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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.


Harvest screeched to a halt with close to 4 inches of rain since my last report, but the weather has quieted and combines are starting to sneak back into the fields. There are a lot of horror stories about cornfields that were flattened weeks ago and are next to impossible to keep the corn feeding into the machine. Stalk strength is very poor and will continue to hamper efforts to get this crop in. Well over half of the soybeans are left to be harvested here in Lee County, so there will be a tough call to make. Harvest soybeans, as the clock ticks down for good harvest weather, or stay with the corn as stalks continue to deteriorate. Hopefully, this weather will hold and we can make a serious push to get this crop in the bin.


Not a lot of harvest activity this week. We were able to run a couple of days between the rain showers on corn, but the bean platform has not made it out of the shed. The decision as to which field will be harvested next is twofold - is there a firm spot to load trucks and how well is the corn standing.


Tuesday’s rain and wind slowed harvest for a day or two, but will continue to slow harvest in some areas. Strong winds toppled empty bins at the elevator in Milledgeville northwest of me and did a lot of damage to cornfields. We were out of the way from the worst of it and mostly just had the tops taken off the stalks. Others were not as lucky. I drove by a lot of fields that were at least 95 percent broken off below the ears. The sooner this crop gets out of the field the better. Soybean harvest is our main priority, and we are about a third of the way through it. Soybean yields continue to be above average, but not the record-breaker we hoped for.


Harvest began in earnest here in Lee County. Wednesday’s rain slowed things down a bit, but combines started to roll again by Thursday afternoon. We were still on the sidelines as we got our new combine ready to roll after it finally showed up last Friday. A little bit of corn has come out, but everyone is concentrating on soybeans for now. Yields I have heard so far have ranged from 50 on up into the 70s. Those do not sound like record-breaking yields to me, but might be enough to get us above average.