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Stark County

Gary Steward

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


We were rained out last Tuesday when a couple of deluges hit us. There was very little harvest activity Wednesday into Thursday morning. We went back to corn and are waiting for the beans to dry out again. I would guess Stark County is 70 percent done with corn and 40 percent with soybeans. We need a nice Indian summer this week.


Another good week of harvesting as many of us completed harvest before weekend rain. Seems like there are more soybeans left than corn in parts of the county. Fall tillage will be the next task in a more relaxed atmosphere. Elevators and farmers’ bins are full across the country. Is there anything that will move the market besides a 2019 drought or a Chernobyl incident?


Everyone has the hammer down now to get this crop out of the field. Long days turn into tired farmers. Make sure you and your team are as safe as possible. Some farmers changed from cutting soybeans to picking corn as the early beans were all harvested. I’m hearing excellent soybean yields from several friends, but no one wants to admit actual yields. Lots of cornfields are disappearing. Corn yields in Stark County are excellent also, though maybe not quite as good as last year. A storm with 60 mph wind came through Tuesday with torrential rain. It blew trees and power poles down along with several cornfields. We ended up with only an inch of rain. It was so dry, everyone was back picking corn by 1 p.m. Wednesday.


So many days of 85 to 90 degrees has really pushed this crop to maturity. Soybeans are being cut, and unfortunately, USDA’s Sept. 12 yield report was not far off. Yields have been way above average. We started corn Monday (Sept. 17) with some 114-day corn at 22.6 percent moisture. Most guys are cutting beans now. Some were down to 9.9 percent Sunday. This week, we hosted thousands of monarch butterflies. Apparently, they are attracted to buckwheat, which is planted across the road from us. They rest in our trees and flutter around all day. My wife spread our news on social media, and it was picked up by national news and broadcast all over the country. What a sight to behold! They are beautiful creatures.