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Jackson County

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Eric Shields is a second generation CropWatcher who raises corn soybeans and wheat in Jackson and surrounding counties. He is also a farmer-dealer for Asgrow and DeKalb seed, and a part-owner …

As harvest is ramping up, the big talk around town is the disappointment in the yield. Late planting and extreme heat during the pollination period have given farmers less-than-stellar corn yields. Soybeans are no different. I believe some of the later-planted stuff will fare better. Only ti…

Here we go! The combines are starting to roll and the weather is getting cooler. Harvest is upon us. The corn looks to be in the mid- to upper-20s on moisture, and the soybeans are starting to get yellow and drop their leaves. This week we will see several farms start harvesting here in Jack…

What a difference a couple weeks can make. We received several inches of rain two weeks ago and now it looks like we are in the middle of a drought. Such an interesting year. To have so much rain just a short time ago, to now having our ridges burning up. I would have never thought it would …

With 6 to 7 more inches of rain over the last two weeks, I would say Jackson County is past the drought. My dad always told me to never turn down rain in August. He is right, but with these amounts, maybe it could slow down a little. This week’s forecast looks pleasant on the temperature sid…

What a roller coaster! Going from 100-plus- degree temperatures and severe drought conditions to just receiving a slow 2.5 inches on just about every inch of the farm. What will Mother Nature bring next? The corn is in full tassel and looking pretty good. Soybeans are growing fast and gettin…

Although we had some relief from the heat and humidity, we still haven’t seen any widespread rain. Some areas have seen beneficial showers, but most have not. There are some crops in our area that are really suffering right now, namely the corn. I have seen some fields that look like pineapp…

Finally, some rain! not as much as we needed but anything helps. We saw up to 1.3 inches, and it was a crop saver. It seemed like everything grew a foot overnight. Hopefully we get another shot at rain soon. Seems like we have a few chances in the forecast. With wheat harvest in the books, I…

For the second week, we had temperatures in the mid- to high-90s. On top of that, we had zero rain and none in the forecast. It’s getting dry around here, and our double-crop beans have not even sprouted yet. Crops around here are really starting to hurt. If we get another week of this weath…

Finally some dry ground. Or should I say dry enough. The last couple weeks had decent enough weather to allow most farmers to get a large portion of their crop in the ground. We still had hit-and-miss showers, but at least we were able to run somewhere all the time. Next on the list is wheat…

As it has been for most of the planting season, not much to report here in Jackson County. It’s been another wet week here in southern Illinois. This week’s forecast looks good — seven days with no rain. I’ve personally got my fingers crossed. On a better note, soybeans locally have reached …

Last week was hit and miss. Between the rain and breakdowns on my farm, the last few days I feel like I’m spinning my wheels and going nowhere. It’s amazing to me the difference between this year and last. Progress is still being made in certain areas of the county, where the rains didn’t hi…

Finally, some dry weather. Each day you see more and more tractors in the fields as things dry out. Right now everyone is doing everything they can to get caught up. The ground is still really saturated, which is compounding the problem of getting back into the fields. Hopefully we will get …

Finally, a couple-day break in the weather. We were able to get out in the field, but on a very limited basis. Spraying, fertilizing and some limited tillage on some drier spots. I even heard of a few planters going. Unfortunately, as I write this, it’s raining again. Will the weather ever c…

Wet and cold. Nothing really else to report. Still waiting for the weather to change. More rain in the forecast, though. I guess we will see what the week brings.

With another round of rain coming through this week, it looks like we are going to be sitting idle again. Our area still has yet to plant. It sure would be nice to get something in the ground. One positive is that corn locality has finally gotten over the $8 mark. I never thought I would see…