Search This Blog

Friday, May 31, 2013

Much needed rain comes to Mato Grosso Brazil

Special thanks to Eduardo tonight.  Weather here has me at loss for words.   Dave
By Eduardo Paim: 
Here in Mato Grosso it was predicted to rain yesterday (30.06.13), it was predicted rainfall of 20mm, but we had more rain in the state, with some cities having rains of 40mm. This rain helped some producers who still had growing corn grain filling. Before the rain 5/30/13 we had 60% of the corn crop in good condition, we now have 85% of corn in good condition and 15%  needs more rain. Before this day's rain 30 production was estimated at 75 bags of maize per HA on average, now the producers believe will harvest 90 bags on average, even if it does not rain anymore.
Soybean prices have improved a lot here at the end of last week the price Rondonópolis-MT was U $ 27.60 U $ 28.20 and today. In addition to offering small soy dollar rose from R $ (Brazilian real) 2.05 to £ 2.13 (today), the government stopped holding the interest and stopped containing inflation in Brazil, the high dollar here in Brazil helped greatly in prices of soybeans and corn also. The price of corn was second in U $ 7.00 and U.S. $ 7.50 per day bag.

The problem here is that many producers have the dollar bills and receiving payments on Tuesday (06.25.13) to R $ 2.05 dollar today will pay their bills with dollar of R $ 2.13, so if the producer had to pay U $ 100,000.00 x = R $ 2.05 R $ 205,000.00 today it would pay U $ 100,000.00 x 2.13 = R $ 213,000.00, loss of R $ 8,000.00 or $ 3755.86.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Rain is getting old

Today was the only day this week I am going to be able to work, and I should not be complaining because farmers are not getting any time in the field this week.  I was not at all certain how my day would go.  I started off getting the field at 5AM.  I had one field that I wanted to make sure I sampled today and with rain in the forecast, you never know.  I went as far south as Hamel where I found field conditions OK for me, but too wet for farm work.  I went North to Staunton and found a lot of standing water in the field.  The customer I chose to work on has a pretty good surface drainage system so I got a lot done on hm despite having to dodge some puddles.  Heavy rain is moving in as I write this.  I am glad I got almost 2 days work done today. 

I sampled all corn and it was all emerged.  The corn looks good for the most part.  I am still seeing cutworm damage, but today it was not bad.  I did tell the customers I found them.  I was speculating with a fellow consultant about whether they might have drowned.  I guess they did not. 

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Passing of a U of I Icon

In catching up on my reading today, Ran across and obituary of Ambrose W. Burger.  Dr. Burger was a long time Agronomy Professor and during my time at the University of Illinois,  he taught the Introductory Agronomy class which I took in my first semester.  Since that class was nearly 40 years ago, I have to admit that I cannot say what I learned from Dr. Burger related to agronomy.  I can say I learned a good deal about what he expected of his students.  He expected class attendance.  He expected effort.  He expected participation.  Dr. Burger received many awards for his teaching,  He also sponsored the Field and Furrow Club, the U of I Agronomy Club, for 30 years.  It was in the Field and Furrow club that he really showed his dedication to students.  He made sure that our first exposure to the world of Professional Academic groups was a positive one.

Despite being sort of a scary guy to a freshman, he was merciful to me when I missed an exam one morning.  I walked into his office apologetically as soon as I was able and he sat me down right there and handed me the test.  I was both surprised and appreciative that he was merciful.

Dr. Burger had sort of a disorganized looking office, but I remember one time I was doing a paper for another class and someone said that Dr. Burger would have some reference material that he might share.  When I went to see him he rubbed his chin and looked around a minute and reached into a pile and pulled out exactly what I was looking for.

Thanks for your efforts Dr. Burger on behalf of all the students who passed through your sphere of influence. 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Weather and Crop Report

From time to time I have taken pot shots at the Illinois Weather and Crop reports, but for now the report appears to be consistent with the areas I have been.  I am in the West Southwest area and travel to the Southwest area. Corn Planting progress may be slightly over estimated in our area, but over all it is close.  We have certain spots that lag because of higher rainfall totals.  The last two reports, the planting progress has been reflected by the days suitable for field work.  We are low on suitable days.  I visited with a client today who has planted corn, but not sprayed weeds.  I traveled from Hillsboro to Mt. Olive to Staunton to Gillespie and back home through Litchfield.  Rainfall totals overnight were 1 to 1.5 inches of rain.  I doubt any field work will be done before rain falls again on Thursday.  Everyone is still planing to plant corn if they are not done.  We are looking at similar conditions to 2008 right now. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Memorial Day

Today we honor those who died in battle in all our wars in order that we enjoy today's freedoms.  Below is the grave of Illinois farmer Carlos W. Colby who received the Congressional Medal of Honor during the American Civil War.  He is buried along with his wife and a daughter at Cress Hill Cemetery near Hillsboro, IL.  Enjoy the BBQ, enjoy the races, enjoy the ball games, and remember the cost that allows us to do so.  No blog tomorrow. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Passing of the Seasons

Looking North on Glenn Shoals Lake, the trees are green, but rain and cold are cutting back on Memorial Day boating.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Soil Moisture

Excessive soil moisture seems to be the rule this week.  We have had the good fortune to be able to sample every day this week except Tuesday.  We got word that Belleville area had around a half inch, so some customers were called to make sure we could sample on Wednesday.  Soil seemed much wetter than it should have been for no more rain than they got, but we were able to go without cutting ruts.  A few people actually ventured into the field on Thursday in the Belleville area,  but it seemed too wet for the most part.  Today we went to Jerseyville.  They had 3 inches of rain.  Soils were still very wet.  Sun and low humidity seemed to help drying today.  Some of the high spots actually grayed off, but overall, I don't look for much field work to be done in that area until Monday.  The good news is that the customer we sampled today was finished with planting corn and seemed to have nice stands. 

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Good Day or Bad Day?

Today we got stuck, got wet, got rained on, and got yelled at.  The good news is that we got unstuck, got apoligized to and got done with two customers.

There is still lots of corn to plant in St. Clair County. 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Glyphosate resistant weeds?

The only weeds I see in this field are marestail and water hemp.  Something tells me we have a problem.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Latest on Corn and Soybeans in Brazil.

By Eduardo Paim:

Here we are still with no rain for corn. We have information from the weather forecast of rain falling on 29/05 (next Wednesday), but it will be little rain between 10 mm and 20 mm of rainfall throughout the state of Mato Grosso, as is any hope for the rest of the corn still in need of rain.

Soybean prices are rising here too; in my city (Rondonópolis-MT), soybeans are having best price for export. Last Friday (05.17.13) closed at U $ 26.25 for the producer to receive in 6.30.13 and today closed at U $ 26.80 for producers receive on 6/13/13

Monday, May 20, 2013

Field Work in Northern Macoupin County

We started the day with rain on the radar nearby.  About 8:30 I looked at the radar and the storms had evaporated.  I went to look at planting progress and do some mapping.  I ended up sampling 160 acres of corn in 4 leaf stage.  I found more cutworm damage although the customer was not terribly worried after he scouted it.  Lots of corn is planted and some have finished and started soybeans.  Some people are doing whatever is driest first.  They have planted some soybeans, but still have corn to plant.  Weather and Crop Report this week is consistent with what I have seen. 

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Getting stuck in the Mud

Wetness is a continuing problem in our area this spring.  Sometimes in trying to farm too close to wet holes producers get stuck.  Tom Bechman wrote this article called Safety First when Pulling a Tractor Out of the Mud.  He offers good advice and lots of links to more advice.  

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Wild Strawberries

I ran across these wild strawberries in bloom while I was sampling today. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Black Cutworm

I sampled my first cutworm infested field today.  I did not do counts, but almost every time I stopped the 4 wheeler to probe I could see 2 or 3 cut plants.  We have heard that traps have caught a lot of moths, but late planting has slowed the reports of infestations.  With everything else there is to do right now, scouting may be the last thing on your mind, but it might be more than worthwhile.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Stale Seedbed

Just an observation tonight.  We are seeing lots of corn being planted in less than ideal conditions right not.  Lots of tillage is being done on soils that are too wet.  The best looking fields I have seen are those that are being planted in a stale seedbed with a minimum of disturbance.  The planters are creating a firm seedbed and there is almost no chance that these areas will dry out prematurely.  Try it!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Planting around the Swales

I worked in the Black Walnut, Missouri  today.  Most of the fields we sampled were planted and some of the corn was up.  Some of the really early corn was about 4 leaf stage.  Soils were in good shape for the most part,but everyone is planting around swales like the one below.  Note the Common Egret trying to catch tadpoles.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Report from Medora

We drove past a few corn fields that were planted yesterday. Early corn is still yellow, but stands are not bad.  There was a good bit of field activity today with main activities being Anhydrous application, spraying, tillage, and planting.  Planting was not in  full swing because lots of fields are still wet.  Well tiled fields were ready to go.   I sampled an alfalfa field yesterday that had a bad infestation of weevil.  If you have not been scouting your alfalfa you should probably cut it first and then spray infested fields. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

Rain concerns in Brazil

By Eduardo Paim:

Here in Mato Grosso We have not had rain for the corn planted that still needs water; we will not have rain in the forecast until 20/05/13. Another big producer of corn in Brazil's state of Rio Grande do Sul, there has previções good rainfall, the risk is if frosts occur (there is one state too cold), but temperatures are good for the moment!
Even without the rain because we will reap a lot of corn, because acreage was higher this year. The price is low (U $ 7.00 in Rondonópolis in Mato Grosso, producers hoped for a MINIMUM U $ U $ 10.00). Maize production was only sold to  20% of production.
Overall, Brazil has averaged 18% to 20% soybeans produceed in the warehouse, the price is improving because companies are starting to dispose of soybeans.
At this time (Mato Grosso) is having enough problems of quality in soybean quality in the warehouse; too much soy was harvested with a lot of rain and it spoiled. Some farms have soy up to 60% damaged (including insect stings / bug and rotten rains). We were not expectingthe spoilage.
Last week the price has improved by $ 1.00 per bag, we have information that shows that companies do not have too much soy in stock and this will make them start paying more for the grain.

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Field Work In Monroe County

I went to Columbia today to visit Mom and could not resist a quick lap around the American Bottoms to see what was going on in the farming world. I saw two planters actually planting and one planter parked. The one below is planting in a stale seedbed.  His weed control looks fine at this point.  If you did the tillage why do it again? 
 Some early corn was planted and looking OK.  It is pale, but has not gotten to nitrogen yet.  I guestimate that 15% is planted and emerged in that area.  That is way ahead of most areas I have seen.
 Seep water is always a problem in the river bottoms when the river is up.  These swales will be planted late if at all. 
 Wheat was also a bit ahead of ours.  This field was heading out.  Most of the wheat looked ok, but I did see some with a diseased flag leaf.  Remember to scout your wheat to see if fungicide is needed.  With our damp  weather fungicide may be needed. 

Saturday, May 11, 2013

Junk In the Weeds

I really get a kick out of running across old machinery like the Massey-Ferguson baler below. This was way off the road near Brussels.   Calhoun County was probably the only place close to us that was not too wet to sample.  Water does not stand still in Calhoun County except in the River bottoms. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

The State of Illinois Corn Planting

This photo of an unplanted field taken this afternoon near Blue Mound pretty much summarizes the state of corn planting in Illinois.

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

What is happening to your nitrogen?

Wetness and late planting lead to concerns about the fate of the nitrogen you applied.  Fabian Fernandez goes through a lot of information in this Bulletin concerning nitrogen levels.  Bottom line is that in the end he says to test.  That is a change.  He technique seems sort of random to me, but  if you are worried about it, you should have some testing done. Keep in mind that low ground will tend to be different than high ground. Fall applied nitrogen is always suspect in a wet year. 

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Drone Trial

I recently bought a Parrot AR 2.0 drone.  Today was supposed to be the first flight using my Droid as a controller.  It has not gone well so far.  You need a WIFI connection to get started was the first problem.  Remembering my password for my Droid was next.  Then the phone went dead. The Parrot as I have it set up for now has very short range, but I am looking to see what it can do and if it might be worthwhile to spend real money on a fancier one or maybe enhance the one I have.

On a happier note, NOT.  I was planning to do all this at the office in Shipman so I got a little look at the countryside.  Lots of water is standing in fields. 

Monday, May 6, 2013

Till? Don't Till?

Corn planting is off to a very late start because of wetness.  How wet is it?  I heard State Climatologist Jim Angel say that we had the 4th wettest April on record.  He said that we had more rain than April, May, June, and July combined last year. 

What problems will this cause?  One of the obvious ones is weeds.  The winter annuals are playing out and the summer annuals are starting to grow.  Some fields are tilled and ready to plant.  A few fields are planted but getting weedy.  The question becomes, "What should we do about the weeds?"  Should you re-till those stale seedbeds?  If you don't have resistant weeds, I would spray and plant.  The firm seedbed should be ideal for excellent seed placement and keeping your planter going about 1.5 inches deep might keep out of some potential wetness.

Another consideration in deciding whether or not to till is your conservation plan.  Extra tillage has the potential to increase your soil loss beyond a tolerable level.  

You will also need to control those weeds in the emerged fields.  Remember that early control is a key to killing the tough weeds such as Palmer amaranth and giant ragweed. As discussed last year, cultivation could help control resistant weeds.  It will also aerate some of the saturated and sealed over soils, but wait till it is dry enough to go.

Aaron Hagar put out a good Bulletin on weed control recently.   

Saturday, May 4, 2013


It is always easy to grow wheat in Illinois until mid-April or a little later.  Carl Bradley gives an update and advice on wheat that I cannot improve upon in this Bulletin.

The only other word for the day is "WET" .

Friday, May 3, 2013

Corn Progress in Brazil

By Eduardo Paim:

Producers in Mato Grosso: Crops still need some rain in the coming weeks. In the region of Eastern, spring crops have received a lot of rain in the soybean harvest, now ask for the return of the rains for maize production, only 20% is mature and 80% still needs rain.

In Guiratinga Jaciara and no rain for over 15 days and 80% of corn is now mature only 20% still expect rain. If the rains do not come back Guiratinga producers believe will reap 80 s / c is in Jaciara would be 90 s / c no.

Itiquira and High Herons now is more critical of the lack of rain, there are more than 20 days without rain and only 50% of corn is already mature. Producers in Itiquira believe that if there is no more rain in the coming days would be the production of 90 s / c no, and High Herons 80 s / c no.

Paranatinga and Campo Verde received some rains in recent weeks, 80% of corn is mature. In Paranatinga producers believe in spoon 90 s / c's in Green Field 100 is if rains do not come back anymore .

Here in Mato Grosso we have no more rain in the forecast. If we do not get more rain, corn production was expected to more than 110 bags per HA should not be greater than 80 bags in the overall average of our state. In the middle of Brazil must still have a good production for corn, have other states that are not missing rain.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Sort of a rainy day

It was not a rainy day everywhere, but it was where I went.  I was hoping to get some new ground mapped in the Athensville area but got rained on before I got there.  I did see some people in the field and even a few trying to plant.  It was still a little wet in places. Yes there were some ruts.  I ran some errands and went fishing.  It started to rain on me at Coffeen Lake too.  On my way home I saw someone spreading lime in the rain.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Corn Starting to Emerge

The Corn below was planted in the first week of April.  It is just starting to emerge.  That is what the 1% that is planted in Illinois looks.  We were able to sample again today.  I saw a few people spraying.  I also saw some ruts.  Not a good thing.  Knobs and hillsides were OK, but flat ground was still too wet in our area. 
Corn Emerging