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Saturday, December 20, 2008

Road Trip

I attended a class in ON-farm research at Iowa State University. It made me very reluctant to attempt anything we might try to call research. Demonstration plots may be OK. The drive was much too exciting on Wednesday with bad road conditions to the Quad Cities where i delivered a manure management plan. I did not go out much because of slick streets. Just hung out in the hotel room.

The trip home was more pleasant but the day got long. I arrived home at 11:30 PM.

Monday, December 8, 2008


Cold weather seems to have set in although temperatures were pleasant today. Frost in corn stalks was 2 to 4 inches deep. Tilled land was 4 to 8 inches deep. Pasture was not frozen. Harvest is still ongoing with about 95% of corn done i this area.

Thursday, November 20, 2008


It is still very cold and going to be colder. 16 predicted for tonight. Harvest is wrapping up in most areas although many people still have some to do. Ground is frozen at night. If you insist on fall N application, this might be the time to do it, but don't forget the N-serve.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Late Fall Weather

Most of the leaves have dropped except for some Oaks. Cool temperatures will make outdoor work less fun. I got some mittens that open up to fingerless gloves. they help a lot with gripping the throttle handlebar. I also bought some Carhart bibs to keep out the cold. They help too, but sometimes it gets too warm to wear them.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Harvest Progress

In our area things are starting to open up. 80 to 90 percent of soybeans are harvested and maybe 50 % of corn is harvested. Mississippi River bottoms in Pike County are probably 80 to 90 % harvested.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008


I am finally home from Texas for now at least. Harvest is underway in Illinois, but going slow. Some double crop soybeans are still green. Some corn is not yet mature too. None of this is a big surprise. Yields so far are surprisingly good.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

South Texas

I have made 2 trips to the Lower Rio Grande Valley since August 20. I was really not aware of the rich Agriculture in that region. It looks like they can grow anything. In approximate order of acreages observed, I have seen Citrus Groves, Sugar Cane, Grain Sorghum (In all stages of growth) Corn ( In all stages of growth) , Hay and Pasture, cotton, and soybeans. Most of the crops are grown with irrigation. The Rio Grande is the source of water. There are lots of Irrigation Districts and Drainage Districts. I also saw some very substantial Levees.

A highlight was visiting the last cable ferry crossing the Rio Grande. Three cars and a number of pedestrians were pulled across the River by hand.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Travels and Training

Field days are in full swing. I attended Brownstown field day 2 weeks ago. Went to West Virginia for training. Crops between here and there are not much better than locally. Reports from all over the Midwest at the training were not great.

West Virginia is a beautiful state, but looks pretty poverty stricken.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

The End

Friday was the last day of sampling for me for the spring and summer season. Crops do not look great in the areas I have been. Earlier corn is starting to silk. Some corn is less than 2 feet tall. Some soybeans are starting to close over. Some are still small. Double crop beans have plenty of moisture.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Spring has drifted in to summer

Our busy work season soil sampling is coming to a close whether we like it or not. It has been a very wet season here in mid Illinois. It seems kind of weird that we have just finished sampling corn ground last week, and we are sampling harvested wheat ground now along with a good bit of bean ground to cover still. In some ways and on some days it still seems like spring. Our Mississippi River bottom customers have averted a disaster but crops are late and yield potential especially for corn seems low.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Very Busy

I have been very busy since the weather cleared out. Something like 21 days in a row working. What a crazy wet spring. Soils are still pretty wet, but most of the corn and soybeans are planted. Some are still putting Nitrogen on corn. Wheat harvest is starting slowly, but underway. There has been lots of wet weather and we are not going as fast as we would like, but we are going.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Soil Temperature

I was working 20 Miles south of Springfield today. Fields were relatively dry, although plenty of moisture and a few saturated spots. Soil Temperature at 10AM was 50 degrees Fahrenheit in wet soil. A dryer area was 53.

Saturday, May 17, 2008


Wetness has kept us out of the field for 10 days in a row. Today we took a try at it. The work went well for us, but it is much too wet in the Jerseyville area to do any field work. Most soils were saturated at a very shallow depth. Side hill seeps are still running water.

Friday, May 9, 2008


Travelled from Litchfield to Valmeyer. Lots of water. Some corn planted, but very wet. I saw one field at the 3 leaf stage just south of Columbia. I am told there is a field near Valmeyer IN the 5 leaf stage.

Rain Again?

Had 1.7 inches of rain from Wednesday morning till yesterday afternoon. Luckily we found a dryer place to work on Wednesday, but no such luck yesterday or today for me. The real down side is light rain is falling again today.

Monday, May 5, 2008

Starting over

Today was my second day in the field since March 24.

Soil Temp at 10 AM was 50 degrees farenheit. It was the same in tilled ground as in untilled stalks. I can't explain that, except the overnight temperture was fairly cold, so it cooled everything off. The Stalk ground however was much wetter.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Champaign Crop Report

I went to Champaign yesterday for a meeting. Not much corn planted. Some was planted between Champaign and Decatur. Some in the Raymond Morrisonville area. It seemed relatively dry, but no planters going between Decatur and a Springfield or anywhere else for that matter either.

Saturday, April 19, 2008


about 1/2 inch of rain in the past 2 days. Not a lot, but it keeps things wet. Sounds like more on the way Tuesday. Very little corn planted. I thought maybe one field Near Auburn, but not sure.

Friday, April 18, 2008


It is off subject, but I have to give an earthquake report. It woke us up 50 Miles south of Springfield, IL. Lots of rattling and seemed like some rumble. I thought at first it might be a very rumbly (Is that a word?) thunderstorm.

Rain is aon the way aagain. I doubt if much field work has gotten done yet. I will find out today when I go to the Dr. In Sprinfield.

Rain is also in the forecast for Tuesday.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Soil Temperature

Soil Temperature at 1PM is 56 degrees Fahrenheit. Too late in the day so this is not a true reading. It will get colder this weekend.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Soil Temperature

Yesterday at 11 AM the soil temperature is 50 Degrees F. Just barely warm enough for corn planting.

Thursday, April 3, 2008


With all the concern about drought all winter it is surprising how wet we are right now. No drying is in sight. No corn planted that I am aware of. We are still in the office although in my case, health issues are gong to keep me mostly out of circulation until May 3.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Moisture Update

I have done several investigations to the five foot depth this winter. I have found soil moisture to be surprisingly good, but moisture is not completely recharged. 2 to 3 more inches of rain before the growing season begins will take us into the season in good shape. While this is good news concerning reserves, minimizing tillage passes and keeping good residue cover on the surface is still a good idea that will conserve moisture and maintain cooler temperatures to help crops survive another potentially dry summer.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Iowa State CNMP training

I attended Iowa State University's training on Comprehensive Nutrient Management Planning. The training seemed very complete, but I found I also needed to complete a class that NRCS offers over the net, but you have to download the information. It was also very thorough, but covered different topics to a certain extent. I never expected to be working with livestock, but it certainly is an opportunity at this time.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Soil Moisture again

I did a septic tank investigation near Litchfield on Friday. Soil was moist down to 4 feet or so. It looks like good subsoil recharge so far. We still need more moisture. There was wetting front at about 30 inches, so there is some free water that will penetrate.

Thursday is Extension Service Agronomy day. It looks like a good program.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Monday, January 21, 2008

Fertilizer on Wheat

I saw fertilizer being applied to wheat today. It may work out well if we get the predicted inch of snow. I am studying for a certification exam right now and doing volunteer work. Winter seems colder than in recent years, for the most part. We did have a warm week or so.

I also checked on how much N you can afford. It looks like 170# per acre maximum.

Wednesday, January 9, 2008


Two weeks of cold weather are past. Weather is more mild now although cooled some.