Cropwatchers
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St. Clair County

Dave Hankammer

Dave Hankammer farms in a partnership with his brother near Millstadt, approximately 20 miles from St. Louis. They produce corn, soybeans and wheat.

9/22/2017

Daytime highs of 97 degrees set new historical weather records for the area. Lack of rain and warm weather is drying out lawns and fields. Several fields of soybeans quickly changed from yellow to brown. Harvest of these fields may start in the near future. A few cornfields were harvested last week. Our latest corn sample was 6 to 7 percentage points drier than last week. We will start shelling corn this week. Although it seems early to talk about pumpkins, I've noticed the large, orange globes on display at a couple of roadside stands. Another sign that the fall season is upon us. Local grain bids are corn, $3.03; soybeans, $9.47; and wheat, $4.13. Have a safe week, and happy harvesting.

9/15/2017

Last week was dry except for .1 of an inch of rain that was a remnant of Hurricane Irma. Temperatures during the week increased to mid-to-upper 80s. The dry conditions are aiding the corn crop to dry down in the field. Corn harvest has been increasing at a slow pace. A few of the earliest-planted fields have been shelled out. Most of the activity seems to be in the river bottoms or areas that had been dry most of the season. Yields varied from 40 to 120 bushels per acre in these moisture-stressed areas. We did a test run in a field, and the moisture level of the sample was 28 percent. We need to wait a little. The soybean fields are continually changing to a brighter yellow color. No activity there. A couple of alfalfa fields were cut and made into hay without rain. Local grain bids are corn, $3.11; soybeans, $9.61; wheat, $4.10. Have a safe week.

9/8/2017

Labor Day weekend weather was appropriate for a summer holiday. We had warm days and cool evenings that made any outdoor activities enjoyable. We received about .2 of an inch of rain on Labor Day evening. During an evening trip to a meeting outside the county, I realized the wide range of crop maturity. Several fields of corn were brown and close to being harvested, while other fields are still drying down and are about two weeks from harvest. Last week, we had a full moon and many of the first-crop soybean fields started to quickly change leaf color to yellow. Harvest for this crop is several weeks away. Local grain bids are corn, $3.17; soybeans, $9.51; wheat, $3.93. Have a safe week.

9/1/2017

The last week of August was a mild one. It may be a blessing we didn't receive any of the rain associated with Hurrican Harvey, knowing the devastation that occurred in Texas. Crops at this point may not handle such harsh weather. Farmers in the area continue to chop corn silage. Several fields of corn in the river bottoms and in the southern part of the county have been harvested for grain. Corn in the drier parts of the county has dried up and turned brown. Some early-planted soybeans are starting to change color as the plants are beginning to mature. Other color changes may be related to other plant issues, such as diseases or fertility problems in those areas. Local grain bids are corn, $3.20; soybeans, $9.28; wheat, $3.87. Have a safe week.