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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.


Besides being behind schedule, crops are looking good around here. I had 1.25 inches of rain last week, so that should keep us going for a little while. Of course, the big story this week was the rise and fall of the grain market. It was fun while it lasted, but it has been brutal since then. The basis hasn’t helped matters either. While the markets were rising, the spread between cash and futures were widening, and they haven’t narrowed up after the fallen futures prices. Thursday’s bid at the local elevator was just $3.21 a bushel.


It will be interesting to see if the old-time axiom holds true that corn needs to be knee-high by the Fourth of July for a good crop. I would guess that maybe 10 percent of the corn crop around here wasn’t much over that. One thing nice about the plantings spread out as far as they were, it was easy to stay on top of things with the sprayer. Japanese beetles have moved in by the masses attacking plants in my yard, but I haven’t seen too much damage out in the soybean fields. There were a few pop-up showers this week, but only a couple of our fields got enough moisture to amount to anything.


No report this week.


It was about as good a week as you could hope for the growing crop. We had almost 2.25 inches of rain since my last report. Temperatures hovered around the 80-degree area, and there were a few good days to get some spraying done. The grain market has noticed that, too. Corn is back down to the bottom end of its old trading range, and soybeans are testing just as poorly at $9. That’s a tough pill to swallow.