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…

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…

The last seven days have put an exclamation mark on the old saying, “One good rain in August will fix a lot of problems!” I'm hearing test plots coming in above average, down fields that should be disasters coming in above expectations and as dry as the ground is, there is no slowing down be…

Last week I had the opportunity to experience that aroma of our crop hitting a point in the maturing process where the air just smells of 25% corn. The rest of the family didn’t seem to appreciate this milestone in mid-September as much as I did. Up here on the state line we are usually at t…

Last week was the picture of late season perfection in northern Illinois. The temperature and humidity were about where I would want them when doing late season wrenching on equipment. We are at the point in the life cycle of the crops where there won’t be any benefit from a shower coming th…

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Driving around the county the last few days, I‘ve seen some beautiful fourth cutting hay being made. The tonnage isn't quite what a first cutting would yield, but it’s close. Five to 8 inches of August rain seems to have made a huge impact. Kernels are sticking out past their husks on many q…

It’s tough to come up with enough adjectives to describe the squall line event that pushed through on Tuesday evening. Anything in the awesome, fearsome, beautiful line up might do it justice. It was quite a show. We ended up with 0.5 to 1.2 inches when it was done. After it had passed throu…

It has turned into late summer at the snap of a finger. With the shot of heat we had back in early April breaking dormancy in most everything, along with plenty of heat throughout the last three months, the trees at the northern end of the state are getting that tired end of season look to t…

The NOAA map has had a nasty spot over northeast Illinois for most of the summer. That should be erased on this week's edition because Boone County received 4 to 8 inches of rain over a three-day event. Depending on your location in the county, you enjoyed a final shot of water for a great c…

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A neighbor had an absolutely beautiful day for a backyard pig roast. When congratulating him on his pick, his response was, “It’s pretty tough not to hit a good day.” We both nodded and agreed we would gladly pick a full day rain event if it presented itself, but they’re pretty few and far b…

The corporate acronym is JIT and rather unwillingly our farm has been testing “Just In Time” rain events this growing season. In the last days of July our corn had just begun firing when a week of four separate rain events dropped a total of 1.2 inches. I’ll never discount the energy of a te…

July 22 showed an absolutely beautiful orange moon. While locking up buildings, I had to stop and admire the sight. At the same time, my heart goes out to the farmers, ranchers and all the residents out west living through the wildfires and prolonged drought conditions, which are providing t…

This week saw a continuation of our hit-and-miss showers across the county. The trend continues favoring the northern end which received 2.2 inches over the last week. Only .5 inches arrived as you move further south. With corn pollination at hand, all of the moisture was welcomed, and tasse…

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Our county has just received between .1 and 1.5 inches on July 7. With tassels just pushing out, many would have preferred something a little more substantial, but we remain in a dry corridor and these amounts are typical for the northeast corner of the state. Prior to the rain event, there …

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During the last week, most everyone in the county has been through five to eight separate rain events. The cumulative total as of today will fall between .8 and 2.4 inches. I’ll have to blow the dust off my lawnmower after my front yard decided to break dormancy and start greening up. Corn i…

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Most of the activity surrounding the 2021 crop is in the rearview mirror. The last of the urea topdressing has been spread on the corn while there are still a few Y-drop rigs roaming around the neighborhood. The second herbicide application is mostly in place on the soybeans. I think as a co…

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One-third of an inch and three-fourths of an inch poured out of two rain gauges on the farm this morning (June 18). We are continuing our run of rain events amounting to less than one inch. There is discussion on what damage has been done and where is it the most evident. Northeast Winnebago…

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We have completed sidedressing corn and Saturday (June 12) we will begin the spot spraying for weed escapes. This year it’s primarily grass and a few obligatory rags to deal with. With the minimal moisture so far, I’m amazed the herbicides were activated as well as they were. Late Thursday, …

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The robin had a rather bewildered look on her face as she sat on my bird bath trying to chip away on the layer of ice both Saturday and Sunday morning. It’s been five days since then and we’ve gotten quite an education on what impact elevation and tillage (or lack thereof) has on seedlings w…

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We have enjoyed a good growing week with moderate temperatures and a majority of our ground receiving a little over seven-tenths of an inch on Tuesday evening. As of Thursday, we were on the backside of a front that has blown in some 40-degree air and the promise of upper 30s Friday night. A…

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Earlier this week, the season changed from spring to summer in one day. Nighttime temperatures have jumped 25 degrees and the crops have changed from basically sitting in neutral to green and growing. On Tuesday afternoon, a general fourth-tenths to three-quarters of an inch shower fell acro…

It cannot be overstated just how pathetic a seedling corn plant looks eight hours after a 29-degree morning. To compound the look, this is the third 29-degree morning in a week’s time. There is very little replant occurring in the county for that reason, but with the lack of moisture and the…

It was a guaranteed smile Tuesday when I took the first breath of rain-scrubbed air after a couple weeks of breathing and working in dust. About .8 of an inch fell late afternoon and had 36 hours to soak in before any sun began drying up the surface. Another .25 of an inch fell Friday mornin…

A little squall line blew through yesterday afternoon dropping a trace as I was working my way through a 40 with the bean planter. The dust blown up in front of it was an indicator of just how dry we are up at the northern end of the state. Shower chances have come and gone and the work pace…

The corn planter made it into the field Wednesday, and 160 acres later, it went back to the shed. I didn’t want any fertilizer lines freezing with what turned out to be 19 degrees at first light Thursday. Greasing and fueling everything while wearing my winter duds and planting through after…

Dust is flying. Coffee shop talk is spurring neighbors to get seed in the ground. It’s fascinating listening to the decision-making process of guys as they jump back and forth on whether to stick with corn or beans in the planters. With upper 20s to lower 30s at sunup and ground temperatures…

Friday morning saw .25 of an inch in the gauge. It stopped us just short of finishing our preplant anhydrous. The ground is working to perfection without the need to go around the usual springtime wet spots. Yep, it’s dry. The wheat is just coming out of it’s 32% burn, so with this morning’s…

The springtime push isn’t in full swing by any stretch of the imagination, but there are a few anhydrous rigs roaming around while a little tillage is beginning. We haven’t had an early spring like this in years, and we are all making comparisons about how this season will run out based on s…