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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.


Another week in the books, and the progress is still slow. I think we are running out of days to finish up. Last week, we started replanting only to get a couple of inches of rain on it the same day. As I write this report, it was raining again. Farmers with wheat have been struggling, too. There is a lot of downed wheat in some fields, and yields have not been impressive from what I hear. Corn, however, has made good use of all the rain. It seems to be growing nicely and looks good. Good luck out there, and God bless.


We have received 2-4 inches of rain in the last two weeks. Many farmers in the area are fighting to get finished with the first planting of soybeans. Then we can all start replanting what was lost. It’s definitely been one of those years. Corn is finally looking good and starting to get tall. Soybeans that have made it look really good, and wheat harvest is right around the corner. We will see how the rain has affected it. Be safe out there and good luck.


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What happened to getting a nice rain like the weatherman predicted? Last week was filled with multiple heavy rain events, 3 to 6 inches in spots, which fell on top of our ground that was getting terribly dry. Most farmers were either planting really deep, chasing moisture, or really shallow, laying seed in the dry. Perfect storm for a large number of replants. Needless to say, it’s been a tough week in Jackson County. Good luck to the rest of my farming friends out there.