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Jackson County

Eric Shields

Eric Shields is a second generation CropWatcher who raises corn soybeans and wheat in Jackson and surrounding counties. He is also a farmer-dealer for Asgrow and DeKalb seed, and a part-owner of Shawnee Valley Aviation, a crop dusting service in Southern Illinois. Eric has been farming on his own since 1999. He earned his bachelor’s degree in management, with a minor in agribusiness economics from Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


It’s amazing to me to see how crops handle the swings in weather. Coming from very hot and humid to a few days of nice, low humidity weather, back to hot and humid. Crops look like they grew a foot during that cool period. Overall, crops in the area look really good. Most all corn is pollinating, and soybeans have closed the rows and are gaining height rapidly. Some disease is showing up in the corn and is being treated accordingly. It seems like planes are in the air almost every day. For another year, clean fields in the area seemed to give most farmers the smile they needed, given the current price situation. The technology we have now is wonderful, and I sure hope we get to keep it. Everyone enjoy the summer and get some time off. Harvest will be on us before we know it. Good luck and God bless.


Hot was the word for the week. The only saving grace for us is the fact that we have had a decent amount of rain during the last couple weeks. A lot of corn is in full tassel, and soybeans are getting some pretty good height to them. With all the rain, we have seen flooding in some of the lower areas. There has been quite a bit of replanting going on. Hopefully, everyone will finish and get this 2018 planting season in the books.


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Finally, the end is near. After replanting and re-replanting in some instances, farmers in the area are finally getting their entire crop planted. However, what has been planted earlier in the year is looking pretty good. Corn tassels are starting to show. Almost all the wheat has been harvested. Soybeans have closed the rows and seem to be really weed-free so far. Wheat yields in the area, from what I’ve heard, have been disappointing, to say the least. I wish everyone the best of luck and will now pray for timely rains to help the crop progress. Lord knows that with the current grain market we will need every bushel we can get this year.