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Macon County

Tom Ritter

Tom Ritter is a long-time Cropwatcher and farms near Blue Mound in Macon County.


First report in a long time I have sent with a smile. The weekend of June 9-10 and brought a much-needed 3-plus inches of rain. The dry soils soaked up almost all with little standing water or runoff. Some areas, especially to the south, received 5 to 10 inches causing greater problems. With the fresh drink, both corn and soybeans responded with rapid growth and excellent plant color. Almost all fieldwork has been completed, so there was no delay of field activities.


Another week with no rain. Our cornfields are looking like pineapple fields with the corn rolling up it’s leaves by noon to protect itself from moisture loss. Soybeans are also slow growing, even on the dark soils. Middle of May was the last time we had a measurable half-inch of rain, with almost a month before another good rain. Right now we are suffering a double loss with stressed crops and a big hit in the markets because of all the rain -- somewhere. Fieldwork has been completed, and we’ll see very little activity until the planes fly on fungicides.


It is going to take more than a hurricane to bring a much-needed rain. All of the days with rain in the forecast yielded only numerous trace amounts. Overall, crops look good at this point, but we are using up subsoil moisture, and we are a long way from harvest. The corn, in particular, is having to root down early. Field activity is winding down with herbicide post-application on soybeans the major activity. A lot of communication going on between growers concerning which fields are Dicamba and which are not.


Since the last report, I had .7 to an inch of rain. A few spots had 3 inches, but most areas came up dry. Planting is pretty well complete, but the early planted corn and soybeans have a definite advantage at this point with deeper roots. Sidedressing is wrapping up. Post-application of corn herbicide application is complete, but we’re still in the middle of soybean herbicides. Overall, I would rate the crop good to very good, but we need a lot of inches of rain before harvest.