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Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Cold weather has kept the surface frozen overnight, but it would appear that the soil thaws out during the day. I did yard work and cleaned house today. Weather was wonderful in the morning and dreary in the afternoon.

Saturday, December 15, 2007


I had a small job in Logan County and made some borings to a depth of 5 feet. Soil was moist to 5 feet in one hole and down to about 2 feet in the other 2. Weather was cold and damp on Thursday when the job was done. Friday in Monroe County, I did not see too much exciting.

Have a Good Holiday.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Out and about

I have seen fall Nitrogen being applied in the last few days. If you insist on doing it, now is the time. I still hope they are using N-Serve

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Late Fall

Fall seems to be slipping by quickly with winter coming up fast. For the next several months, those of us involved in agriculture at the field level will be keeping up on paperwork, preparing for next season, and taking advantage of educational opportunities that are available so that we can continue to be involved in the food production business.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Recent Travels

I have spent quite a bit of time in Pike and Brown Counties Recently. Lots of Nitrogen being applied. I am still concerned about soil Temperature, although the weather seems to have turned cooler. Soil moisture is still pretty short. I am not sure Nitrogen will stay in the soil. Definitely use N-Serve.

Cattle are still grazing. Some are on stalks right now. Manure spreading seems to be working good. Ground that is worked is very loose.

Most are showing restraint in tillage. Leaving bean stubble over the winter or just using an aerway are good practices for most soils.

Friday in Monroe County, some of the heavy soils are fairly moist. I had to clean my probe a lot to get it to work.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Some farmers are applying Anhydrous. Soil Temperatures are borderline and could rise. It would be good to wait. I hope they are using NServe, although in springtime some warm wet weather will use the N up fast anyway.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Damp Weather

Weather is damp right now, but ground is still pretty dry. At least the fire hazard should be reduced.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Soybean Rust

Soybean Rust is being reported as far north as Iowa. Still not much in Illinois. The rust is not a problem at this time of year, it is just sort of interesting to see where it turns up.

Moisture is finally returning to our topsoil, but we are a long way from having subsoil recharged. National FFA convention is this week. Having attended parts of three conventions as an adult, it is an impressive experience. I am not sure the kids understand fully the opportunities they have at a career fair unlike any other.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Soybean Rust

I am on the soybean rust alert system. The rust has been found in Missouri, Indiana and Iowa. So far only one county in Illinois has it.

I travelled south to Nashville, IL today. Crop progress is about the same there as here. There are still some double crop soybeans.


We had around an inch of rain. Wheat south of Hillsboro is looking good. I am currently working on a manure dewatering project that is very interesting. I also finished up digitizing some point data I had collected last week. I am finally starting to get the hang of Farmworks.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Today took me South to Monroe County. Not many crops to harvest except some stubble beans. Some fertilizer is being applies and some tillage is being done. It looks like lots of potential wheat ground being prepared.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Fast week

Where did the week go? Working close to Hillsboro. Not much exciting going on in the field. I am watching reports of Asian Soybean rust. coming in from the south and west. Still none in Illinois, but I suspect it will happen soon.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Short Day

It was a short day in Eastern Montgomery County. Not much to report except I saw a lot of deer, including a pretty good size 8 point buck. Weather is still warm. No crops unharvested except double crop beans.

Sunday Trip

Went to Effingham Co. to deliver some reports. We travelled through Ramsey, Effingham, and Dietrich. 95% of crops are harvested with the exception of double crop beans. Saw several fields where it appeared that wheat is emerged.

Discussed using annual ryegrass for a winter covercrop with the customer.

Sunday, October 7, 2007


Travelled to Monroe County. Harvest is progressing as in most of the state very well. Soybean yields are very poor. Some are getting ready to sow wheat.

Wednesday, October 3, 2007

Rain at last

We had 1.3 inches in Hillsboro. North of town, 0.8. Vandalia, Very Little.

Should be good for wheat sowed in the area and for wheat to be sowed as well.

Monday, October 1, 2007


Sprinkles overnight did not seem to slow down harvest in Eastern Montgomery County.

7 field fires and 2 other fires causes mainly by dry conditions were reported in the Montgomery County Journal-News.

Some tillage has been completed, but harvest still seems to have highest priority.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Saturday Off

I went to the Prairieland Museum Show in Jacksonville with my dad. We met in Litchfield and I took him on a scenic tour. We drove past the Longwall subsided land in the area of Gillespie Country Club.

The show was much bigger than I remember from when we lived there. It was very crowded and lots of junk to see. The were serving a Ham and Bean Dinner and ran out before 1 o'clock. we were waiting in line when they ran out. We watched a bit of the Lawn Tractor pull and later the tractor parade and the antique tractor pull. An old friend won first place in his class. I said hi to him and I think he knew me, but we did not get to talk. On the way home I took Dad past Johnson Grain and Lowder elevator. I think he found that stuff interesting too. Lots of corn stored on the ground in Greenfield and Waverly, but I think I have seen both places have more than today.

It looks like harvest is about 80% complete over all in our area. Very few crops were in the field between Woodson and Franklin.

Still Dry

Working in Eastern Montgomery County, where it is very dry. Some wheat was being sowed. Not the worst thing I suppose, as it will not germinate until it gets some rain. Soybeans are not yielding well.

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Greene County

Today took me to Eastern Greene County. There is some corn yet to be shelled, but I estimate at least 80% done between Hillsboro and there. There was enough moisture in the soil that probing was ok for the most part, but still dry. There is no subsoil moisture close at all. I saw a tank of 28% Nitrogen being towed past where I was working. It is much much too early to apply any Nitrogen. Our experience has shown that fall applied Nitrogen is not a good idea this far south and certainly is not a good idea in September.


Rain finally came. Hah! only a tenth or two. The moisture penetrated about 2 inches. Well at least it is cooler.

I drove about 10 miles till I saw some unharvested corn. Hard to believe that harvest is winding down. There are still some very green double crop soybeans, but it is still early for them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007


Worked in Eastern Montgomery Co and In the Staunton Area. Most of the corn is harvested. Some are starting to sow wheat, but it is early for that. Soil is still extremely dry. My body is taking a pounding from how hard it its to push the probe in. Sometimes I am using a hammer. Now would be a very good time to do deep tillage unless we get a lot of rain.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

First Post

I plan to post daily. As a consulting soil scientist who spends time in the field I want to record where I have been and what I have seen in somewhat general terms. Client names and exact locations will not be revealed. The past week my travels have taken me all over what could be called west central Illinois.

On Monday September 17 I was in Greenfield where corn harvest is well under way and many farmers were starting on soybeans. Soils were dry.

On Tuesday I travelled to Windsor, IL. Soil moisture was not too bad and harvest was progressing well.

On Wednesday, I travelled tot he Quad Cities area. West and North of Peoria, corn harvest was not as far along as points further south. I did not make and moisture observations, but was told that moisture in the area was very good.

On Thursday, I was back in the Greenfield area. A soybean field had been partly burned in the area. This is the fourth crop fire of the season that I know of. Low humidity, wind, and dry soils and crops have made fire much more of a hazard than we are generally accustomed to in the Midwest.

Friday I was west of Meredosia. Corn harvest is probably over half done with soybeans getting started.

Saturday was spent east of Hillsboro. Corn harvest is probably 75% complete and soils were very dry.

Observations in Agriculture

My Blog to record timely information about agriculture.