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Sunday, May 31, 2015


We have all seen the great coffee table books of beautiful barns.  My coffee table book will have fallen down barns in it.  I do like corn cribs in any condition.

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Wet weather

We are getting a lot of rain this weekend. 1 to 3 inches. Corn is already showing effects of cold and wet.  There are still fields of soybeans to plant.  Corn prices remain in the dumper.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Corn and Soybean Progress

Corn Planting is done in our area.  Almost all corn is emerged.  Some stands are not great.  We are concentrating on finishing sampling in cornfields right now.

Soybean planting is still underway.  we sampled 3 unplanted fields today.  Conditions were a little damp, but there were some planters in the field.  Lots sprayers were out.  Wind gusts were not good for spraying at times.  Soybeans that are emerged are looking good.

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Memorial Day

This weekend we pause to consider the soldiers who fought and died for our country.  The veterans memorial in Hillsboro will be the site of a ceremony tomorrow, weather permitting.  General Logan first directed the decoration of graves in 1868.  The agriculture connection?  Many who fought and died for our country were farmers or farm boys who went off to war and then came home to grow our food.  Think of these guys as you enjoy your beer and BBQ.

Hillsboro, Illinois Veterans Memorial

Friday, May 22, 2015

Farmersville to Wagonner Green Diamond Trail

By Angela Karban:

On Sunday, May 17, Don and I scouted our first trail of the 2015 Trailblazers Challenge.  We rode our bikes on the tree-lined asphalt path from Farmersville to Waggoner, the Green Diamond Trail.  We saw and listened to the melodic songs of many birds, including cardinals, robins, wrens, blackbirds, Baltimore orioles, and the beautiful indigo bunting. There was an abundance of milkweed plants along the edges which will feed the Monarch butterflies later in the summer.  And the sweet smell of the honeysuckle flowers was still in the air.  It was a delightful ride on a windy Sunday.
Come join us for the group walk at 9:00 a.m. on May 30th to start the season.  A light breakfast of orange juice and granola bars will be served  at the Farmersville entrance.  Bring your binoculars to view the birds more closely.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Nitrogen Sampling Time

We have been sampling for pre-sidedress nitrogen testing the last few days. This is not one of my favorite jobs, but it is the best way to find out what is going on with your nitrogen. Corn in Western Jersey County is 6 inches tall.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Weed Control Time

I am surprised when I work in fields where no soil applied residual herbicide  has been used.  Whether you are following up with a post application or trying to kill weeds for the first time this season, now is the time to keep track of what needs sprayed and when.  I know you may want to try to kill everything at once, but that idea may not be appropriate.  Keep in mind that the best time to kill the weeds is when they are 4 inches tall or less.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Tilled Wet

Corn stands are uneven this year especially in wet areas.  The corn below is from 2 leaf to 6 leaf.  Probably won't maximize yield

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Is Chipotle Promoting the Anti-science Movement?

It seems that one of the things that makes our country great is that if you can find a market niche for your product and promote it, you drive our capitalistic society.  The question is, are Chipotle and Whole foods taking that concept too far.  Apparently a significant part of our population believes that non-GMO and organically grown are healthier.  Is it wrong for companies to take advantage of that belief?  Michael Gerson of the Washington Post wrote a column that appeared in today's St. Louis Post Dispatch accusing companies like Chipotle and Whole Foods of adding fuel to the fire for the anti-science movement.  His column is entitled "Corporate Irresponsibility over GMO's".

Personally, I have nothing against organic farming if it does not cause underproduction and hunger.  In general I refuse to pay a premium for organically grown food.  What anyone eats or pays for food is their  business.  It is socially irresponsible to drive up food cost for the poor.  It is also socially irresponsible to impose food production techniques that leave people hungry.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Corn Crop Progresing

We have been sampling emerged corn this week.  The crop is looking good although in low areas, stands are not great.  i suspect they were planted too wet.  There will be some replanting if weather allows.  It seems soybeans are about 50% planted.  Some are starting to emerge and looking good. We are at the ttime of year whencrops and markets are weather driven.  

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Report From Brazil

By Eduardo Paim:

Here in Brazil we are having lots of rains and this will increase production of corn 2nd crop across the country. Before the rains of May the producers believed that corn yields would be higher than 80 bags per hectare, this week some producers  are already thinking that will reap more than 105 bags of maize per hectare.

Still has forecast more rain by the end of May, and the cold weather arrived in Mato Grosso bringing rains!

For soybean production recovered in varieties of long / late cycle, and overall average will 53 bags per hectare.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Salisbury Greenhouse

Sunday we spent Mother'sDay on the road so w could meet our kids in Galesburg.  Sort of a meet in the middle place.  Northwest of Salisbury we drove past Seaney Farms.  Since had time, we stopped. I had driven past several times and thought it was a wholesale place.   As you can see from the pictures, they are open for retail  It is a large operation and the products were very nice.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Rainy Weekend

Lots of people were thinking they needed rain.  It was a rainy weekend in most of the state.  Only the Northwest corner got less than an inch.  We have a crew working in the quadi Cities area right now to take advantage of the dryer weather in that area.  We are looking for another 2 week window to finish sampling corn ground.  We would also like everyone to get soybeans planted.  Click to enlarge. the National Weather Service Map.
Past 4 days rainfall

Friday, May 8, 2015

Weather and Crop Report

I finally found  a moment to look over this week's weather and crop report.  It seems to be accurate for my area.  WSW. It said as of Sunday 82% of corn was planted.  I would say it was at 100 % now, but I saw an Anhydrous wagon in an unplanted field, so maybe it is 99 %.  Most people in our area have some soybeans planted and some people are finished with soybeans too.  We would have liked to start planting a bit earlier, but everyone seems to have caught a favorable window at this point.

15% in our area were reporting dry topsoil, but I can tell you that I have not bored a dry hole yet.  Some ground that was worked too wet, needed a rain to soften up.  That was even the case in my garden. We have had between a half inch of rain and two inches so far, so we are looking good or slightly wet.  The next window of field work will see most soybeans planted as well.  Conditions should be ideal at that point.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Planting progress

corn plantng is going to be mostly wrapped up this week. Soybeans are well underway.  Corn that is up is looking good.  I have seen a little cutworm activity, but the genetics seem to be doing their job.  I sampled a fild of soybeans plnted early.  They are in the bifoliate stage.

Sunday, May 3, 2015

Trip to Columbia

I took a trip to Columbia, IL today.  There is lots of newly planted corn along i-55, but not is out of the ground.  Fields look to be in good shape. Some customers have started to plant soybeans.  It will be a very busy 3  or 4 weeks.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Old Allis Chalmers Combine

I drove past this old Allis Chalmers combine for sale 8 times this week.  I understand that these combines are great for harvesting prairie grass seed and clover seed.  It needs a new canvas and some belts for sure, but does not look too bad.  it is located at Illinois 255 and Fosterburg Road.