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.

It was a very busy week of harvesting despite making a few ruts in the fields. There is compaction in every field so let’s hope for a hard freeze this winter with no snow cover. Hopefully while we’re in Florida! We had to put a larger tractor on our auger cart which really helped going throu…

This past week added more rain to our fields. Five inches a week ago and another 2 inches last week. Ground is super saturated. Reminds me of the muddy years of 1967, 1972, 1977, 1992 and who could forget 2009. It usually doesn't get real muddy until after Halloween. There are many more soyb…

A week of rain has left us with 4 inches in our gauge. Excessive runoff has our waterways and creeks flowing as there is much standing water in our fields. Only about 50% of the crop has been harvested, making the rest difficult to harvest in muddy conditions. Some parts and new machinery ar…

Four weeks ago, we all thought it was going to be a late harvest. Hot, dry, windy weather changed that. Harvest is progressing rapidly. Our departed Chatsworth elevator owner, Bill Livingston, always said the majority of soybeans get cut the last week of September and first week of October. …

After a rain event from a cold front, corn harvest is upon us. Yields are very good except some of the ridge ground, I’m told. As reported by many already, the fungicide spraying really helped in a year like this. A few fields of beans have disappeared with many just a few days away and some…

Corn harvest has started with early varieties getting dry enough. I saw much flattened corn being harvested from an August storm in the southwest portion of the county. We have been fortunate to receive hot, breezy weather to push this crop to maturity. Be careful, slow down and have a safe …

We are on the eve of harvest as farmers look to finishing up preparation for the harvest. Roadside mowing for the last time was the main event last week. My neighbor pushed his pencil for figuring next year’s crop profits. He said with ALL inputs higher, along with machinery, fuel and labor …

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September is here along with drying weather for crops. It will be a while before full harvest kicks in. Most of the soybeans are just starting to turn and corn is approaching black layer. Hopefully markets have bottomed as this crop will be swallowed up with demand.

Summer is winding down as the kids are back in school. Now we have the waiting period until the crop is ready for harvest. We are getting plenty of heat units to push maturity. Many agencies have done yield checks trying to get a handle on what yields will be. We will be looking and scouting…

We received our August rains that we wanted. In many locations it was excessive, amounting to more than 5 inches over a couple of days. Cooler weather has now given us some relief from the hot and muggy conditions. Another bullish stocks and expected yield report was released Thursday, showi…

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Corn and especially beans in our area are ready for a drink. It’s been a while since we have had a rain. My wife wants to keep mowing the yard, also. Roadside mowing is taking place and thinking about harvest time preparation. I noticed corn borer moths hitting the windshield at night. They …

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As July ends it looks like we have plenty of soil moisture for the time being, but will need rain in August to save what’s left of our bean crop. My son and hired man are mowing and spraying fungicide as my wife and I are touring through the awesome state of Oregon. Markets need to be more a…

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…