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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Wayne County Visit

We visited Wayne County today to do aseptic tank evaluation.  Lots of soybeans still have leaves, and soybean fields seemed to outnumber corn 2:1.  I suppose some of them are double crop.   2007 Census of Agriculture says they are in the top 20 counties in soybean production.

Soil was fairly moist considering were were in a soybean field.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Avoid Compaction

We went into harvest with wetter than normal soils.  Driving on wet soils should be avoid if possible. This No-Till Farmer article on Minimizing Soil Compaction During Harvest is timely.  It is short but thorough.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Eminent Domain

Eminent domain is  a legal process by which land may be taken for the greater public good.  Although farm groups generally oppose eminent domain, it is a power that our governments have in order to build such projects as roads schools and airports.  In Illinois at least. farmers sometime have the ability to use  neighbor's land to complete a drainage project.  Of course, all this taking of land also requires due process in courts before the entity shows up to claim the land.  Eminent domain is also sometimes used to help private companies such as railroads and pipelines.  In August, Prairie Farmer explained, What is Eminent Domain.  Be sure to read page two, also.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Combines Running

There were lots of combines in the field in Monroe County yesterday.  Everyone was harvesting corn.  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Soybean Harvest

I went to Pike County to do a septic evaluation.  On my way home I had to stop in Springfield.  The photo below is south of Springfield with the city clearly in the background.  Several fields of soybeans were harvested or being harvested yesterday.
Soybean Harvest.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Veterinary Feed Directive

The Veterinary Feed Directive becomes law on January 1. It means that livestock producers will need a prescription for medications in food and water.  This means that if you  use medications, but don't have veterinarian you need to get one by the end of the year..  A veterinarian in Prairie Farmer says the law is Good For Everyone.  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

I-55 Road Trip

I had business in Bloomington today.  Corn Harvest was off to a good start between Raymond and Springfield.  North of Springfield, we did not see many fields harvested.  On the way home, harvest seemed to be starting North of Springfield as well.  The combine below is slightly south of Pawnee.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Monsanto - Bayer Merger

The seed and chemical industry continues to consolidate.  I am not sure what this means for farmers or consumers in the long run.  Both companies are rather large already.  It will also be interesting to see if negative publicity continues.  We hear that the North American headquarters will continue to be in St. Louis.  Stock holders of both companies await decisions of regulators.  St. Louis Post-Dispatch thinks Bayer got a bargain.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Herbicides and Cover Crops

Cover Crops are a great way to improve your soil health and enhance your weed control.  Issues with using cover crops include the ability to plant them in a timely manner and the ability to get a reasonable stand.  One of the factors standing in the way of a good stand is what residual herbicide have you used on the current crop.  No-till Farmer writes about Corn and Soybean Herbicides and Rotation to Cover Crops .  They say that for most herbicides, you should not have a problem.

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Floodplain Compliance

Last Winter's flooding in West Alton was serious enough that a number of structures were substantially damaged.  That means that damages exceeded 50% of the value of the structure.  The four homes below are being elevated in order to comply with floodplain management requirements.  The first step is to jack them up and rest them on cribbing.  Home owners who have flood insurance can receive  a payment to help offset the cost of the elevation.  That is called an increased cost of compliance payment.   I know two families that had paid for elevation before the flood out of their own pocket. The good news for them, is that they did not have to deal with the damages last winter.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Harvest Progress

I went to West Alton yesterday to deliver some Variable Rate prescriptions.  Also went to Fairview Heights on Sunday.  Corn harvest is started, but most people are still waiting for nature to do the drying.  The weekend rain also slowed things down.  I could see standing water in some of the fields that were already harvested.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Folding Corn Head

Drago demonstrated the 12 row folding corn head at this year's Farm Progress Show.  The advantage is being able to drive down the road without loading the head on a cart.  John Deere has an 8 row folding header available.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Rainy Weather

The last 2 days have been very rainy.  Harvest is likely delayed through the weekend.  When fields are dry enough, I expect to see lots of combines going.

Thursday, September 8, 2016


This my last feature on the John Deere tour.  The sprayer below has a 120 foot span.  It is equipped with nozzle bodies like the one below.  The body supports 5 different nozzle types.  The can be changed by switch from the cab.  I saw this demonstrated at Saale Farm and Grain Plot tour.  On a long boom, this must be a huge time saving.  With all the nozzle variation needed for various crop protectant formulations, this is an important feature.  I am not sure how much automatic shutoff control there is on the sprayers I saw.  John Deere was touting their Exact Apply system which controls each nozzle individually.  I have no idea if they are the only ones with this setup.  
120 foot sprayer

Multi Tip Nozzle Body 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Corn Harvest

Last week on my way to Monticello, I passed one elevator that was still moving old corn to open up the storage for the upcoming harvest.  Also, below is the first harvested field I have seen in Montgomery County.  I have not headed south, but I know dairy farmers in bond county are harvesting silage.  Probably 75% of the corn in my area has black layered, but most farmers are delaying harvest to take advantage of natural drying.  With $3 corn, cost control seems to be a good idea, but it needs to be balanced with harvest loss caused by delay.

Early corn along 1-55 at Edwardsville is harvested.  No yield report.  One farmer in St. Clair County reported in the 170's.

Phantom yield loss is something to considered along with stalk condition in deciding when to start harvesting.  The article does some math for you to help you decide.  Phantom yield loss may not be as costly with lower priced corn.
Hauling Old Corn

Montgomery County Harvest started

Monday, September 5, 2016

Labor Day in Witt

Labor Day in Witt has become a tradition for us.  Lots of people turn out to march in the Parade.  There were 3 bands, 4 unions, hoards of politicians, and assorted local businesses and church groups.  The Lion's Club serves the best fish and corn dogs.  Funnel cakes are obligatory too.  The Ford Model A from 1929 was my favorite car and I thought the Allis Chalmers D-19 below was one of the best looking tractors.  There were about 10 to choose from.

Ford A

Allis Chalmers D-19

Friday, September 2, 2016

Soil Health Partners

Soil Health Partnership is a farmer led movement to promote use of cover crops.  Yesterday on the last day of the Farm Progress Show in Boone IA, the corporate sponsors announced a committeemen of $4 Million over the coming years to support the group.  Their goals include establishing research protocols to support cover crops.

Thursday, September 1, 2016

John Deere Data Management

One of the discussion items at the John Deere Media Day was their unveiling of their data collaboration effort.  They are trying to make their data management tools available across many platforms.  This seems to be a switch from APEX which seemed to make collaboration nearly impossible, but I can't say because i have not tried it out.  You can see that Fieldview is involved in the John Deere effort, but they are also trying to come up with their own system.  Putting all your data in one place is a big step, however, at least one participant expressed concern about cloud data being hacked.