Stark County

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Gary Steward of Toulon grows corn and soybeans, and custom farms with his son, David.

Another week of waiting for the ground to dry up. Spraying fungicide and insecticide on the soybeans is on the agenda, with a few sprayings by Thursday, July 22. Many of us have concluded with the bean plants so large, airplane delivery is warranted, instead of ground spraying. The sprayer d…

Not a lot to report this week. We tried to dry out for most of the week, but we received 1.6 inches Tuesday night and another shower Wednesday night. We’re up to 12 inches in a couple of weeks now. Needless to say, not much fieldwork happened. Very few airplanes sprayed fungicide on corn, ei…

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This week was all about plant growth. With 7 inches of rain last week, the 90-degree weather and sunshine made for a great greenhouse effect. The corn grew another foot and tassels have appeared all over Stark County. The beans are growing well also, and they are over 2.5 feet tall. Thirty-i…

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We had a very wet week like most of central Illinois. On Thursday, June 24 we woke up with 5 inches in the rain gauge. Thankfully, it came down over several hours and a lot of it soaked in. The next morning, we had another inch and a half. Spoon River came out to flood most river bottoms for…

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Last Sunday evening, June 19, we finally received a half-inch of rain. That was enough to rescue us from dryness until June 22, when we got another half-inch without wind damage nor hail. The area 30 miles south of Stark County got hammered terribly in the storm of June 18. Lots of trees dow…

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We had a very hot and humid weekend, June 12 and 13. By Monday morning, the humidity disappeared, and the heat was tolerable. Did a Monday morning crop tour and our crops look really good here, but we are becoming dry, also. The corn rows are closed in now and 15-inch soybeans aren’t far awa…

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Last week we experienced a nice rain on Monday. We had an inch at my house, a mile east had 2 inches and a mile south didn’t get any moisture. Yes, that kind of week. We have been cleaning up our planters. The corn planter went to storage Tuesday afternoon and the bean planter made it there …

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We had a pretty good week in Stark County. We had rain showers Monday afternoon that slowed us down but, we’ll take the moisture that presented itself. The drought continues to work eastward toward west central Illinois. Hopefully, it holds off through growing season. Crops all look pretty g…

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We finally had some heat and humidity this week. Crops are starting to grow and some guys have started post-spraying on corn and beans. South Stark County had planters rolling Tuesday morning, but more rain showers after lunch stopped them rudely. The first cutting of hay happened over the w…

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Rain is the theme this week. We are up to 3 inches so far, with small lakes abundant in Stark County. It rained all day on Monday and Tuesday, then finally started to dry out Wednesday. We caught up on some mundane things that we were behind on, and continued cleaning up and maintaining plan…

We finished planting May 8 with storm clouds entering Stark County by evening. By Sunday morning, we had more than 2 inches rain that came slowly overnight and soaked in nicely. We had another shower late Monday afternoon. Needless to say, not much fieldwork was done last week. We cleaned up…

We had another good week in Stark County. We dried out enough to go back to planting corn and beans the weekend of May 1-2. We had another half-inch shower go through late afternoon May 3 that stopped us again. By Wednesday afternoon, we sprayed beans to catch up on that job, and continued i…

We had a great weekend to plant April 24-25. Most everyone was tilling and planting. Monday was a beautiful day with temperatures in the seventies as planting progressed. This continued through Wednesday afternoon when a nice shower came through. We received nearly an inch. I can’t remember …

We’ve had another week on hold as we wait for better conditions to plant in. We’ve had short periods where farmers have been spraying but very little field cultivating and planting. A couple of neighbors were cultivating Monday morning but shut down by noon, as another shower fell. We had sn…

We had about 2.5 inches of rain over five days. Needless to say, no fieldwork has occurred since. I think we can start spraying by Saturday, but the forecast is for more rain through Monday. We’ll just have to wait and see. Cold weather isn’t helping dry the soil out. In fact it’s just mud 3…

Last Monday, the starter’s gun went off and so did many Stark County farmers. Eighty-degree days will do that in April. By Tuesday night, many acres of corn and beans were planted. We stuck to spraying herbicides and liquid fertilizer, while also doing some tillage work. It all came to a hal…

It’s good to be back writing about another season of farming. After a long winter, every farmer in the area is gearing up for spring planting season. Planters have been undergoing inspections and updates in preparation to plant for several weeks now. Sprayers and spray trailers are ready to …