It’s been about three weeks since our last update and a lot has been done. We have finally finished up planting both corn and beans. Corn was finished on the 6th of June and soybeans were finished the 12th. Replants on the corn were minimal, about 5 acres due to poor emergence. The soybeans struggled with emergence too, 65 acres were replanted and there may be more to come. We currently have several acres under water after yesterday’s rain. With the spread out planting window we jumped right into our post herbicide applications. All the early planted beans have been sprayed as well as the first 225 acres of corn. About half of the pre-sidedress soil nitrate samples have been pulled in preparation for the last nitrogen application and we should have lab results any day. We are hoping that by delaying our pre-plant nitrogen applications we will have minimized our nitrogen losses due to the high levels of rainfall and that we will be able to delay our sidedress pass a couple weeks. All in all the crop doesn’t look too bad considering the conditions we’ve encountered. We would be in good shape if the calender was still turned […]
It has become a very interesting and complicated spring planting season, to say the least! Cool WET conditions, markets, crop insurance, trade, and changes to government programs have become the daily challenges of the 2019 crop year. While we have accomplished much less in the field than we’d like, that time hasn’t been wasted. It has been a daily routine to spend a few hours with calculators clicking and in front of the computer updating spreadsheets, trying to decide what our planting intentions are going forward. There is no easy answer, and Mother Nature always has the final word in any decision in which we arrive. We have now received over 8” of rain in May and 13.6” since installing our new weather station on March 18th. Between this precipitation we have sprayed burndown herbicides and put nitrogen on 70% of our planned corn acres and have sprayed 65% of our planned soybean acres. Planting has been slower as it has just been WET and our no-till/reduced tillage farming practices can somewhat limit our capabilities in these situations. Currently we have 15% of our corn planted (and emerged) and 40% of our beans in the ground. We have really pushed […]
Rain has continued to be the story for central Illinois this week. Since the last update we have had 4.4-6.4” more rain depending on location. The only field work accomplished was to re-spray our cover crop fields with a burndown and pre-plant herbicide. Hopefully the weather breaks soon. We have never experienced a prevent-plant crop insurance situation here. In light of the current field conditions and economics we have begun to analyze and consider some of those scenarios on paper.
Rain and wet conditions continue to be part of our daily routine. The first part of last week was spent driving fields to clean up down trees and scout which areas suffered the most from erosion. We have many areas that will need repaired before planting. The tear down of the old pole shed on the Deer farm was completed and Rod’s 4020 battering ram modification did the job with ease. Mowing season is in full swing as the temperatures have risen and moisture is definitely not a limiting factor. We were able to do a couple things in the field toward the end of last week, but more wet weather over the weekend has brought progress back to a halt. Thursday afternoon we were able to spray a couple hundred acres of bean burndown herbicide and Friday afternoon we planted 65 acres of beans. The conditions were very much on the wet side of things but were able to get the planter running and work out a few bugs. The plan was to plant a whole 80 acre field but the last 15 acres were nothing but mud! So far we’ve received about 7 tenths of an inch […]
Since the first of the the month we have had 1.7″ of precipitation. The fields are saturated and if the weather would cooperate with some warmth and sunshine we are still, at least, a week from field work. We’ve stayed busy cleaning up trees, burning some CRP, and finishing up some prep work on equipment. The cover crop we sprayed three weeks ago is slowly dying and hasn’t grown. We are glad we took the opportunity to get out there and get it sprayed it when we did, as other rye cover crops in the neighborhood are starting to get some serious growth on them. With the wet soils, the cover crops around here will get at least another week of growth before an attempted termination. We wait patiently for the weather to turn, but our delays are shared by our peers and things could always be worse! Hopefully by the next update we can share some field work pictures and news.
This last week we finally have had some warm temperatures. The month of March brought us over 5 inches of rain. The rye cover crop has greened up and it was dry enough mid-week to get out there and spray it. Hopefully we get a few more warm days and the herbicide does its job. Work in the shop is getting caught up, both planters are nearly field ready. The tender trailers and trucks have been gone through and we have our first load of soybean seed on the trailer. Sadly, but as expected, results from our seed tests are showing poor germination percentages. Cold and saturated cold germination scores in the corn variety we had intended to plant first are much too low. We’ll have to wait for warmer and dryer soils to plant it. We took samples of the rest of our corn hybrids to the lab in Champaign and are hoping for better results with those. Payton and Preston were down to the farm for a few days. We were able to squeeze some work out of them when they weren’t too busy honing their marksmanship on the barnyard shooting range.
It’s been too long since our last update, but we’ve been busy around the farm! In January we hauled all the grain we had in storage, roughly 84,000 bushels in 9.5 days! We were blessed with good weather to get that done, even though there was snow on the ground. It was a little tougher to schedule than usual, as there had been an explosion in Decatur at ADM. The damage it caused required us to have times and appointments for each load delivered there. We were able to alternate loads delivered to our appointments at ADM Decatur with other delivery locations. We also delivered to ADM Farmer City, Tate and Lyle Decatur, and Cargill in Bloomington. We’ve also been attending several grower meetings and educational events. The Farm Economic Summit by the University of Illinois was held in Peoria. It was a one day seminar focused on crop insurance, marketing, and the farm economic conditions in the state. The Farm Futures Business Summit was a two day conference held in Iowa City. The content focused on improved marketing, farm business management, financing in production agriculture, and environmental stewardship. The Farm Credit College was a one day event held […]
We had been at it for exactly three weeks when Thursday night’s rains came in. Harvest has been going well. Breakdowns have been few and the weather has cooperated. The only hiccups in harvest so far have been elevator and storage problems. We have the corn crop out and are nearly half done with soybeans. The corn crop, much to our surprise, has set new records. We have had record high yield the last three years now, with this year’s yield surpassing the last by more than 20 bushels per acre! Soybeans so far have been as good and better than we expected. With more than 800 acres harvested now, we haven’t had a farm under 70 bushels per acre and have several in the mid 80s. Most of the lime has been spread and our cover crop has been seeded. It was perfect timing for the cover crop as we broadcast the seed in the morning, harrowed it in during the afternoon, and received 0.3” of rain that evening. It looks like a lawn, the rye and rapeseed both germinated well. The rain out has given us a chance to catch up on maintenance and paperwork. […]
The harvest officially got started here at JAMF on Friday. The early 109 day corn we planted had dried down to under 20% moisture. Yields are near our 5 year average, as expected, to slightly above. The later corn that we got into yesterday was already under 20% as well. This dry heat that’s been forecast for the next several days should get the corn dried down at record pace. We hope to have soybeans that will be ready by the end of the week. There are over 800 acres of 3.4 maturity beans that will be ready first. The first couple days have gone by smoothly and the weather is in our favor. We hope to continue on this pace and to have a safe, successful harvest!
Yesterday was our annual field visit day with Ken Ferrie of Crop Tech Consulting. We looked at several farms in both corn and soybeans. Things are looking very good. We are well ahead of a normal year, as far ahead as any of us have ever seen when it comes to the progress the crop is making. Corn started flowering the last week of June and is now fully pollinated. Yield estimates at this point are impressive, but it will take some more rain and favorable weather over the next six weeks for the corn to reach its full potential. We have decided to hire an airplane to spray fungicide on all the corn. Disease pressures are not as high as we’ve seen in the past, but are just beginning to reach the economic threshold for treatment. With the height of the corn (11 feet tall yesterday) and its yield potential, disease management becomes more important. The cost of the fungicide treatment by plane is down this year, which makes it an easier decision. The soybeans are already waist tall and still flowering. Ken expects most of our beans to be 5 feet tall before vegetative growth stops. Tall beans […]