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.
Conditions continue to be on our side for corn and soybean crops in Coles County. Temperatures have been nearly ideal for a couple of weeks for crop development and fill. As our local antique tractor show was winding down Sunday (the 22nd), I was out in the club’s field disking weeds on my trusty old Oliver when clouds quickly moved in from the north with the kind of good, soaking rain for the crops that farmers would order online if they could. Couldn’t get upset about being soaked from head to toe with a rain that good for the crops. Besides, any old-timer will tell you that’s just part of open cab farming. Most of my gauges indicated in the range of 1 to 1.5 inches when it was over. Unfortunately, the rain showers didn’t reach the third of the county east of the Embarras River, which is dry. Those producers hope the rain forecast over the weekend turns out.