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Coles County

Todd Easton

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


Fortunately, the vast majority of area producers have most all the loose ends tied up with harvest done, tillage mostly done, and a large amount of the fall fertilizer and herbicide applications done. Looking back at this growing year, a wet spring and dry, late summer is not what we would consider ideal, but miraculously, the bins were filled. So, that puts us at the end of another CropWatcher season and on to the time of year that farmers, their machines and the land get a rest. Before long, it will be on to whatever 2018 brings us, and we will be back to report on it. See y’all next April!


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Weather is having its say in dragging out the finish to harvest ‘17. Adding to the anxiety, most of the showers don’t appear on the forecasts until they are actually happening. Despite the circumstances, it looks like we are closing in on the final 10 percent of the corn crop. As I get into my later plantings, yields are falling off 10 to 15 percent, which is acceptable to me. I figured the reduction would be double that. The few soybean fields I mentioned last week are still there. When Mother Nature allows, fall preparations are also moving along with tillage, dry fertilizer and some anhydrous going down. As my favorite elevator manager often says, “It’s not what we wanted, but we’ll still have fun”.


The light is at the end of the tunnel for harvest 2017. Between maintenance breaks that were brought to us by the weather, combines have continued their work whittling the corn crop down to the last 20 percent or less. Later planted field yields are solid, shockingly. I have had some May replant yield close to the April planted corn beside it. Standing soybean fields are few and far between, and, at this point, what’s left will be slow to get out. The later planted beans still weaved around the same yield range as earlier planted bean fields. Where these soybeans came from is a head scratcher -- somehow, they figured out how to grow without August precipitation. As we wind down into the short rows, stay safe, stay alert and stay warm!