Planting continues across the state and CropWatcher 2.0 farmers have their sights set on finishing soon — as long as the weather cooperates. A warm-up is expected this week before heavy rains fall again.
In northern Illinois, John Bartman gets closer to completion every round. He has 97% of his soybeans and 80% of his corn in the ground. Bartman noted some wet pockets will need to be planted when things dry up. When asked about concerns for his number one crop — his sweet corn — Bartman said last week's freeze nicked it, but it'll be okay.
In eastern Illinois, Greg St. Aubin should wrap up soybeans Wednesday then move on to a corn plot for First Mid Bank & Trust. Luckily, any fields that typically flood weren't planted yet, so the recent rains haven't caused him any extra stress. St. Aubin hasn't had have any crops emerge yet, but a few farmers in his area did and he’s watching for potential damage. St. Aubin also shared some exciting news: He's going to be a grandfather again.
“It really puts things into a different perspective,” he said. “We talked about the time frame of the new baby’s birth and what the COVID-19 situation may be then.”
St. Aubin continues to be conscious of safety precautions and social distancing, as his wife is a kidney transplant recipient.
In western Illinois, corn planting is complete for Colby Hunt. His soybeans aren't far behind, either with only 25% left to plant. He hopes this week's warm-up will push him across the finish line. Saturday morning's early freeze caused some damage to early planted crops, but "some warm temps and sunshine will help perk up things that will live,” Hunt said.
In central Illinois, rain events halted progress for the Lucas Roney, so he remains one-third complete with corn and soybean planting. “We got a light frost so looks like the soybeans we had out of the ground should be okay,” he noted of last week's cold temperatures. When he's not pulling the planter, Roney has plenty of other farm projects to stay busy. “We have been able to work on some tile repair projects that will make a few of our farms more profitable and easier to manage going forward,” said Roney who celebrated his birthday at home with his family last week.
In southern Illinois, Bryce Williams said he’d like to retract his statement last week that all of his corn will need to be replanted. Looks like only 40% of it will. He has about 25% of his corn in the ground and no frost damage from Friday night’s freeze. Williams also serves at White County Farm Bureau president and was able to have a meeting for the first time in two months. Although it was held virtually, he said it went well.
Check back next week to see how fieldwork progresses across the state with the CropWatchers 2.0 team.