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Stark County

Gary Steward

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


Very hot and humid conditions have prevailed. Some bean spraying was done, but most are waiting for cooler conditions. Several farmers have cut and baled hay. The markets tried to rally, June 9, but we were slapped in the face Monday with corn down a dime. With the small rally most grain facilities widened the basis, so we're still around $3.60. Last rain here was May 26, so we've gone three weeks without precipitation. Wednesday afternoon, a cold front came through with 60 mph winds, but only left .25 of an inch of rain at my house with some hail just southeast of here. The east part of the county fared better with reports of up to 1 inch of rain. That will sure help. I walked a cornfield after supper Wednesday evening, and some of my corn is waist-high, but some next to it is less than knee-high. There will not be yields comparable to the last two years in Stark County.


I have been comparing last year’s terrific start for corn with this year’s slow start. Sunday (June 4), I walked a couple of fields, and the corn was nearly knee-high with a deep, green color. I didn't think it could grow that fast, and this is my 44th year growing corn. We sprayed lots of corn Thursday and Friday. It looks like a good decision now because this crop will soon be too tall to drive around in. Beans are growing well also, but are a week away from needing attention. We are going to spot in some replant beans where the ground was still compacted by the grain cart last fall. The beans just didn't get planted deep enough to germinate. Monday (June 5) through Thursday were spent spraying corn and beans, sidedressing nitrogen, putting up hay, and delivering corn to the ethanol plant. Summer is here, finally. Be safe whatever you do.


Sunday, May 28, saw field activity pick up with some back to planting soybeans. We finished Wednesday. Several guys have been spraying corn this week. Corn finally looks green and has been growing slowly, but some of it's a foot tall now. Lots of beans have emerged and turned green. When some of them came up, they were as yellow I've ever seen. Sunshine and some heat work wonders.


This may be the shortest report this summer. It rained every day last week. Not great amounts, just enough to keep everyone out of the field. We've had about an inch and a half the past seven days. Soybeans emerged as yellow as I have ever seen. Now we worry about sudden death syndrome in beans because these conditions are perfect for it get started. Corn is not growing much. The markets will surely see the subpar crop, won't they? A year ago, we had knee-high corn June 4. We'll hope for some sunshine soon. There are lots of beans still to plant in this area.