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Boone County

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Marshall farms with his wife and daughter’s family. They grow corn, soybeans, wheat and hay, and raise pastured turkeys for the Thanksgiving market. They have just started organic production o…

We keep whittling away at the last of the corn acres. About a week ago, we took a break during a downpour. As I look over my shoulder from the combine, no matter which way I turn, there is corn standing on the other side of the fences. There are plenty of harvested acres mixed in the landsca…

November came in like a lamb and hopefully won’t be going out like a lion. These first few days of the month brought ideal harvest conditions. With the ground firm and the moisture in the corn pretty much bottomed out, we had a week of cutting corn in the 19% area. If all goes well, as of No…

Our harvest run took a breather on Oct. 25 when 1.1 inches landed in the gauge. The beans were finally out, the wheat ready for a drink and we had a pretty good start on the corn. As much as we would have liked to keep moving through the acres, an inch wasn’t totally unwelcomed. But today we…

Friday was a big day. The combine nosed into the first field of corn and the drill left the last field of wheat. I’d like to say we have the bean head already tucked into the shed but there still remains 25 acres of a stubborn 2.9 maturity bean planted a little too late. Hopefully by Monday …

Last week was a great stretch of bean harvest for the county. Each ticket was 11% when we finished up with our 2.2 maturity beans. Our 2.8s were right over the fence line and we cut about 100 feet in before we decided they needed another day or two. About an hour later, tornadoes were on the…

Thursday was my second day in beans. They are very slow to dry with leaves and yellow stems holding on far longer than the locals prefer. I’ve only completed two fields, but the early results favor fungicide treatments again this year. The bushel difference is substantial. We will see if the…

I know it’s fall when the cold water coming out of the barnyard hydrant feels warm to my hands on the last of these September mornings. Two of the last three mornings have been frosty, while the afternoons gradually work their way into the 60s. Clear and brisk is the story for the week, and …

The transition to fall is underway. Humid upper-80s gave way to crisp mid-40s. Downpours with golf-ball-sized hail gave way to beautiful cool, clear stretches over the last few days. The good news is tough old corn leaves aren’t as prone to hail damage as they were a few weeks back. I’m hopi…

On Sept. 11, the range of rainfall was 2-6 inches throughout the county, with 3.8 inches landing on our farm. That brought the drainage ditches and creeks to the top of their banks but not over the top. We are stretching our season out with these late-season rains. Our beans will be a good w…

Only .75 inches last week. Mornings are starting out in the 50s and fall colors are beginning to appear on a few soft wood trees. We are getting hints of what’s to come in the upcoming months. For the first time in forever, we have apples without blemishes. Without any effort on my part, the…

Last week the farm received another 1.75 inches. For August, most everyone in the county ended up with 10-14 inches in their gauges. With an average of an inch of rain every three days, we should have had a perfect scenario for any/every mold to take up shop on every acre of corn. We got not…

We experienced a perfect late-season week for putting our crop near its top potential. On Aug. 19, we had a 1-inch afternoon shower pass through and six days later, .6 inches landed during the night. In between was a stretch of sunshine and 80s. Pulling back husks, I find most varieties dent…

As much as I’d like to say it’s time to shut off the lawnmower, the reality is if everything is green and growing in my yard, there’s a good chance the same can be said for the field crops a few feet away. Mid-80s were the rule the last five days with sweatshirt temperatures prior to that at…

If you wanted to write a recipe for the final stretch of a corn growing season, you would stick a two-day, 4-5-inch rain event near the end of the first week in August. Most of the county fell into that scenario last weekend. We avoided the 12-16-inch dumps in neighboring counties to the wes…

As of Aug. 1, the wheat is finally out. With the intermittent showers over 10 days of harvest, I managed to drop the test weight by 4 pounds between the first and last loads. Three days later, the cover crop was no-tilled in and covered with a coat of manure. My landlord’s house is 50 feet o…