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Coles County

Todd Easton

Todd Easton raises corn, soybeans, and wheat on his farm near Charleston.


It seems like this week’s report is deja vu all over again. We have just switched back to cutting in the bean fields for a couple days. The forecast has a minor chance of showers again. I think I can speak for all farmers when I say I hope they miss us. Harvest seems to have crossed over the halfway point in the area, especially for corn. Several elevators are diligently working to find room at this point. It looks like this crop may take up any spare empty space we can find.


Harvest is still in a stop-and-go pattern in Coles County. Showers come in every couple of days or so, but fortunately, it has not been enough to turn fields into mud bogs. It is making soybean cutting difficult, and we have combine switching down to more of a perfected art than I knew it could be. We also grow soybeans for seed, which requires meticulous cleaning, especially when switching from corn. We are getting very good at that also. But on the bright side, when we can go, the going’s great. We have been hauling record bushels out of every field and that is definitely not something to take for granted.


Spotty and light rain showers made soybean cutting difficult last week. Several farmers, including myself, are wearing out the tools we use to change combines from corn to beans and vice versa. Any cornfield I have been in lately is testing dry, so when the bean crop won’t go, it’s time to go after the corn. On the other hand, with good standing corn, whenever the beans decide to cooperate, it’s time to get after them. The weekend weather forecast looks like we may be getting a mandatory harvest break. Hopefully, it’s not too long - maybe just long enough to go to town to get more tools.


Early last week, a weather system moved in, filling gauges in the 2 to 3 inch range and curtailing harvest activities. A few combines kicked in the 4-wheel-drive and nosed into cornfields Thursday and Friday. Yields are holding at the same great levels so far, and corn moistures are getting close to the 15 percent dry level. Soybean fields and producers are waiting for a good string of cutting days, hopefully sooner than later. The area harvest is a ways from the halfway mark, but one good week would change that.