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Lack of rainfall affecting crops at critical time

Ditches get last mow

The Times' summer Crop Week feature regarding weekly crop condition and rainfall updates from La Salle County farmers enters Week 9 — its final week until harvest. Crop week runs every Saturday during the growing season.

The following report covers Monday, July 30, through Sunday, Aug. 5, and is provided with assistance from the La Salle County Farm Bureau.

Doug Stockley, Earlville — Our corn has reached the “dent” stage of growth. Nearly all kernels are dented or denting and are drying down. Soybeans are at the “full seed” stage of growth and are still forming new pods. Lack of rainfall at this date is limiting higher yields. There were no field activities in our area this past week. There were only trace amounts of rainfall for the past week.

Barry Beetz, Mendota — There was another week with no rain, however, there are good chances this week. We are still destroying male rows and mowing road ditches. We are also taken some time off before seed corn harvest to get rested for that busy season. This is the last report until harvest is over, so I hope to report back with high yields and high grain prices. Also, please stay safe and please watch out for slow moving farm equipment. Until then.

David Myer, Marseilles — The 2018 crop was the crop that could have been! No rain for another week to report at some of the most critical time of kernel fill on corn as well as pod set and fill on beans.

The corn crop lost 12 to 15 bushels per acre this past weekend and more will be lost each day without rain to slow plant death to natural maturity instead.

Soybeans still are blossoming in some fields but for others it’s over. And some plants are shoulder high but plant height on soybeans doesn't mean higher yields. It all depends how many nodes the plant has and their spacing on the plant as well as the number of pods and how many beans in each pod. Double crop beans are struggling to stay alive.

Regrowth on hay is almost over unless rain comes soon to possibly see a fourth cutting in early September.

Grain markets are trying to get early crop production numbers and figure out what the trade situation is. If those negatives aren't enough, a lock down closer to St. Louis shut down and the basis on the river jumped to almost 70 cents under CBOT on soybeans and corn — almost 30 cents — so yep, another kick in the pants for the La Salle County farmers.

Harvest is going to be two to three weeks earlier unless it turns cooler and wetter really fast as silage cutting is only two weeks or less away, and a corn harvest after Sept. 10? Soybeans by Sept. 15 maybe, so please watch out for harvest equipment out earlier than usual sharing the country roads.

Bill Gray, Tonica/Lostant — Last week I received 0.4 inch of rain. Not much happening anymore as far as field activity other than a little hay being made. The crops are pretty much in Mother Nature’s hands now. Soon roadside ditches will be mowed for the last time before harvest. We’ve started doing maintenance and checking over equipment for any needed repairs. Where has the summer gone? Soon the school buses will be running again. Hope everyone has good and safe harvest! 

Ken Bernard, Grand Ridge — As I am writing the crop report, it is drizzling. But this rainfall will not be on this report. No rain again for this report time. It is very dry out and it is taking yield off the crops, especially the corn. The beans would still benefit from a good amount of rain. The hot dry weather is really making the corn mature faster than normal. It is drying from the ground up. Cleaning bins out and moving machinery around to get ready for harvest. Got one field of third crop hay baled and want to get other field cut and baled, watching for another window of opportunity to get that done. With that, everyone have a good rest of summer and remember that school will be starting and watch for kids and buses. Thanks for reading Crop Watchers again this year.

Geoffrey Janssen, Rutland — It seems like fall is rapidly approaching. The dry weather has definitely brought the crops along, especially the corn. I know we have seen a lot of change in the last week — corn starting to turn brown. Some of the very early planted soybeans look decent yet still green — definitely could use some rain to help fill the pods out. I did have to report 0.3 of an inch of rain. More combines coming out; not uncommon to see combines sitting out getting worked on. There is some talk of possibly having corn harvested by the end of August, definitely we'll have to wait and see on that. The weather could play a part in that also. Overall it's been a good year for the crops. June was better as we had more rain, July turned dryer. The rains so far this month have been very scattered and sparse. Hopefully everyone has gotten a chance to take a few days off, maybe take a trip before the kids get back to school.

Rainfall (in inches):

Doug Stockley 0

Barry Beetz 0

David Myer 0

Bill Gray 0.4

Ken Bernard 0

Geoffrey Janssen 0.3

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