Pulaski County

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Ken Taake farms with his brothers in the rolling hills and creek bottoms of Pulaski County in extreme Southern Illinois. They produce corn, soybeans, and wheat. Ken is among four original Crop…

Harvest continues to pick up steam with both corn and soybeans being harvested. We are almost half finished with corn harvest with yields continuing to be good. We cut a few soybeans with yields being average or slightly higher. I have not heard about other soybean yields in the area but mos…

Beautiful weather the last few days. Sunny with lows in the 50s makes it feel like fall. Harvest is getting started. We have shelled about 100 acres of corn with moisture levels averaging from 18% to 21%. Yields have been good so far, not record levels but above average. Soybeans continue to…

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We missed the rainfall last week and it is getting very dry again in this part of southern Illinois. This has accelerated crop maturity. Early planted corn has lost almost all of its color and soybeans are turning rapidly. I have heard of a few who have started corn harvest with moistures fr…

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With corn harvest only a week out, FarmWeek CropWatcher Ken Taake of Pulaski County discusses the hot, humid weather that pushed crops through rapid maturity. He also shares who makes up his harvest team and how preparation as gone in this Aug. 30 interview with Rita Frazer.

We had another nice rain event since my last report amounting to 1.5 inches. The amount was highly variable across the area ranging from almost 4 inches to less than 3 tenths of an inch. I have heard of some spraying for armyworms. Temperatures have been very hot and humid the last week whic…

Spent some time away from the farm the first full week of August and the farm received two nice rain events totaling 2 inches. My brothers told me I should leave more often. Crops are rapidly heading to maturity. Corn is turning and early-planted soybeans are starting to show a lighter shade…

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Another dry week in our part of southern Illinois. The dust is flying and the grass in the yard is turning brown. Crops are starting to show the stress. Soybeans are especially showing the effects of the dry weather. The usual summer activities continue but activities will soon change to pre…

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A hot, dry week has the dust flying and the crops starting to be stressed. We had chances of rain over the weekend, which would really help crops, especially the soybeans. We finished post-spraying our double-crop soybeans. Late season weeds are starting to appear, which is requiring some cl…

We have received another 1.5 inches of rain in two events since my last report, which has helped crops to continue improvement. Fungicide applications have continued on both corn and soybeans. Other spraying applications are slowing down with the exception of double-crop soybeans. Take time …

We had a nice rain over the weekend of July 10. We received 1.75 inches on our farm with amounts of up to 3 inches in parts of the county. This really helped crops which were suffering from lack of rain. More is in the forecast, which would be beneficial. Corn fungicide is still being applie…

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Another dry week in Pulaski County. We had showers across the county Thursday (July 8) but only received a tenth of an inch on our farm. Some locations received as much as an inch. More rain is in the forecast for the weekend so I am hopeful we will get more as crops are suffering from the d…

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Hard to believe we are already into July. Most of the early corn is starting to tassel and soybeans are growing rapidly. Corn fungicide applications should start in the next week. Soybean herbicide applications will continue. Wheat harvest is just about finished with yields ranging from trip…

We have finished our rye harvest and planting our double-crop soybeans. Wheat harvest is already winding down and I have heard yields have been "good.” With only a quarter of an inch of rain in the last week, the dust is starting to fly. It has been good weather for making hay. Please stay s…

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We finally had a week with no rainfall! Managed to finish spraying post on soybeans on Thursday (June 17). Wheat harvest has started but I have not heard anything about yields. We started harvesting rye on Wednesday. Planting of full season soybeans has finally finished up in the area and we…

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Another damp week here in deep southern Illinois. Although not much accumulation, we had showers and drizzles on Monday, Tuesday and Thursday last week. That made it difficult to accomplish any post-spray applications. Wheat and rye harvest are rapidly approaching. The rainfall and wind have…

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More rain. I sure hope some is saved for July! We had rain on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday this past week with totals of 1.5 inches on our farm. We did manage to finish spraying corn, but early planted soybeans need it badly. With all the rain and finally getting some warm weather the cro…

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It was a busy week here in deep southern Illinois with a number of days suitable for fieldwork. We managed to finish sidedressing corn and most of the corn received its post-herbicide application. A lot of soybeans were planted. On Wednesday morning (May 26), the rains resumed with a half-in…

Warm weather has finally arrived. With highs in the mid- to upper-80s, crops are finally greening up. We have had just scattered showers since my last report with not much accumulation but enough to keep things damp and limit fieldwork. We have not been able to resume planting but have been …

Another wet week here in deep southern Illinois. A few tractors and sprayers started moving Wednesday. We started side-dressing corn, but it was still too wet to resume planting. Corn stands are looking good, but it needs warm and drier weather. More rain is in the forecast starting Saturday…

It has rained for five days since my last report, accumulating almost 3 inches. Needless to say, there has been no fieldwork. The ground has been saturated for the last week. I am unsure about the acres which were seeded before this "rainy season" started two weeks ago. With more rain predic…

We have only had half a day in the field since my last report. We have received almost 3 inches of rain since April 23. With more rain in the forecast for the first weekend in May, I don't know when we will be able to resume planting. I am happy we got an early start and are as far along wit…

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In spite of some light showers and cooler temperatures, planting continued to make rapid progress. On Tuesday and Wednesday night, lows were right around freezing. I do not believe there was much damage to crops, but we will know in the next week or so. Please take time to stay safe in this …

Fieldwork restarted at a fast pace April 12. We managed to finish planting corn Thursday and started planting soybeans. This is the earliest I can remember being finished with corn planting. I am a bit nervous about having all of my corn planted in such a short window. Rain is in the forecas…

With warm, windy weather, it was a busy few days until Wednesday night when we had .6 of an inch of rain. Everyone was running at full speed with both corn and some soybean planters running.  We managed to plant almost half of our corn. More rain is in the forecast, so it may be this week be…

Welcome to a new season of CropWatchers. The spring rush is just getting started. There has been some anhydrous applied as well as dry fertilizer and some burndown applications between the showers. We hope to get started applying burndown to our corn ground tomorrow (Saturday). Temps are exp…