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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 woke up to a thunderstorm Sunday morning (July 16) about 4:30 a.m., and received .75 of an inch of rain. The area varied up to 1.75 inches. We were lucky enough to get .2 of an inch of rain Wednesday and again Thursday morning. Corn is pollinating well with brown silk on lots of it. Beans in the area are early R2 to late R2 and look pretty good, unless neighbors spray their beans with dicamba that later drifts onto your conventional beans and cups the leaves badly. This is happening all over Stark County. Even when all the spray is put down with all the proper tips, drift prevention products, etc., the dicamba is still moving around. It probably is by inversion, but no one can say for sure. It's got to be addressed and soon. We sprayed beans for an outbreak of giant ragweed Tuesday. It got so hot Wednesday that we quit spraying. The first sweet corn from Stark County is mature, and we had some for supper a couple of times.


We got around an inch of rain at my farm early Tuesday morning. The markets responded well, and a lot of corn and beans were sold at the highest prices in a year. Not much spraying with the rain we received, but we'll be at it this weekend, I think. Japanese beetles are eating vegetation at a rapid pace. Lots of them in trees, bean fields, and now eating corn silk. I mowed under an apple tree and was attacked by hundreds of them. Not a lot of fun. Be safe out there!


We went on a little road trip last week scouting corn and beans down Interstate 74 toward Cincinnati where the Cubs played, coincidently. Didn't see any corn that was as good as last year. Southeast Indiana was the worst with corn barely knee-high and most all beans stunted by too much water. Around Columbus, Ohio, corn looked good, but is still shorter than it should be on July 4. Beans in Ohio are a disaster. Water damage everywhere. Lots of acres have been replanted. This year’s crop is not going to average 48 bushels per acre. I'd guess corn below 165. Finally, the market caught on that this is not a huge crop, although wheat has been dragging corn and beans higher. Back to spraying beans next week.


We had 0.5 of an inch of rain Thursday night, June 22, but then we had four of the nicest days I can remember for Illinois in late June. We sprayed beans Saturday, then took it easy for the rest of the weekend. A neighbor cut hay that day. We sprayed beans Monday and Tuesday and finished the first post-spray this summer. We included some micronutrients, trying to increase yield. We had some dirty, first-planted beans that we haven't figured out yet what we did wrong with the preplant herbicides. The vast majority of acres is very clean. Not sure if it's cool temperatures, field cultivator depth, or something else. We had a little rain Wednesday and then a big straight line windstorm about midnight that caused some green snap in the tallest corn. Subsoil moisture is very adequate for late June. Grain markets are still negative, with corn losing 20 cents in the last two weeks and beans nearly at $9 even.