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.

5/19/2017

Last week was a very good one for the planters to roll. Unfortunately, some of the acres planted were the same ones planted earlier this spring. Although it was mostly cornfields with water damage, I did learn a few early-planted soybean fields were also replanted. Since field conditions were dry, farmers wrapped up corn plantings and switched to soybeans. Herbicide applications were a big challenge with high winds gusting up to 40 miles per hour. Combined with 90-degree temperatures, the dry weather was a good opportunity for farmers to make a first cutting of hay. The wheat crop is showing signs of maturing with the green color fading to a lighter shade. Last but not least, the first harvest of the year has started as crowds of people head to the pick-your-own strawberry fields to gather baskets of the flavorful fruit. Local grain bids are corn, $3.50; soybeans, $9.25; wheat, $4.11. Have a safe week.

5/12/2017

Last week was mostly a time for fields to dry out from the recent heavy rains and for farmers to assess damage to their recently planted cornfields. Crop adjusters were busy inspecting fields to approve them for replant claims. Some tillage and corn planting was done about midweek on well-drained, rolling fields. Applications of herbicides were done in an attempt to catch up to the corn planters and to this year’s soybean fields before the next round of forecast rain. Mississippi River grain terminals remained closed due to the dangerously high water levels of the river. Local grain bids are corn, $3.48; soybeans, $9.44; wheat, $4.08. Have a safe week.

5/5/2017

I think I need a larger rain gauge. Since my last report, we have received between 8 to 9 inches of rain. Rivers and streams were overflowing due to the large amount of runoff from already soggy fields and the extended rainfall event which occurred throughout the Midwest. St. Louis grain terminals were shut down due to high water levels of the Mississippi River. Fieldwork has been on hold all week and will be for quite some time. Young corn plants are yellow and seedling emergence is slow due to the cool, wet conditions. Plant survival is in question due to the waterlogged soils and cool temperatures. Wheat fields are showing signs of wind damage with areas of lodged plants through the field. Time will tell how this rain event will affect this wheat crop. Local grain bids are corn, $3.44; soybeans, $9.44; wheat $4.09. Have a safe week.

4/28/2017

Last week, farmers made great progress with fieldwork. With a short delay due to light rain, a large number of corn acres were planted. This continued through Wednesday when rain moved through the area, leaving more than 2 inches of rainfall in some areas. We were enjoying daytime temperatures near 80 degrees until the rain moved through the region and cooled it down to the 60s. Corn planted prior to Easter weekend has emerged and can be easily seen down the row. A significant number of corn acres were planted after the holiday and have emerged. Wheat is developing nicely with few issues. Fungicide was applied last week with the emergence of the flag leaf. This treatment was applied to wheat fields grown mostly for seed. Local grain bids are corn, $3.50; soybeans, $9.32; wheat, $3.95. Have a safe week.