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.

7/21/2017

Summer heat returned with a vengeance. We did get some relief Sunday night (July 16) after scattered storms moved through the area. Unfortunately, the rainfall varied from a few drops to 2.8 inches, depending on the location. There are many areas still in need of a good, soaking rain. Recently, there has been several reports of dicamba herbicide damage on soybean fields in the county. The symptoms of the damage are obvious by the cupped leaves and stacked nodes of the plant. The extent of damage won't be known for quite some time. Local grain bids are corn, $3.55; soybeans, $9.99; wheat, $4.80. Have a cool, safe week.

7/14/2017

Daytime temperatures heated to more than 100 degrees last week, adding stress to crops growing under dry conditions. We haven't received rain for more than a week. Corn planted in late-April and early-May is starting to pollinate. Several cornfields have plants with lower leaves beginning to fire. The warm, dry weather was a good opportunity to make hay for several farmers. Even some second-crop beans or milo was planted into wheat stubble this week. Several fields of double-cropped soybeans received a post-herbicide treatment, since this crop has been growing for more than three weeks. We continue to pray for rain. Local grain bids are corn, $3.35; soybeans, $9.48; wheat, $4.87. Stay cool, and have a safe week.

7/7/2017

Last week, we had scattered rain showers pass through the county. After two showers, I accumulated approximately 1 inch of rain. Combined with 90-degree temperatures, crops have an ideal growing condition. After the changing weather fronts moved through the region, winds were calmer than the previous week. Post-herbicide applications on the soybean crop were quickly done. Other fieldwork being done is mowing of field edges and waterways. Crop scouting for weeds, insects and crop health is taking priority. Early-planted soybeans are about knee-high and starting to bloom. I've noticed the presence of Japanese beetles for over a week, but populations currently seem to be low. Local grain bids are corn, $3.54; soybeans, $9.59; wheat, $5.15. Have a safe week.

6/30/2017

Last week was warmer than the previous one. Daytime temperatures were in the low to mid-90s. Warm winds and the lack of rain didn't help the comfort levels either. Several cornfields have fully tasseled, while additional fields will be tasseling around the Fourth of July. Corn plants were showing signs of heat stress as the temperatures climbed and the demand for moisture by these plants increases daily. A good, soaking rain would help this crop along. The soybean crop continues to develop nicely as the plants' canopy is starting to cover between the rows. Farmers and custom spray applicators were frustrated this week since high winds during the day limited herbicide application to only a few short hours in the morning. Double-cropped soybeans had adequate moisture for emergence. Like the other crops, a good rain would help keep this crop moving forward. For the dinner plate, sweet corn grown in the area has made its way to the roadside stands and market just in time for Independence Day meals. Local grain bids are: corn, $3.34; soybeans, $8.96; and wheat, $4.74. Have an enjoyable Fourth of July.