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Coles County

Todd Easton

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


The tides from the week of June 11-17 receded, but the damage is done, especially in bean fields. The late V stage corn (7-10) was able to tread water and not show much effect yet. Not only did we lose considerable soybean acres in low spots, but many fields showed symptoms of disease, generally phytophera root rot. Soybeans that have been able to avoid the aforementioned plagues look good as they grow into the V4-5 stages. Some combines have started working into the limited wheat crop, finding yields up to the 80-bushel range. Overall, corn is setting pretty good.


We are treading water in Coles County after an abrupt 8-inch rain during the beginning of the week with 6 inches of it coming within a couple hours on Sunday (June 10). Our once-perfect stand of near-canopy soybeans now exhibits water damage in more places than we would like. Corn plants, thanks to their height, are treading water in most low spots, but have most likely taken on some damage. Lucky plants above the water line are still growing very quickly. Some corn has been noted to be growing 6 inches a day. One minute you’re worrying about how dry its getting, the next you are treading water to get to the mailbox. When your livelihood relies on the weather, you just have to expect the unexpected.


We finally got some sizable precipitation June 1. Even though it wasn’t even in the forecast, a hard-charging inch went into the gauge within a couple hours, joining the half-inch we ended up with the night before. Corn and bean fields jumped into rapid growth mode with that encouragement from above. The majority of cornfields have passed knee-high and are working toward the belt line. Soybean fields have moved into the V2 to V3 stages, which mean sprayers are all over making their post-emerge pass. The forecast has more great growing temperatures in it with some chances for rain. Right now we are looking at some very beautiful crops, but we are still in the early stages. So, hopefully, the weather continues its cooperation.


Crops are growing and hay is getting put up. Tropical Storm Alberto was supposed to send us some much-needed moisture, but seemed to dance around us with some areas of Coles County getting a few tenths and others getting a trace. We were getting some more widespread showers Thursday as I wrote this. Hopefully, more bugs in the gauge drown. As we enter the V5 stage, cornfields are looking really good in spite of the hand-to-mouth moisture situation. Soybean stands are looking good with the whole crop emerged and the earliest beans pushing toward the V1 stage.