The wheat is looking really good. We’ll go until we get done, if the rain holds off.
May 3, 2021: Wet and going to get wetter
It’s wet and it’s going to get wetter. We got about 500 acres of corn planted last week, then we got rained out. We got a lot of ground worked, and as soon as it dries out we’ll be ready to do some more. We’re still holding last year’s corn. We have things to do in the shop, so we’re staying busy. We haven’t gotten any beans in the ground yet. We raise all seed beans, so we don’t want to plant them early because they don’t like cold, wet ground. The wheat looks good; it’s started to head up. I’m sure it will be ready before we are.
May 10, 2021: Afraid to pray for end to rain
We still haven’t got anything planted. It’s wet and cold. The corn that’s in the ground is struggling to stay alive; it’s not growing. Our garden is suffering to no end because it’s cool and wet. We need a week of dry, hot weather so we can finish planting. We like to have corn planted by May 10, but that’s not going to happen. We’re thinking about planting more beans. But one thing you never do is pray for it to quit raining because it will!
May 17, 2021: Not enough hours in the day
We got 0.3 inches of rain Sunday, but we’re planting corn as fast as we can. There just aren’t enough hours in the day right now. We’ll probably get started planting beans today (May 17). I don’t have any yet, but there’s a lot of replanting going on. We had some really unusual conditions with the cold and frost. My agronomist said some fields have spots where the crops are doing fine in one spot, but not coming up in others. Some farmers are burning everything off with Gramoxone and starting over.
May 24, 2021: Rain saturated everything
We got about an inch of rain on Monday night, May 17. It rained all day. It pretty well saturated everything. It will probably be Monday before we’re able to get back into the fields. We have some replant to do once it does dry out again. There is some water standing on the ground. We’re probably 75%. We haven’t planted any beans. We plant all seed beans, and we can plant those a little later, so we usually hold off a bit.
May 31, 2021: Ready for final push
We got an inch of rain on Thursday (May 27). We have about 200 acres of corn left to plant. It’s probably late enough now where we’ll switch to beans. We have half of our soybeans planted. We’re ready to make a final push. We’re going to start side-dressing corn next week, weather permitting, putting on the final dose of nitrogen. I don’t pray for it to quit raining, because it will; I just want it to stop long enough so I can finish. In southern Illinois we’re always 10 days away from a drought. I replanted corn in a few flat areas that weren’t very well drained, but it was minimal.
June 7, 2021: 'It's been nothing but wet here'
It’s been nothing but wet here. One of our farms got 4.5 inches last week. We’re at a standstill until it dries out, and they’re calling for rain every day this week. We still have about 1,800 acres of beans to plant. It’s really hurting the corn and beans. It’s too wet. Everything’s hurting. I just came back from Evansville, Indiana, and it’s way late there. I saw a lot of beans that were replanted for the third time. I’d just as soon not have anything planted when it’s like this.
June 14, 2021: Ready to plant beans
Things are looking better. We’ll probably start planting beans tomorrow (June 15). We still have about 1,800 acres to go. We’re putting some nitrogen on the corn today. We’re finally able to start getting across some of these fields. It’s just been so wet. They’re giving dry weather all week, so we ought to be able to get a lot done between now and then. Everything’s looking pretty poor because of all the rain, but it should pull out of it.
June 21, 2021: Ready to cut wheat
We’re busy. We’re caught up on bean planting and we’re getting grain heads out to start cutting wheat. We may get a shower today, but hopefully we’ll get the wheat cut and the double-crop beans behind them. We haven’t gotten all the nitrogen on our corn yet, but we have only about 400 acres left. The wheat looks good, but the word’s out that the test weight is really bad with all this wet weather we’ve had.
June 28, 2021: 'A little rain would go a long way'
Now we’re in drought conditions. We got all of our wheat cut and all of our beans double-cropped. We’re pretty well caught up except for spraying. We’re behind on spraying because of all the wind. The wheat looked good, but both our yield monitors malfunctioned and showed zero. We were running so hard we just put it in the bin. I’m going to have my crop insurance guy come out and measure it. Our corn and beans look pretty good, but a little rain would go a long way.
July 5, 2021: Praying that rain keeps coming
We got between 2 and 3 inches of much-needed rain. Spraying is done for now. Beans are still coming up. We’re getting ready to spray the first-planted beans. The crops look better since the rain, but still need some time to recover from the heat and dry weather that we had. I’m praying the rain keeps coming. Replanted corn is up, but it’s very late.
July 12, 2021: Everything looks better with precip
We got plenty of rain. We got more than 4 inches at Ewing. South of the county they got almost 2 inches. We needed the rain, but we didn’t need that much. But we take it any way we can get it this time of year. Some of the bottoms went under water. It depends on how quick the water gets off whether we need to replant. Otherwise, everything is looking better with the precipitation and these temperatures. We’re ready to do our last round of spraying the beans. Obviously, it’s muddy right now, but we’ll spray them as soon as we can get across the fields.
July 19, 2021: Too wet to spray beans
We’ve had 9 inches of rain over the past two weeks. We need to spray our beans, but it’s been too wet to get across the field. We lost some soybeans in bottom ground that went under water. There was a report of some Southern rust around Thompsonville. You can spray fungicide, but when it rains it washes that off. There was a lot of aerial application, but I don’t think they did themselves any good. It’s expensive doing that and have it all wash away.
July 26, 2021: Pressure's off this week
There isn’t a lot going on this week. We’re spraying soybeans for the last time and just cleaned out a grain bin. We’re working on equipment and getting ready to go for fall. We’re not under pressure; everything is holding up. We could use a little rain, but other than that, everything looks pretty good.
August 2, 2021: Crops thirsty but OK
We didn’t have any rain, and we need some. The word is out that Brazil had a disaster corn crop and their second crop is getting frozen. Other than being thirsty, the crops look pretty good. The weeds are being controlled and things are rolling along.
August 9, 2021: Rain was 'heaven-sent'
We’re getting a heck of a rain. It was getting really critical. It’s very welcome. Our late-planted and double-crop beans were really needing this. Most of the corn was canopied and held that last rain pretty well. We were just getting ready to get in a severe drought. There were chances Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday. This was heaven-sent. We have a touch more spraying to do on our double-crop beans.
August 16, 2021: Crops look better all the time
Things are looking good. We’ve had some nice rains on our beans. They were late, but they’re coming along nicely. We had a pretty good shower Sunday morning. I looked on the radar, and it was only in northern Franklin County. It wasn’t a big rain, but it was a nice one. The crops look better all the time. We’re getting ready for harvest, which will probably be here before we’re ready.
August 23, 2021: Crops are looking 'real good'
We got about an inch of good rain over the weekend. The crops are looking real good; the beans really needed it. I’ve been in central Indiana, and our bean crop is a lot better. They’re suffering up there. We’ve been fortunate all summer long to get timely rains. We’re doing some repairs to our grain bins and getting our combines ready for the fall.
August 30, 2021: Corn and beans looking good
We got about three-tenths of an inch of rain on Friday, Aug. 27. The corn and beans are looking really good. It will be October before we get into them. I have some replant corn and it will be pushing a frost. It’s looking good, but you have to complain about something.
Sept. 6, 2021: Crops look 'outstanding'
We had a couple of nice rains, one about six-tenths of an inch and one about seven-tenths. The crops look outstanding. We’re working on grain bins and things around the farm getting ready for harvest, which won’t be until October because we planted late. Everybody is talking about not planting corn next year because it’s going to be hard to make any money with the cost of inputs, so that will be interesting to see.
Sept. 13, 2021: Huge corn crop expected in Franklin County
We’re still working on grain bins getting ready for harvest. I have a neighbor who had to shell some corn because there was a fire in the coal mine and he had to take it because they were going to run over it. He said it was phenomenal. He said we’ll have a huge crop here in Franklin County. The crops on fertile ground is doing great, especially the later-planted beans in 15-inch rows. But you don’t know until you cut them.
Sept. 20, 2021: Still prepping for harvest
We’re still working on grain bins, getting ready for harvest. They were talking heavy rains for Monday, but it looks like we’re not going to get those, which is good. The crops are drying down and the warm weather is good for everything.
Sept. 27, 2021: Close to harvest, but not in field
We’re getting closer to harvest, but we’re not in the field yet. Combines and tractors are ready. We could shell corn right now, but we like to let it dry in the field. I like to put it in the bin dry; it’s better quality and less expense for us.
Oct. 4, 2021: Corn and beans good in Franklin County
We’re going to try to start shelling a little bit of corn this week. We got about 0.9 inches of rain at the farm over the weekend. It’s not muddy-wet, though. We have one bin system ready to go. I’ve been hearing good yields. It sounds like we have a pretty good corn crop here in Franklin County, along with some good bean yields. I’ve heard the corn is better than the beans.
Oct. 11, 2021: 'As ready as we can get'
We shelled corn last Tuesday and it was too wet; it was 18%. We were set to go today, at about 14%, but we’re looking at rain this week. We’re cleaning wheat and getting ready to plant it if we ever get any of our crops off. Hopefully, we’ll be able to do some shelling between the rains this week. We’re about as ready as we can get.
Oct. 18, 2021: 'Haven't cut a bean yet'
It was cold Monday morning (Oct. 18). There’s a little bit of frost on the rooftops. We got 2 inches of rain on the farm, but it didn’t rain that much everywhere. It’s supposed to be a nice week, so we’ll be in the field. We haven’t cut a bean yet. We’re probably a third of the way through corn. It’s been outstanding.
Oct. 25, 2021: Corn's been 'outstanding'
We got 2.5 inches of rain Sunday night (Oct. 24), so it’s really wet. Fortunately, we didn’t get any storm damage that was reported elsewhere in southern Illinois. We were able to shell some corn last week, and it’s been outstanding. Hopefully we’ll be able to get back in the field by Tuesday or Wednesday.
Nov. 1, 2021: At last, a profitable year in sight
We’re getting ready to start cutting beans this week. We’re harvesting what is probably the best corn crops we’ve ever had. We’re about two-thirds done on corn. We’re just starting on beans. It looks like we’re going to have a 10-day run of good weather, so we should get a lot of those knocked out. The beans look really good. It might be the first time in about five years that I’m going to make some money.
Nov. 8, 2021: Cutting beans 'as hard as we can go'
We’re cutting beans as hard as we can go. We still have about a third of our corn to harvest. But we’re trying to take advantage of this good weather to get the beans finished. It’s supposed to rain Thursday; if so, we’ll probably switch over to shelling corn. Things are looking better, but the markets are going down. We could use some help there.
Nov. 15, 2021: Beans good, but not a record
We got rained out Sunday, but we’re getting back to shelling corn. We should finish this week. We still have 1,000 acres of beans to cut. The corn has been real good. The beans have also been good, but not a record crop.
Nov. 22, 2021: Taking time off to deer hunt
We finished corn Thursday. All my guys deer hunt, so we’re taking a couple of days off. We have about 500 to 600 acres of soybeans to cut and 500 acres of custom corn to shell. All my personal corn is out, and we had a really good crop. Weather has been pretty decent.
Nov. 29, 2021: Global warming is real
Planting was unusually late this year. We were pushing insurance dates pretty hard, which was June 20 for corn. This global warming thing is real; there’s more moisture in the atmosphere. Once we did get corn planted, it was wet for a month, so we couldn’t get nitrogen on it. It was a miracle that it turned out as good as it did. The beans were good, but I think if they would have been planted a little earlier they would have been even better. We got only about a third of our wheat crop in the ground this fall because it was too wet. For everything being planted so late, it was an amazing crop. We had good rains through the summer to finish it off. I’m ready for a more normal year in 2022. We still have about 400 acres of beans to get out. It should be good weather this week. I don’t like having beans in the field this late, but they weren’t ready.