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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.


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Finally, a little rain. Much needed by most all accounts. It was nice to get some precipitation to settle the dust and give a brief pause to most farms’ feverish harvest pace. Also was nice to get some moisture back into the soybeans. Corn harvest is proceeding fairly well. Most early corn has been picked with just the late May and June-planted corn to finish. Wheat planting has been coming along pretty smoothly. Seems to me that wheat acres in this area will be up this year. Good luck and be safe as we start to finish harvest.


Welcome from sunny, super dry southern Illinois. It's turning out to be a year of what-ifs. Most yields I've heard have been average or above. What if we had gotten that one extra rain, everyone is saying. Soybean crop stands and pod counts were there, but what if? We will never know. There is one thing I do know. It's the good-hearted nature of the people in this world we call farmers. A local young farmer here in Jackson County was recently killed on the farm in a tractor accident. That didn't stop his crop from getting harvested. Nearly 1,400 acres harvested in one day. Quite an impressive feat by any stretch. A community coming together to help out another man. It should make every farmer proud to be involved in such a giving occupation. With all the long hours this time of year, be safe out there and God bless.


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