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Coles County

Todd Easton

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


It’s been a hot week here in Coles County. The crop is definitely in defensive mode rolling up leaves and rooting down. We got anywhere from 1 to 2 inches of rain, depending on what corner of the section your gauge was in Wednesday night and Thursday morning. The heat came back and leaves were rolled up again by Thursday afternoon. The earliest corn and narrow-row soybean fields have closed their rows, and sprayers are out completing post-applications. Be careful in this heat.


Talk about a sudden flip-flop. In what seemed like an instant, we went from cool and wet to hot and dry. The warmth is welcomed by both crops, and the dry isn’t a factor yet. Every hay baler in the county also enjoyed the week’s weather. Cornfields have been moving up into the V4 to V6 stages and really looking good in most parts of the field. That’s in the good news fields. Looking at tougher soil farms and/or later-planted farms, let’s just say I’m not sending in pictures. Soybean fields are in VE to V2 range, and generally seem to be still in recovery mode from the earlier weather patterns. My wheat (which may be the only wheat in Coles County) is turning quickly and looking good. Of course, that means it will yield. I’ll know when it crosses the scale.


Some fields dried out enough Saturday (May 28) that tractors could stay on top of the ground (mostly), and away they all went thinking we had a day before another rainout came in. It didn’t rain, so we kept going and going and going. At this point, planting is either completed or same as. Both crops are in a wide range of stages -- too often this happens in the same field. Corn ranges from VE to V4 stages, and soybeans are just planted to V1. Now it’s on to the crop care season. And after the last month, the crops can use all the care we can give them.


Well, it was fun while it lasted, but we’re back in the shed again. A few short hours after I typed last week’s report, rain came into the area. A few tenths early Friday (May 19) and 1.5 inches Saturday (May 20) wet things up again. With a couple tenths Tuesday, everyone was sidelined. Clouds and cool temperatures have also slowed growth and development of what is planted, making for one of the most unproductive Mays I can remember. A quick look in the iPad shows just four days of planting progress up to this point for the month, and the forecast is making it look like that could be the extent of it.