Livingston County

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Mark Kerber and his son raise corn and soybeans near Chatsworth in southeastern Livingston County. Mark is one of our longest serving Cropwatchers.

Most of the corn is pollinated and is getting sprayed with fungicide. We are going to start spraying soybeans this week. The sweet corn is coming on fast and very good. I had to trap two large raccoons with live traps; they love wet cat food. Hot, dry weather has returned as grain fill is ta…

Rain in July, a farmer's wish! Corn is pollinating and getting sprayed. Time for vacations before soybeans fungicide spraying. Corn continues to look good, but some fields of beans are struggling. Will we get some rain in August for the beans? Traders will be watching the stocks-use ratio ne…

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July is here, and the corn is starting to tassel. Corn looks good and the market is starting to reflect it. Soybeans are a different story in this part of Illinois. Heavy rains and ponding have drowned many acres. There are widespread areas of yellow and stunted beans. We received 7.5 inches…

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A week of heavy thunderstorms has taken its toll on a good-looking crop, which now has many drowned out acres. High humidity and wet basements have also caused more stress. Area farmers are looking at the replant option by July 15. However, water is still standing in many of these drowned ac…

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Another busy week as spraying continues. Rains continue to be very spotty. Crops look pretty good, but the drier farms are starting to show some stress. Looks like the Corn Belt is going to get some rain and cooler weather, according to the market collapse. Traders want out of long positions…

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It was a very hot and humid week for this early in June. Widely scattered afternoon showers fell in very different amounts across the county. Some didn’t hardly get any rain while others received up to 3 inches. We only got three-tenths to five-tenths of an inch, but my neighbor had 2 inches…

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A wet forecast last week didn't materialize giving farmers a chance to finish planting. Sidedressing nitrogen is the main event along with post-spraying. Hay patches are getting cut. I remember growing up baling whole fields of hay for ourselves and neighbors. All the bales were square as th…

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It was a busy week until rain set in again. Most of the acres got planted but a few remain unplanted. Sidedressing has started along with sprayers still running around. Hay and roadsides are getting cut. Markets were higher last Friday. What will summer weather bring? Hot and dry or some tim…

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After three days of rain, which amounted to seven-tenths of an inch, we now have ground drying in "fast mode."(80 degrees-plus and breezy) Hopefully, this will give producers here a chance to finish planting. Early planting this year looks pretty good with good stands. Will markets come back…

Very spotty rains kept most of us out of the field while others were able to plant. Early- to mid-April corn and beans are starting to emerge with good stands. We have noticed that corn comes up quicker than soybeans. A cool early May has really slowed emergence on April 26-27 plantings. The…

We had only 2 1/2 days to plant last week till a rain-out midweek. Monday was so windy that farmers were losing their hats, but my neighbor had a worse experience from a planter lid blowing off, hitting him in the face and breaking his hand. What is the risk-to-reward ratio from planting cor…

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A pond-filling rain covered most of the area with 2 inches in our gauges. We were hoping to get through the planting season without a big rain this year. It always happens! Very cold temperatures along with three nights of frost have slowed growth and emergence of corn and beans. There was n…

A cold front brought snow and cold temperatures. Soil temps are now below 50 degrees. But it’s Illinois, so the weather can change easily. I have neighbor who is almost done planting and many who haven't started. 

After an inch of rain, dry weather and cold temperatures have set in. Indecision on whether to plant have left many planters sitting in their sheds while others have started. A few weeks from now, we will know what was the correct decision. We have joined the ranks of owning two planters - o…

Summerlike weather last week prompted some fieldwork with nice field conditions. A few started planting soybeans and corn. More planters will start with the next dry spell. It would be nice to have a normal spring with no floods and weeks of below-normal temperatures. Markets are staying sto…

April is here, along with some warmer temperatures. Welcome back to reading CropWatchers. Farmers are really busy getting machinery out and gearing up for the planting season.  With the higher commodity prices, many have updated some of their machinery. A little more rain would be welcomed t…