The results are in for our Coles County Farm Bureau crop tour, with a whole county average of 207 bushels per acre. A local crop insurance provider also did his annual tour, and using the same basis as the Univeristy of Illinois Extension did for the Farm Bureau check, came out at 215 bushels. Grain fill conditions are exceptionally good as the kernels harden down toward the cob. A big inch of rain Monday should have sealed the deal on both corn and soybean crops. The first yellowing of soybean leaves has appeared in spots across the area. GDUs for late April planted fields would be approaching or just over the 2,600 mark, which means we will reach black layer stage in the next week, marking the official end of corn crop growth.
The kids are back in school, the combines are getting worked on and the first hints of fall are on the horizon, with cornfields working toward maturity. The annual Coles County Farm Bureau Corn Yield Tour will have been completed by the time you read this. We will be going through mostly R4 cornfields, which I believe will be a great stage to estimate yield. It will be fun to see what we get. I doubt it will be a disappointment. Soybean fields look to be around R5, very green and filling pods. There is a good bean crop already out there, but another shower or two can’t hurt.
July ended in a way consistent with the rest of the month, wet. The Coles County Fair, which usually catches some rain, saw systems come through the area leaving 2 to 3 inches. For most of our corn crop, that will pretty well finish us up. Growing degree days for corn planted at the end of April went past the 2,000 mark, putting us three or four weeks away from black layer. Soybean fields are tall, green and working on filling pods at this point. More showers will be needed to finish out this crop to its full potential, but so far, so good.