This week’s weather is bringing the final feelings of summer. It’s also taking a couple points of moisture out of crops and helping members of the CropWatchers 2.0 team make headway on harvest.
The harvest hustle continues for CropWatcher 2.0 Colby Hunt as combines and bins fill up. The McDonough County farmer hasn’t faced any harvest challenges yet, but said storage and delivery could be impacted by lock and dam work on the Illinois River.
“With the Illinois River still being closed and our bins getting full, corn deliveries could be an issue in the future,” he reported. “We grow non-GMO corn and it all goes directly on barges and down the river. Hopefully the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers gets the river open and the barges get in place before we run out of on farm storage.”
Watch: Colby Hunt explains a typical day in his life during harvest.
Harvest came to a grinding halt at the end of last week for CropWatcher 2.0 John Bartman. Weather has been his biggest obstacle, and the rain and damp weather put combines on the sideline. Not to mention he experienced his first frost already.
The McHenry County farmer started planting wheat and fall cover crops. “The planting conditions are fantastic,” he said.
Across the state, corn harvest progressed to 26% complete, according to USDA’s Crop Progress Report. Illinois farmers had also harvested 25% of soybeans at the first of the week.
Harvest rolls on in Moultrie County. CropWatcher 2.0 Lucas Roney said he’s completed harvest on April planted crops and overall, is about one-third finished with corn and soybeans. So far, he’s been “very happy” with soybean yields so far.
“We’ve noticed an 8 to 10 bushel per acre yield increase from fungicide application in soybeans this year but inconsistent on the corn fungicide application due to the excess rains we had this spring,” he reported.
When it comes to Roney’s corn, he has had “disappointing yields.”
“I think it was just too cold and wet for too long in late April and early May for the plants to maximize their yield potential,” he added.
However, his May 14 planted corn still has him optimistic.
“We harvested about 20 acres of May 14 planted corn and have been very happy with the yields on that field so far, but the moisture is still around 25%,” said Roney. “We took out our corn yield test plot last week and we were pleasantly surprised with how well it yielded, 30 bushels per acre more than I expected considering how terrible the weather and emergence were after the May 14 planting date.”
Although it has been difficult to wait on corn to dry down, this week’s warm and dry forecast should help Roney make some harvest progress.
CropWatcher 2.0 Bryce Williams reported his corn making 200 bushels an acre. “We’ve seen a lot of crops taken out down here,” he said.