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Lee County

Larry Hummel

Larry Hummel of Dixon has been farming with his brother since 1975 in the corner of Lee, Ogle, and Whiteside counties. They raise corn, soybeans, and a little wheat.


A big shout out and a thank you to Gov. Bruce Rauner for approving the emergency harvest permit allowing a 10 percent increase in gross vehicle weight for vehicles hauling agricultural commodities. The process was fairly simple, although a little time consuming. The permits were free, but you needed one from the state, and each county and township that had roads under their jurisdiction. It’s starting to dry off a bit, so the harvest pace is picking back up. There’s a chance of a light rain in the 10-day forecast. If we can get through that OK, harvest in northern Illinois should be on the downhill side.


Rains held off long enough last week that we were able to finish soybean harvest, and now we can concentrate on corn. Moisture levels are running between 18 and 20 percent, but at some point, we will get into corn that was planted the last week of May and the first couple of days of June. If the moisture is around 25 percent, the dryer won’t be able to keep up. Yields are running average to above.


Another .75 of an inch of rain to start the week pushed back what I hoped would be the finish of our soybean harvest. We were able to get back in the field Thursday afternoon when the moisture of the beans dropped to almost 16 percent. Not where I usually want to start, but the weather forecast for Friday night (Oct. 27) is for snow showers. If things work out, and we can get an earlier start Friday, we should be able to finish just ahead of the snow, I hope.


Another 4 inches of rain last week brings our two-week total up to 6 inches. It’s hard to believe we could get that much rain and the fields are still firm enough for getting trucks in and out. If only we could have gotten some of that back in August when it would have made a huge impact on soybean yields. Lighter soils ran out of water early, and yields are in the 40s. In contrast, soybeans grown in good dirt are averaging more than 80 bushels per acre.