Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 11/01/2020Updated
This was the dampest week we have had all harvest. There was not a lot of accumulation but still stayed damp and cool. Last Monday and Tuesday, we had a steady mist most of the days which slowed harvest of corn and brought soybean harvest to a halt. Wednesday night into Thursday brought .8 of an inch of rain which halted even tillage that was happening. Overall, corn and bean harvest is more than 90% complete. The soybeans will be tougher to finish with the higher humidity, cooler temperatures and shorter days. A lot of tillage has been done and ammonia is starting to be applied.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 10/25/2020Updated
Harvest was interrupted several times with some much-needed rain, but we were so dry we never cut a rut. More than 90% of the soybeans have been harvested, and those people quickly moved to corn. Corn harvest is around 80% complete and rapidly disappearing. The elevators have done a remarkable job of handling the crop with few times when there were truck lines. A fair amount of tillage has been done, but anhydrous application is starting. The season end is at least in sight.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 10/11/2020Updated
It was a great week for harvesting soybeans with early starts and able to run late. Downside was we are giving away 2 to 3 bushels of dry matter with soybean moisture running 10% or less. Probably 80% of the farmers were concentrating on beans and taking advantage of the free natural drying of the corn. Harvest definitely more than 50% complete at this time. Enjoyed a nice lunch courtesy of Macon County Farm Bureau and a few other businesses that is served at our local elevator. This is an annual tradition.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 10/04/2020Updated
Great working weather and drying weather, especially natural corn drying in the field with the wind. Corn and soybean harvest is approaching 40%. For the most part, farmers are satisfied and also surprised with yields considering the season. Mid- to late-August rains would have helped soybean yields even more, especially with seed size. This was my first year with early April-planted soybeans and have been very impressed with the results. I have been lucky my soybeans have been outyielding my waterhemp. I will need an adjustment in weed control next year. Please note waterhemp is not to be associated with marijuana or industrial hemp, but I wish there was a market for it.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 09/27/2020Updated
With the dry, consistent weather, harvest has moved right along. Both corn and soybeans are approaching 20% completed. Moisture in corn continues to drop about a point of moisture a day with many fields dropping under 20%. Corn yields for the most part have met early expectations with a lot of fields yielding in the 215 to 225 range. Soybeans seem to have their maturities a little more spread out, but yields are consistently bouncing around 70. Seemed like a late start, but without weather interruptions lost time is made up. Be safe!!!
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 09/13/2020Updated
Finally caught some rain. A small area received up to 2 inches, but some fields got a couple of tenths or less. Was probably too late for most of the corn and soybeans but did settle the dust for a day or two. Corn is starting to look dry, but moisture is still running high. A few have started harvesting for some high-moisture contracts at a local processor. Soybeans continue to start to turn, but most remain three weeks to a month from harvest. Farmers are finalizing their harvest prep. Was glad to get a little moisture, but definitely slowed the natural corn drying process.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 09/06/2020Updated
While some areas, particularly to the north of here, received a decent rain we came up short with less than a tenth. This was the rain we needed to add that last five bushels to our soybean yield. Both corn and beans will have little benefit from rain after Labor Day. Corn is starting to dry down and some talk of harvesting corn around the tenth but most will wait another seven to ten days. Soybeans are also starting to turn but still need three weeks or better before harvest. Yields for soybeans may fare better than corn, but neither will be outstanding. Farmers are making their last round of mowing roadsides as well as final preparations of storage and harvest equipment.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 08/30/2020Updated
Another week without precipitation. Most of the corn is passed adding yield or test weight, but soybeans could add several bushels with a good shower. Seems like the hurricanes will not be pushing far enough north to give us that opportunity. Most corn harvest is two to three weeks off. Seeing a lot of yellowing starting to take place, but more from a combination of compaction or nitrogen loss than natural maturing in the corn. Early April soybeans starting to dull and top out, but we’re a month out from harvest. No fairs, progress shows or field days makes the summer seem longer.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 08/23/2020Updated
No rainfall last week, but had excellent working temperatures. Farmers are staying busy preparing equipment and grain storage for fall harvest as well as a lot of mowing of roadsides. Also, trying to work in a little vacation if there was somewhere safe to go. Corn and soybeans just starting to show signs of maturing. Seems most are looking for corn harvest to start around Sept. 14.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 08/10/2020Updated
No rain during the week but our moisture is adequate, especially with temps in the mid-70s. Fungicide applications seem to be ending. Elevator corn yield tour in southern Macon County, northern Christian and northwest Shelby showed quite a range in yields with an average of 207 bushels per acre. Still a shower or two from finishing off the crop with a month-plus before harvest.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 08/03/2020Updated
Great growing conditions for corn and soybeans. We had moderate temperatures and added 2 inches of rain last week. When I am mowing green grass the first of August, it usually transforms into a very good crop. Will still need a good rain mid-August to help finish off the soybeans. No field activity happening, and fungicide spraying is nearing the end. Farmers are preparing for the upcoming harvest and trying to find a place for a few days of vacation that is not a hotspot.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 7/27/2020Updated
After several weeks of whining about lack of rainfall, we received more than 2 inches in two to three showers. Crops have really perked up and responded to the much-needed moisture. No ground activity but plenty of aerial applications of fungicides. Most of the pollination has been completed except for replanted corn. The pump is primed again and just waiting for some more showers to help ward off the summer heat.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 7/19/2020Updated
In northern Macon County, they seem to measure rain in inches, but here in southern Macon County, we have to measure in tenths or hundreds. We have come up short the last several weeks, getting small amounts or totally missing 90% forecasts. This week with a string of 90-degree days may start to take a toll on what seems to be only a good crop to begin with. All but the late-planted or replant corn has tasseled. A lot of fungicide spraying going on. Soybeans are all over the board depending on planting dates. April-planted soybeans in 30-inch rows are closing the row. No major problems with the crop that a good rain wouldn’t solve.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 7/6/2020Updated
It is the time of year when we need rain each week. With a forecast for one to three inches last Tuesday and Wednesday we managed barely one to three tenths. Moisture is not critical but we need to keep the pump primed. Corn and soybeans continue to grow and has a good healthy color but we will not be seeing tassels by the Fourth of July. Almost all the spraying has wrapped up and too early for fungicides to be flown on. Long way to harvest which will not be Labor Day but definitely not the October 1 start of last year.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 6/29/2020Updated
A week ago Sunday, I told my family that was a great Father’s Day present when we got more than an inch of much-needed rain. That was followed by another inch the next day. Both corn and soybeans have had good growth, rich, green color and good plant health. We have planting strung out over three months, a lot of holes to drag down yield and a long way until harvest. Periodic rains will be necessary to get us above-average yields with well-below-average prices.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 6/22/2020Updated
Crops continue to grow, but we are in need of a good rain. The corn especially has taken a growth spurt and has good, deep green color. The dryness is causing the corn to root down, which will benefit us later on. Soybeans also continuing to grow, but more growth in the earlier planted beans that are rooted deeper. Most field operations have slowed, especially in corn. Some of the later planted soybeans will need a post-application. The weeds and bugs are under control, the crops are growing - all we need is a rain and life will be good.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 6/15/2020Updated
After two months of above-normal rainfall, we are now needing moisture. We were counting on Cristobal for that moisture, but that was the most wimpy hurricane I have seen leaving us only .2 inch of rain. With warm to moderate temperatures, both corn and soybeans are rapidly growing. Most replant has finished as well as sidedressing of corn. Spraying of crop protectants has also slowed. Many are caught up enough to concentrate on mowing roadsides. Overall, crop conditions look only good with a lot of replant and stunted areas to pull down yield.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 6/8/2020Updated
Wow! This was the longest number of days in the field we have had this spring. Was used to two or three days followed by rain and then out for a week or better. Everyone has taken advantage to finish most of the corn and soybeans. There is less then 10% of both crops to finish. Also a lot of replant of ponded areas for both crops. Nothing is more tedious, time consuming and frustrating when trying to decide when to lift the planter or drop it in to plant. A lot of spraying crop protectants for weeds was going on in both crops as well as sidedressing of nitrogen of corn.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 6/1/2020Updated
Last week was like like the entire spring. We start the day with a game plan, and it changes several times during the day mostly due to weather. Rain has been so scattered that you see water standing in a field and within 2 miles or less tractors are working. At this point, more than 90% of the corn is planted and 70% of the soybeans. There will be a lot of touch up planting for both crops in ponded areas. Warm temps have helped with rapid emergence and growth. Herbicide spraying has also been challenging with rain every few days, coupled with wind issues on some dry days when we could be applying. Starting to see some sidedressing of liquid nitrogen. We are still ahead of last year - so far.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 5/18/2020Updated
Finally got a narrow window and got three, good days of fieldwork early last week. A lot of farmers finished or nearly finished corn planting, with more than 80% completion. Soybeans were being planted, but the threat of 2 to 4 inches of rain forecast with cool conditions slowed enthusiasm. More than 60% of the soybeans are in the ground. Emergence of corn and beans has been slow due to the cool conditions coupled with compaction from some heavy rains. Showers Thursday morning with the warmer conditions was looked as a blessing to help get some sprouts through the crust. If the drier and warmer forecast for next week comes true, farmers will be able to make a final push to complete this planting season well ahead of last year.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 5/11/2020Updated
Another week has passed with no field activity. After a fast start in the first half of April, we have sat for three weeks. The 10-day forecast does not look favorable either, but the biggest concern is the possible frost going into the weekend. Presently, more than half the corn is planted and probably a third of the soybeans. Emergence has been slow with the cool conditions. But as they say in the seed business, "plant early so there is plenty of time to replant!"
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 5/4/2020Updated
Not a productive week with around 7 inches of rain spread out every few days. This brought back too many memories of last year with the only consolation being we are way ahead, with more than half the corn planted and also a third of the soybeans. Emergence of both crops has been very slow with the cool conditions. The week out of the field has given everyone time to reorganize for a final push when conditions improve.
Tom Ritter, Blue Mound, 4/20/2020Updated
Some planters are rolling, some have stopped and some have never moved. There are definitely more acres of beans planted than corn but well under 20% of the total area. I have planted in 70-degree weather and in freezing conditions but did refrain from planting in Thursday’s snow. Was glad to get some rain just to keep us out for a few days. The calendar tells us that warmer temperatures have to be in the near future when everyone will be rolling.