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Saturday, June 25, 2016

Areas Short on Rain

Shown below is the rainfall map for the past 7 days.  The hole in the middle is mainly south central and southern Illinois.  The areas that got a good amount of rain are set for good pollination. Some of the southern Illinois area is just now recovering from excessive rainfall, so the situation is not as bleak as it may look,  but many of the the counties in white or light blue need a shower.  Is  it drought?  Maybe.  Can we recover?  A timely rain would help.

Friday, June 24, 2016

Getting Ready for the Weekend

The first time I saw the Starr's Primal Meats and Package Liquor, I thought, "what a great combination".   It features great agricultural products and it looks like  a great place to stop to finish your weekend preparations.  A bonus that the butcher shop is well reviewed.  

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

New Book on Flooding

By : Kenneth R. Olson, Professor Emeritus of Soil Science, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, Illinois

In July the Soil and Water Conservation Society, Book Division will be releasing their newest soil and water conservation book entitled "Managing Mississippi and Ohio River Landscapes" by Kenneth R. Olson (UIUC) and Lois Wright Morton (Iowa State University). The book cover includes porthole pictures of some of the color photographs in the book (there are 60 color maps and 160 color photographs along with 120K words in 25 chapters. The confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio is the focus of the book.  Dr. Sam Indorante wrote the Foreward. The order link should be live by the 1st of August. The 250 page (8.5 by 11") book will have a hard cover. Anticipate it will sell for a "reduced price" of  $49/copy or half price thanks to generous institutional sponsors. 

Writing this book has taken the first two years of my retirement but I was able to summarized much of my last 8 years of NRES work related to the impact of flooding series work which started with the flood of 2008. Most of the book focuses on levee breaches and the impact on soils. We recommend in the book that an updated soil survey be immediately made after every levee breach and subsequent flooding event. 

Monday, June 20, 2016

Flowering in the Roadside

Seeing lots of of flowers in the roadside today.  ChicoryQueen Anne's Lace, Red Clover, and Daisy Fleabane.

Chicory - Cichorium intybus

Queen Anne's Lace - Daucus carota

Red Clover - Trifolium pratense

Daisy Fleabane - Erigeron strigosus

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Mid June Field Work

Wheat is being harvested, straw baling follows and then double crop soybeans.  Most corn fields were rolling in the heat and low humidity today.  The corn looked better when the sun went down.

Wheat Harvest
Straw baled

Sowing beans

Corn needs rain

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Nitrogen Management update

My most frequent topic is nitrogen management.  Nitrogen management is elusive.  If you have read this blog, you probably understand that applying nitrogen based on yield goal is the least preferred method.  June Prairie Farmer did a good job of summarizing Nitrogen Management Techniques available.  Read the second page as well.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Past 60 Days Rainfall

Several people have asked about rainfall amounts recently, so I thought it was time to get a map from National Weather Service.  The map shows the past 60 days.  I darkened the Illinois border.  While it seemed like a wet spring because of the number of days of missed field work, rainfall amounts have been moderate except for the southern 100 or so miles of Illinois. Rainfall amounts around the first of the year were excessive, so we still have good subsoil moisture.  We have done septic tank investigations regularly this spring and except yesterday, we have had a water table in the subsoil at some point.  While things are starting to dry out, and we are seeing corn starting to roll in some areas, we are still a long way from a severe drought.  We are getting in to the part of summer when rainfall amounts are highly variable, but as long as storms keep moving through, there is always a chance to get some rain. As in many years, corn yields will be made by a timely rain in mid-July.
Rainfall Past 60 Days