Lee County

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Larry Hummel of Dixon has been farming with his brother since 1975 in the corner of Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside counties. They raise corn, soybeans, and a little wheat.

Last week we harvested the north farm and the drive back and forth was just beautiful. To get there we drive the scenic Illinois Route 2 that winds along the banks of the Rock River. The trees along the bluffs had not quite reached their peak fall colors but were breathtaking, nonetheless. H…

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It has been a very busy week here in northern Illinois. Let’s see, there were multiple trips to the rain gauge, I moved the combine out of the field and onto the grass so you could service it without getting your feet stuck in the mud and the shop is clean and so is my desk. A very productiv…

It would have been nice to get some of this rain in August, but I don't want to complain too much because we need to recharge the soil for next year. This year's crop used up everything that was available. For some fields it was enough and others they came up short. Yields are showing that d…

It was a crazy week for us and not in a good way. It started with combine trouble that only gave us two good days of harvest out of the last seven. During that time my brother Rich had a van run a red light and strike his truck in the driver’s door. He was bruised up and sore but went right …

Seed corn and soybean harvest have begun here in Lee County. We started soybeans on Thursday and it felt like we were one of the last to go. Yields are decent but also disappointing. We had a lot of potential going into August but a lack of a good rainfall took the top end right out of the b…

I’m starting to get a little nervous about getting this year’s crops in the bin. This last month has had more than its share of violent storms move through northern Illinois. They have had high winds and hail. We have had some damage but as I drive around, I feel blessed that our crops look …

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As the growing season winds down and the crops prepare for harvest, so are we. Going over each piece of equipment with a fine-tooth comb replacing anything that looks like it might possibly not last through harvest. Thankfully this week’s cool weather made the job much easier on us and the crops.

The good news is we got some rain. The bad news is it came with high winds and lots of hail in some locations. I had 0.4 inches at my house, north of town they had 2 inches but that is where the hail came. We have a soybean field that was right in the middle of it but seemed like it survived…

This week I am reporting from Idaho Springs, Colorado. Two of my brothers-in-law and I are out doing some prospecting in the mountains. We have found a little, but the big news is the rains we have been getting back home. According to my wife, we got a little more than 1 inch over the past w…

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It has been a while since we have had a significant rain, and the lighter soils are starting to show it. We do have three days in a row with a 50% chance of rain, so maybe that million-dollar rain will show up in time to save the day.

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It was a tough week for working outside. Temperatures were in the 90s and, with the humidity, afternoons were unbearable. Thursday I had had enough and volunteered to take a few of the grandkids swimming at the lake. We did get a little rain last week, so crops continue to look good. Pollina…

My brother-in-law and I drove to Fargo, North Dakota to watch a friend of ours’ daughter (Reece Larramendy) wrestle in the Junior Nationals Wrestling Tournament and I did some 70-plus mph scouting on the way there. The corn in Wisconsin looked like the corn here in northern Illinois, pretty …

Most of the showers that have moved through the area are fairly spotty but there has been enough rolling by that most of the fields are sitting good on moisture for now. We are right in the middle of pollination and conditions are good, but I am keeping an eye on some hot spots of rootworm b…

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Larry Hummel, a FarmWeek CropWatcher from Lee County, provides an update on crop conditions and current markets. "We are close to perfect conditions around here. We could use some more warmth and sunshine … but this season has been pretty amazing for us for most of our fields," he shared on …

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Yellow soybeans and stunted corn, those are the buzz words for the week. I don't think we had that much rain but soybeans in some of the low-lying areas are turning yellow and are stunted. There are green strips that extend into the yellow areas that line up with the planter tractor tire tra…

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This is my favorite time of year. There isn't much that has to be done today. Most of the work that needs to be done can wait until tomorrow and there is so much fun stuff to squeeze into the day. There are fairs, festivals, music events, kayaking, swimming and so much more, but the thing I …

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Cool weather and rain is the big story of the week. Anywhere from seven-tenths to 2 inches of rain with temperatures in the 70s and 80s has really changed the looks of both corn and soybeans. With more of the same in the 15-day forecast, things are looking up for this year’s crops. Corn is s…

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To be honest, I don't know what to think about this year's corn crop. We had a perfect start with emergence. Things were looking fantastic and then the cold weather hit, and things spiraled downward. Some plants seemed to handle it just fine and others were stunted and fell behind making for…

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Last week's cold snap really dinged the corn here in Lee County. Between burn spots and rolled up leaves the plants looked really rough for about four days. Now, the warm weather has them coming around. Soybeans didn't seem to miss a beat and of course it didn't look like the weeds were slow…

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My how the times have changed. I believe it was three weeks ago in my report to FarmWeek I stated that I was putting my winter coat away for the season. The forecast for Friday (May 28) is calling for lows in the 30s but true to my statement I will not pull my winter coat back out. I might h…

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Things are looking good here in northern Illinois. Temperatures are well into the 70s and we are getting some nice showers to get this year’s crop off and running. We are all caught up on spraying for now but showers have been close enough together that we will need to stay on top of the spr…

All the cold weather has turned the corn to more of a yellow color than green. A wise man once told me not to worry, “It was yellow corn when you planted it, and it will be yellow corn come harvest.” This week’s weather forecast is calling for a nice warmup, so that will put the green back i…

They call it a lot of things - planning ahead, frugal, tight, a collector or maybe just a plain, old hoarder. But that cubbyhole we have been throwing old bushings in for the last umpteen years finally paid off. A late night repair to the planter would have had to wait till morning if not fo…

Some area farmers didn't let the snow slow them down and planted right through it. We waited to start, but are going full steam ahead now. The forecast is calling for some warm weather this week, so we want to get as much seed in the ground as possible to take advantage of it. How about thos…

A lot of activity last week, although none of it in the field. We have been busy in the shop and have got a few brush piles burnt from the trees we trimmed last winter. Soils are starting to dry up, but the process is real slow with temperatures down into the 30s overnight.

Wow! This week went by fast. Feels like I just got done emailing last week's report. Great conditions for getting in some fieldwork  until Wednesday’s rain put an end to it. We came up a little short on getting all our spring-applied nitrogen down, so it won't be long and we can start planti…

Here we go again!  Another season, another chance to reach for higher yields and higher prices. Not much action out in the fields here, but if the rains stay away, this week will be the complete opposite. Soils are getting close to being fit for a little tillage. I pray you had a meaningful …