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Early corn yields not what was expected in Northeast Illinois

Early corn yields not what was expected in Northeast Illinois

Levi Isham waits at the end of the field with wagons

Levi Isham waits at the end of the field with wagons ready as his father and two uncles pull up on day three of harvest in Grundy County.

MAZON, Ill. — The Isham family started this harvest season with anticipation, as this is the first year they had a yield monitor in the combine. But some disappointment followed during early harvest.

They were not alone. In mid- to late September, farmers and grain elevators in several parts of the state weren’t getting the high corn yields predicted at some points in the season.

The Ishams had hopes of seeing higher than the 200 to 220 bushels registering on the monitor in a Grundy County field near Mazon.

Considering the field didn’t have a lot of stress and got some timely rains, Shane Isham was expecting something higher. He stopped the combine a few times to make adjustments Sept. 18, three days into their harvest, hoping to get more kernels into the combine.

Despite the generally favorable weather this field experienced during the growing season, there was some lodging from a wind storm.

“We hope to see 240 in better-standing stuff,” said Shane’s son, Levi Isham of Coal City, Illinois, who farms with his dad and two uncles.

Some of the loads even early in harvest were dry enough to go right to the bin. They were trucked there by army trucks pulling gravity wagons.

Yes, there is a story to the trucks, Levi said. The family needed a new tractor to pull the wagons. His Grandpa wasn’t too pleased at first when he saw his sons bought a big military truck instead. He looked it over and changed his mind when he learned they bought it for $6,000 on eBay, Levi said.

Today they own three of the military trucks which haul grain on their farms within two miles of each other in Northeast Illinois.

By Oct. 11 they were almost half done with harvest. The damp weather limited soybean harvest, but corn harvest was moving along quickly.

In fields with less downed corn, yields are good.

“It’s hit or miss. Some of our good ground that does good for us is doing good. Some of our average ground is a smidge below average,” Levi said.

Levi is looking forward to getting into more of the fields standing well to see what yields they get there and to see how more soybean fields do.

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Phyllis Coulter is Northern Illinois field editor, writing for Illinois Farmer Today, Iowa Farmer Today and Missouri Farmer Today.

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