County Image

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.


No report


Just when we thought this soybean crop was getting close to being in the bag, the smorgasbord of diseases have started to appear almost overnight. I’ve seen SDS, stem canker, brown stem rot and various other things. I guess when soybeans are growing hard and fast, so are the diseases. Time will tell what the yield hit will be. Corn, on the other hand, has started to dry down with some being picked in the next 10 days. Most corn in the area looks really good. It’s getting to be that stressful time of year again. Everyone be safe out there.


With the good comes the bad. Another great week of weather here in southern Illinois, but it led to some issues showing up in soybeans. SDS has begun to rear its ugly head, along with some nutrient deficiencies of various types appearing in areas of fields. I think it all has to do with the amount of rain and great growing conditions we have had. Soybeans are growing hard and fast right now, and with our thin soils, supplemental fertilizer and mineralization hasn’t provided enough nutrients to the plants to maintain their color. I guess that’s a good problem in a way. I still expect the crop to be really good in the area.


What great weather we had last week. I had 1.8 inches of rain, and I don’t think a single drop ran off. Every rain we’ve had has been slow and steady with very little wind or nasty weather of any type. I can’t tell you the last time we have had August rains like this. Crops are looking great and seem to be enjoying the weather. Fungicide applications are continuing, and equipment repairs were the activities of the week. School’s about to begin again, and summer is winding down. Harvest will be here before we know it.