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Coles County

Todd Easton

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


Last week saw harvest go into full swing all over Coles County. Many cornfields are running an impressive 200 to 240 bushels with moistures still in a 17 to 25 percent range, generally. Hitting a May-planted pond rockets the monitor well into 30 percent. Soybean yields are being reported in a 60- to 80-bushel-per-acre range. With that said, I will put out the disclaimer that these numbers are coming out of fields that were planted early and survived the adversity of early May coolness and downpours. Speculation is that later plantings will likely fall off these impressive levels. Stay safe in the rush!


A handful of combines made their way out across the county last week in early corn and bean fields. This week should see even more if the rain isn’t too substantial Monday. Corn moistures on these select fields are running from 17 to 25-plus percent. Several of the harvested fields have been cut in the hit and miss fashion that reminds you of the challenges of last spring. Field conditions after our late-season drought, warrant me taking off my farm hat and donning my volunteer fireman’s helmet for a second. Please keep your equipment very clean and your ready fire extinguishers handy. Our assistant chief predicted we are going to have several field fire calls this fall. Let’s prove him wrong!


It was quite a cool week here in Coles County and no rain either. While dry down seems to be slowed, we are getting there, and at this point, rain probably won’t add any bushels. While corn in most of this area didn’t get hurt by dryness last month, bean fields will probably be a different story. As we do our final mowing, haying and harvest preparations, the waiting game begins. Now that we are at black layer, combines may start rolling in two or three weeks -- just depends on how much gas a producer wants to burn for $3 corn.


A quick .25 of an inch of rain started the week of nice-to-be outdoors weather. It was maybe just enough to get some of the Coles County Farm Bureau yield tour participant’s boots muddy Monday (Aug. 28). Results tallied by U of I Extension came up at 189 bushels per acre for the county average. We are finishing out the season dry, but not totally burning out at least. Machines are coming out of the shed and getting tuned up for harvest. The earliest corn has the milk line at about two-thirds down and should have accumulated almost 2,600 GDU’s, putting us very close to full maturity. Soybean fields are starting to turn more and more, but most all are a way off. Beans could still use moisture, and there will be no telling what the minidrought at the end of this season took off the top until the combines roll.