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Stark County

Gary Steward

Gary Steward of Toulon Il., grows corn and soybeans, and custom farms with his son, David.


Not much has been accomplished lately due to rain. Farmers were back in the fields Thursday trying to finish. Several chisel plows were going, too, as the end is in sight. We finished cleaning all the harvest equipment Thursday. It felt good backing it into the shed for another year. It was another great year, except for the trade war. We’ve had six straight good crop years. The only thing keeping many of us going is the great yields we’ve produced. Plan carefully for next year. The odds that we might have a poor crop are increasing. It was great writing this report for another year. Thank you for the kind comments that you have given me this year. I’m very proud to be part of Illinois agriculture.


The story in Stark County is mostly post-harvest activities. Lots of fertilizer is being applied and tillage right behind it. Cleanup of combines, grain carts, etc., is also going on. There are a few fields of both corn and beans in the area still standing, but they will disappear soon. We had good yields this year with the corn about 8 bushels better than last year. The beans were about the same as last year, though one field we had was 7 bushels better.


Other than a short day Friday (Oct. 19), we had great weather for a week. Saturday was the big wind day. It blew some more corn down. Monday made up for it -- a perfect October harvest day. Most of us cut beans every day. Many farmers have wrapped up harvest and are doing tillage, spreading fertilizer and limestone. I saw the first anhydrous ammonia being applied Tuesday. We finished soybeans Thursday. Lots of farmers will wrap this fall up next week, except for tillage.


We picked corn last week and managed to get below 200 acres left to pick. We changed to beans Wednesday afternoon, and they were under 14 percent so we cut late Wednesday night. Beautiful clear skies but rather chilly for Oct. 17. Still, it was a good feeling to finally get back to cutting soybeans. Rule one of harvest is whenever beans are dry enough to cut, everything else comes to a halt. That’s how important it is to harvest beans. Photos of Iowa’s crop being wet, and beans popping out of pods are catastrophic. Corn harvest is getting down to the last acres. Stark County is probably 85 percent done.