We are going to try to get back to regular web updates for 2021. There have been a few changes on the farm and a lot has been going on throughout the winter. We are well on our way to being ready for spring and getting the 2021 crop in the ground!
The winter was a flurry of paperwork. 2020 turned out to be another good year on the farm, despite the struggles everywhere else. We have once again been blessed to see some exciting and profitable markets. One of our tasks over the winter was to evaluate the 2020 crop year and benchmark our farm business versus our peers. One of the best tools we’ve found to do that is the Precision Conservation Management (PCM) program administered by the Illinois Corn Growers Association. It allows us to anonymously input our production data. That data is used to prepare reports and scorecards comparing our practices and profitability to other operations in our state, county and watershed. If you have any interest in learning more about the program you can visit the website ( https://www.precisionconservation.org/ ) or give us a call. We would be more than happy to show you our 2021 annual report which outlines input efficiencies, sustainability, carbon emissions, and conservation practices.
David, the farm’s full-time employee since 2014, retired in December. He has been a big boost to our farm business success over the years and he will be missed! We are hoping he’ll be around to help out on a part time basis between his family and camping adventures.
We have made two new hires this winter to fill the void. Both of the newest team members are college students. Evan is going to be graduating from Joliet Junior College with an associates degree in production agriculture in May. He has joined our team this week and will be with us through the spring as part of an internship/on job learning program linked to his degree. Evan is from the Fairbury area where his family owns and operates a hog farm. He is hoping to gain some experience in grain production during his time with us. Cameron is the second student that will be joining our team. He is a junior at Illinois State University majoring in agriculture business. Cameron is a student athlete being on ISU’s fall and spring track teams. He comes from the Decatur area. His immediate family does not have a farming history, but agriculture is one of his passions. We hope to give him some firsthand experience.
Preparations for the 2021 crop are well underway. Equipment preparations are nearly complete. Much of the seed and fertilizer is onsite. We have received some much-needed rain, alleviating some of the drought fears many had earlier in the winter (See maps below). The rain has kept us out of the field so far but we are ready to go when conditions are fit. As in recent years, we plan on prioritizing our field work towards termination of the cover crops followed by soybean planting. Our crop insurance will allow for soybean planting to begin as early as April 5th, the same day we started last year.
We are planning on resuming our farm appreciation dinner in August. We will let you all know in the near future when we get a date and time set. It will be great for us all to be together in person again!