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Dekalb County

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Ryan Frieders is a second-generation Cropwatcher. Ryan and his father, Ron, grow corn and soybeans on their farm near Waterman..

Planters have finally started to move out of the sheds and into the fields. The record-breaking heat helped dry out the wet spots and enabled some work to begin. The thermometer on the tractor read 101 degrees. Some areas locally are still too wet to start anything. We had some preplant herb…

Well, I feel like a broken record. Another week passed and we have gotten more rain. There was some application of nitrogen and burndown herbicide in the area before the last round of rain. Otherwise, the sun refuses to shine long enough to make any headway in drying the fields enough to pla…

Another week, another 1.5 inches of rain. The fields are wet and tiles are running full. The drought in northern Illinois has been declared over by the National Weather Service. April showers bring May flowers? Patience is the key to keeping your sanity this spring.

It continues to be a slow start for any fieldwork getting done. Cold temperatures, rain and a lack of sunshine have hampered any growing degree accumulation. We had another inch of precipitation last week and there is more in the forecast. Amongst all the dreary weather, we have had a couple…

It was another cold and rainy week in Waterman. We received over 2 inches of rain and the forecast was calling for more rain and SNOW over the weekend. On the farm we have received most of our seed for planting this spring. We continue to wait for better conditions for walking the roadsides …

For April Fools Day, Mother Nature had a good laugh. Winter-like weather returned to the area. Cold temperatures and falling snow along with cloudy days and rain have been the prevailing weather patterns. Outside jobs remain on hold for another week. In the shop, we are getting the lawnmower…

Good morning from Waterman! It’s another brisk morning here with temperatures in the 30s. The forecast calls for colder-than-normal temperatures this week. I guess March came in like a lamb and is going out like a lion. We are getting our planter ready to go, making adjustments from last yea…

This year started with so much potential! We had a perfect early planting season. Since then, we have had frost, drought, damaging winds, smoke-filled skies, problematic weeds, destructive pests, late-season diseases and too much rain too late. We also had sunny days, starry nights, fireflie…

It’s been another week of rainy weather. The fields were just starting to dry after 3.5 inches, and it started raining again. Very little field work was completed. It’s so muddy in the fields that I had to put a four-wheel drive tractor on the manure spreader. I’m hoping after this weather s…

I sure wish we had back the weather from two weeks ago. It’s been overcast, rainy and colder as the days have gotten shorter. We finished harvesting our soybeans. Overall, I am very pleased with our herbicide program. The beans stayed very clean through harvest. We have been working on the c…

We had a great week of weather! The combine hasn’t stopped harvesting soybeans. I’ve been very busy driving all day, but I also started thinking about a dear family friend. He is the friend you call when you need immediate, nonjudgmental, “save your butt” help and he just comes. My friend is…

It’s been a busy week on the farm. We had a couple nice days of harvest and then we got the biggest measurable rain we have had in weeks – 6 tenths. The wind and sunshine dried out the fields enough to get back at it after a couple days. In the meantime, we have been planning our fertility p…

Harvest has officially started on our farm. I have seen neighbors harvesting soybeans that are mature. We don’t have any beans ready yet so we started on our corn. Early maturing hybrids are in the mid-20s moisture range. It’s too early to generalize yields after only one good day of harvest…

We did receive a little rain this week along with more wind. The beans are starting to lose their leaves and change colors. The corn is also starting to dry down. Hand samples were in the 28% to 32% moisture range. The weekend brought the Sandwich Fair, which usually means the end of summer …

I was hoping to report that we received a gentle 2 inches of rain for the crops but all we have gotten so far is wind. I am looking forward to the upcoming field days and ag shows before harvest begins as we start to make plans for next year.