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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…

For three days we had ideal working conditions. Everyone started nosing around for dry spots, and by Tuesday, everyone had some land ready for planting. We’ve got beans and corn going in at the same time, keeping up with the neighbors. Unfortunately, we tried a new trick on our early-planted…

We had our two-day planting window and that ended with an April 29 rain total coming in at 1.5 inches. The majority of that landed in 45 minutes and has left our newly planted fields packed. We’ve had a week of cool, cloudy weather allowing the ground to dry out slowly and hopefully not turn…

What was I to do? The calendar was right, the moisture was right and the neighbors were going. I’d like to think I had standards to uphold, like waiting for the perfect temperature to germinate the corn seedling, but I settled for storing the corn in the cold, dark ground instead of a cold, …

I can finally say the green of the yard makes it look like spring has arrived. Another half-inch fell and for the first time since March of 2021, we’ve got worms up on the roads and driveways trying to dry out and catch a breath. Anecdotally, I’d say our drought has lost its grip up here. It…

Beginning last Monday, we had three good anhydrous days. A typical first day in our ground will show a frozen ball of dirt on each knife while making the first turn on the headlands, but this year each knife was scoured up with the ground sealing well behind it -- drier than I thought. Late …

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CropWatcher Marshall Newhouse saw some fieldwork begin on April 10, the first he's seen all year. He said "fieldwork has been really slowed down" due to the cold and wet conditions in northern Illinois. Find out when he plans to begin planting in this interview with RFD's Jim Taylor.

With a rain event every two to three days, I can almost say we're in the middle of a little wet spell. I dumped out 0.8 inches a few days ago and pop-up rain/snow showers have been hit and miss since that time. I would guess most all of the tile systems on the farm are running at one-third c…

This last week we had enough sunshine and calm weather to do some CRP burning. Lighting up 15 acres of prairie is a little exciting, but the winds were calm and we pulled around 1,500 gallons of insurance just in case. Two days later Boone County had a beautiful .75-inch soaker, and I’m now …

Our annual event of raking the gravel out of our yards and back into the driveway didn’t occur this spring. There wasn’t much of a need for plowing this winter to keep the farmstead opened up. Snows were light when they occurred and warmups were plentiful to melt away what little snow we had…

I’d like to be done with corn in four more days. There’s nothing threatening in the forecast, but there’s that slight new vibration in the steering column. It’s not big enough to figure out, but hopefully it’s just a chunk of belt missing or something else simple. With the majority of corn g…

The good news is, after four months our drainage tiles have begun weeping again. The typical news is, it’s harvest-time rains that are recharging the soils up on the state line. The other good news, 2022 springtime moisture concerns are off the “concerns” list. Our rain events haven’t droppe…

The beans remaining after the wet spell have been the priority of most of the neighborhood over the last four days. The ground started firming up about the time mid-14% moisture levels started passing the chew test. We finished Thursday with our best beans of the year. We experimented with a…

Machinery has stayed in the shed as rain events have continued most days over the last week. Everyone is hopeful the dry and cool forecast for the next seven to 10 days holds up as we’re ready to get back at this harvest. On a side note, there are some beautiful but unintended cover crop fie…

Over the last four days we’ve had multiple rain events giving an accumulative total of 1.8 inches in the gauge. I would have loved to have had wheat in the ground, but it’s still loaded in the tender and the drill. Hopefully the next round of dry weather comes sooner rather than later. There…

Three days in the combine put a pretty good dent in the bean acres I’ve got to get through this fall. Of course, there were a couple first day service calls. It doesn’t matter how “ready” I think I am, there’s going to be equipment issues. The beans are now in the sub-10% range with plenty o…