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Wednesday, December 16, 2009


We went to Dekalb for the weekend. Saw a good bit of corn in the fields. It looks as if the Crop reorts are correct about harvested amounts.

Snow North of I 80 will hamper harvest. This picture shows corn being used a snowfence.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

A few observations.

Tillage without ruts in the field is probably not a good idea. Compaction will outweigh any advantage.

Chiseling rutted areas may be the only way to dry out the ruts.

Soybeans planted in wet holes to fill in look to have been futile this year. Even if you have soybeans, they are probably standing in water.

Today's wind will probably put down all but the strongest stalks. 50 mph winds in December on this unharvested corn is killer.

Not sure if we are done for the year, but it looks like mother nature may have taken care of that.

Monday, November 30, 2009

weather and crops

Still lots of Corn to harvest. Reports from Dekalb indicate less than half harvested. Beautiful afternoon here. Sampled one field that was extremely rutted. We lucked out and missed most of the rain forecast. We saw lots of farmers in the field as we went to Murphysboro for Thanksgiving.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

How wet is it?

Check out these two pictures. Is it this wet everywhere? No. but if it is this wet anywhere, it is really wet. Some have been harvesting since Friday, but they may be creating serious compaction problems.

Monday, November 23, 2009


Went and did a lottle geocaching. Lots of people in the field on Sunday. It is still too wet, but I guess ya gotta go. Sampling on Friday was very wet. Lots of driving through water and sampling in water. Rained from Nov 14 - 18. Still a few beans to harvest. Very little wheat planted.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Blue Skies

Sorry about the long time between posts. THe weather got to the poiint where it was too depressing to post anything about it. Changing the number in reference to a quote by RFD Illinois commentator Allen Jurand. " We are now 12 days into a drought." The down side is that soils are still very wet. Yesterday the bags filled in southeastern Greene county had soaked through by the time I got to the office. Really we must be thankful that we have had a nice window of opportunity for field work. Yesterday was damp, but no real rain. A few were Harvesting, others were moving grain or maybe just getting a breather from the long run of field work.

I am seeing some tillage being done. IT is really too wet for that. I say do what you need to in order to get the crop out. If you cut a rut, don't worry too much about it, but tilling wet ground will make that compaction even worse. If ou really think you need to do tillage, wait till the ground freezes so there will be some support for the tractor.

My breather is today. We are currently caught up to the combines. Last Saturday I cought this sunset as I finished the day. I don't usually do sunsets, but his was a beautiful one.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Rain Rain Rain

We have worked 2 days so far this fall. Crops are deteriorating in the field by now. We are hoping to get out tomorrow. It is the highest rainfall ever recorded in October and more on the way.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Harvest underway

Harvest is just getting underway in a serious way today. A few scatted fields are done. Still some grean corn and lots of green soybeans. Harvest appears to be split between corn and soybeans right now. Yields of early corn have been good so far, but later corn is not so good. We hope to start sampling later in the week if weather holds.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009


Went to Dekalb for the weekend. Corn in Northern Illinois is uneven as it is everywhere. We went up through Bloomington and came back along the Illinois River through Peoria. A lot of corn to the north is still grass green and subject to an early frost. Went south today. Harvest is underway in the bottoms south of St. Louis. yields are good but low areas are not.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Farm Progress show.

I should have posted earlier in the week. The Farm Progress show as always was a showcase for BIG equipment. One thing I noticed was that Guidance systems are here to stay. Lots of vendors and they have lots of good reasons to buy their products. We used to hear about fatigue. Now we are hearing about savings because of no overlap and shut offs. These savings are real and tangible. I am not sure how big you need to be to justify them, but I think the average farmer could easily pay for a guidance system.

I another news, Travelled to Springfield yesterday. Early soybeans are barely starting to turn yellow. Lots of corn is mature. I don't think I saw a field that did not show Nitrogen loss.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

St. Charles Co, MO

Saw lots of corn getting mature. Soybeans still setting pods. Attended a produtive field day.

Saturday, August 22, 2009


A trip to Clinton IL showed little new about crop condition. Some corn is maturing because it has run out of Nitrogen. It is probably black layered prematurely.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


I don't often post twice in one day, but we had about and inch of rain. While subsoil moisture is good, we needed some rain to grow roots down to the moisture. This rain will go a long way toward making a decent bean crop. It will help corn too, but not as much as some people will think.

St Louis Area

We travelled south toward the St. Louis area Firday. Corn is looking as good as it is going to get. Some is running out of Nitrogen especially in areas that were wet this spring. Lower leaves are turning. In some places up to the ears. Soybeans are waiting for rain.


Tuesday, August 11, 2009

New Travels

North to Mt. Pleasant Michigan last week. Corn was not impressive. USDA lowered acreage planted estimates, but increased yields to 157 bu per acre. I can't believe it. Yesterday I did som sampling for a special project. Topsoil was kind of dry. Subsoil moisture was still pretty good. Looked at some double row corn in Staunton today. It looks good. It is one of the few fields in this area planted under ideal conditions.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

2009 Corn Crop

This photo sums up this year's corn crop. Very uneven and lots of drowned spots.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Long Trip

I travelled to Dearborn MI the past week to attend the annual meeting of the Soil and Water Conservation Society. I followed I-70 to I-75 on the way out there. Once in Indiana Crops Generallly looked better than in Illinois although not as far along as they should be. On the way home, I followed a route that took me past Cabella's in Southern Michigan. I then dropped down to US 24 to Fort Wayne and to Indianapolis. ON that route, crops looked a lot like Illinois. In other words, uneven corn and late beans. Wheat Harvest was just beginning in Northern Ohio and Michigan.

The meeting was good for the most part, although a session on Ecological Site Descriptions left me thinking this something to keep government employees busy. A session on pollinators was wonderful. Next year is in St. Louis, so I hope to be able to attend.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Growing Season

The growing season continues to be problematic for South Central and West South Central IL. THursday I was in St. Clair and MOnroe Counties. The surface soil was dry I suspect because of weeds. A rain would be good there. Planting was stillunderway for soybeans. First crop and double crop beans are being planted at the same time. Sampled some corn in the 5 leaf stage. The stand was excellent, but probably planted too late for top yields. Most corn is very uneven at best.

Friday we were still sampleing wet ground in Staunton area. It looked like everything was planted. Some of the double crop had just been done the day before. I hope today's rain does not get things too wet down there again.

Wheat stubble sampled very nicely because of the excess moisture.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Corn Again

Travelled from Hillsboro to Bloomington yesterday. Corn looked terrible the whole way. lots of uneven stands and drowned out places. Lots of yellow looking corn.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Corn Progress

Early corn is starting to grow very fast. Some fields are looking excellent if the planting timing was just right. One field I looked at had part of the corn planted one day later than the other part. The corn planted a day earlier looked much better. Immediate rain probably inhibited germination in the other part of the field. I have seen more corn replanted this year than in many years past. The shallowest of depressions are not germinating.

Early corn is at a stage when it seems it can grow a foot overnight. We are still sampling corn although we have done lots of bean ground too. I have one farm to nitrogen sample. His corn is still very small. showers this week are a bit lighter and more scattered. IT would appear that most corn is planted at least for the first time. Everyone seems to be working on soybeans if they are able to do field work. THe farm I worked on yesterday is the first I have been on where they are finished planting. I think one farm I worked today was finished as well. but I did not sample the whole thing.

Sunday, June 7, 2009

New Post

Once again I left this go longer than I intend. Weather is still too damp, but I would estimate most corn is planted at this time. That is ahead of last year in our area. I have seen a few soybeans up. The cutworms seem to be hanging on. There is a small amount of damage in a lot of fields. One field I was in today had been sprayed with some unknown formula. Corn plants were burned on leaf tips in some cases. In other cases, the corn was dead. Looks like an overlap situation. The good news is that the waterhemp was dead. Most weeds were dead except shepherd's purse. We have found Nitrogen to be short in lots of situations.

Saturday, May 23, 2009


It looks like we may be done sampling early planted corn. There is still lots of corn to plant, but I think we are done with any that was planted before May 10 or so. The soil is still very moist although it looks dry and dusty on top. I found cutworms again today. Found out they had already been sprayed so it should be no problem.

People are still putting on Nitrogen. The price was so high last fall they waited. That is good anyway because it goes away. However, Nitrogen applied at this time of year can be at a lower rate. Anything over 150 lb per acre is probably overkill.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


So this is why I am blogging. I worked from Edwardsville to Virden , IL today. Saw cutworm damage in Edwardsville and Staunton. One field had enough damage to spray. The farmer had already treated his seed to protect against cutworms and was disappointed that he might need to do more. Soil was over moist, but not saturated in most areas. Virden area was wetter.

I can't believe I did not blog for 10 days, but the weather was pretty negative so i just chose to say nothing. Weather should be good and maybe we can get most of the corn planted this week. Some are looking to plant beans soon too. I was on my first planted bean field yesterday.

I noticed a fertilizer dealer who had a fungicide plot on wheat ground. That should make interesting results.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Better weather

The rain seems to have let up a bit. We have worked 4 days so far this week. Some corn is planted, but much to be done too. Today I saw a field with a spray truck spraying, a dry fertilizer wagon spreading, and Anhydrous being applied. Now if we can just luck out and miss the rain in the forecast. Today was the first day that I have seen a lot oaf people working. Still lots of Nitrogen to apply. IT was too expensive last fall. Fall applied is a bad idea in our area anyway. We are caught up or ahead of most of the corn planted. We already have a few scratched off the list.

Friday, May 1, 2009


We have only worked one day - Wednesday in the field this week. IT was too wet to plant, but sampled well. State Journal Register says corn planting is behind last year. That is hard to believe. Last year I was at 0 acres for the spring at this time. I have covered about 4000 right now. Hoping for a good break in the rain next week.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Planting time

Corn was getting planted in Calhoun County today. Also in Jersey Co River bottoms. Also north of Bunker hill. Sampling went pretty good today. Tomorrow everyone will be in the field. I saw some Nitrogen was still being applied too.

Corn Planted

Saw corn being planted in St. Charles Co., MO. It is still kind of wet on the low ground, but the high ground was working good.

Saturday, April 18, 2009


Travelled a short way south to Bond CO today. Everything looked very wet. I did deep borings on a very well drained site. Soil was wet, but no water table. Lots of ruts from last fall full of water.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Soil Temperature

Working in Eastern St. Charles County, MO. Low lying soil is very wet. Sand ridges are drying out. Soil Temperature was 42 yesterday at 10AM. Today it is 46. It should warm again tomorrow.

Friday, April 10, 2009


1.5 to 2.5 inches of rain in the area overnight. Good thing we got something done yesterday. I think it will be too wet to work tomorrow too. I will need to mow grass.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


Sampling has gone well the last 2 days although a bit rough because very little is planted. One of our customers planted some corn despite the fact that soil Temperature was 35 degrees at 10AM yesterday. Soil is very moist, but not sloppy wet. I have some soil reports to deliver tommorrow.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009


Soil Temperature was 40 degrees at 10 AM. Travelled south. It is still wet all over, but high ground is starting to dry off. We will hit the field tomorrow. Wheat seems to be breaking dormancy and starting to grow a bit. A hard freeze was predicted, but it did not seem to get as cold as predicted. Maybe 31 here.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Spring is Sprung?

Yes the Daffodils are blooming, but still wet. We have had 3 inches of rain in the past week and cool weather. Today we had 0.5 inches of rain. They are predicting a hard freeze for Tuesday morning.

Monday, March 30, 2009


It was a sloppy day today. the morning started with about and inch of frost in the ground. Some snow left from 6 inches received yesterday. I predict at least a week until planters roll, but I did see someone getting ready today. Rain is in the forecast for tomorrow, so that will dampen those spirits. I was covered with mud today as was my ATV. It would have been too wet if crops had been planted.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Third Day

This was my third day in a row in the field. It is still cool, and no corn planters were going withing my view. Today was cold enough that the Carhart bibs were comfortable. Some people were applying Nitrogen and some applying dry fertilizer. I have not checked soil temperature, but will start next week.

Friday, March 20, 2009


Early spring has arrived in South Central Illinois. daffodils are blooming. Temperatures are warmer. Sunshine is bright. We have had about 1/2 inch of rain again. Did some sampling on Monday. Soil is more than moist enough despite the fact that we have not had a lot of rain in over a month.

Today I put a fence around the garden. Peter Cottontail is eating the broccoli.

I know we will have some cold weather, but will enjoy it for now. Two meeting days remain and then we will be hitting the field in seriousness.

Thursday, March 12, 2009


Had 1/2 inch of rain on Wednesday. Weather has been warm, but cooled off the last few days. Soil Temperature at 10AM is 32 degrees F. Attended a Precision Planting Workshop in Nokomis. We don't endorse products, but I will say that people should look into what they have to say.

Monday, March 9, 2009


My wife planted early spring vegetables yesterday. Lettuce, radishes, spinach and peas. We missed a rather violent storm and the ground was dry enough, so she planted. I helped a bit. Have meetings tommorrow, next week and the 24th. Learning about new livestock waste regulations on the 24th.

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Spring seems to be making an attempt to push in. Weather yesterday and today was warm. Crocus popped out today. Seems to be a bit wet still. but the top is drying off. Frost seems to be out. Two weeks from now we may be hearing about crazy people planting corn. In three or four weeks, the sane people will start. We might start sampling soon if the weather holds. I suspect we are in for a bit more wet and cool before it is time to go to work. Also have a few more "winter" meeting so attend yet.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Cool Damp

Work took us south yesterday near Belleville. Our client has done no tillage and his fields were firm but damp. Weather was cold and drizzly at least part of the day. It still feels like winter, but days are getting longer.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Very Wet

Sampled about 100 acres yesterday. It was very wet. Still some frost in the ground. I thought the rain would take it all out. The weather was pleasant. It would have been very easy to get stuck with the 4 wheeler.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Spring on the way?

Weather is still cold for the most part, but the weekend was rather pleasant. Did some work outdoors and enjoyed the warmth. I saw some mourning doves around and thought I heard a robin. Smelled a skunk this morning as I left the house to work out.