Cropwatchers
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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.

10/12/2018

Last week saw some major gains in corn and soybean harvest. With temperatures in the upper 80s to low 90s, it seems like every soybean field has matured at once. Even some of the double crops are looking ready to cut, which is fairly early for this area. Yields still seem to be holding strong, and only limited harvest trouble was reported last week. I know all the long hours will take its toll on everyone. Please be safe out there, and good luck on the grind ahead.

10/5/2018

Jackson County finally got rolling again. Not without some headaches - mud and soybeans not drying down, but at least we are harvesting. Yields seem to be pretty good so far. Fungicide applications in both corn and soybeans have also been looking very good. Still a lot of crop in the field in our area. With these good yields, it sure would be nice to see a bump in the prices, but I guess that’s just wishful thinking. Good luck and be careful out there.

9/28/2018

It’s like we can’t catch a break. It seems like every time we get a chance to get into the field, a front comes through and dumps more rain. Since my last report, we had some major rains come through and harvest has all but stopped. Fields are getting wetter and wetter, and it’s looking like we will be playing in the mud for quite some time. I had close to 5 inches last week, and all of it came in a slow rain that soaked in. There is still corn to harvest and very few beans have been cut. Let’s hope this week will give us a break to get things rolling again. Good luck and God bless.

9/21/2018

Harvesting of corn and soybeans continued last week. We started harvesting Monday and stayed in corn all week trying to remove the areas that died prematurely. Thursday, most local farmers were harvesting corn as it was below 15 percent. This morning (Friday), it rained .1 of an inch, which will help keep farmers in corn in the short term. Our Group 3.4 soybeans are ready now. We are curious to see their production after being planted into strip-till with fertilizer. Corn yields vary quite a bit due to areas that prematurely died during the hot, dry weather. Local closing prices for Sept. 20 were $3.05, nearby corn; $3.25, January corn; $7.84, nearby soybeans; $8.08, January soybeans.