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Stark County

Gary Steward

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


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.


Stark County received nearly 4 inches of rain Sept. 7-8. We haven’t started harvest yet, but some farmers picked corn Monday (Sept. 10). As the week went along, several more started on corn. A few cut soybeans by Wednesday afternoon. Most of our beans are still green. I haven’t heard any yields yet. USDA gave us another low blow with increased national yields for corn and beans.


Labor Day weekend brought more rain into Stark County. We had a half inch or so over the weekend. By Thursday afternoon, we had nearly 3 inches more. Several farmers started corn Tuesday. Reports I’m getting are that we have a good crop, and it’s drier than we suspected. Some 101-day corn was down to 23 percent and some 106-day corn at 26 percent. Soybeans are dropping leaves and turning golden yellow. On a couple trips over the weekend, I saw several bean fields very close to being ready to harvest when it quits raining.


Aug. 24 we awoke to 1.25 inches of rain that was welcomed by all Stark County farmers. Everyone had smiles at the Friday night football game. We will need to mow our lawn again. It won’t help our corn much, but it will fill out some soybean pods. Early beans are changing color quickly. A friend told me he will be cutting beans by Sept. 15. The hay farm is putting up a fourth cutting of alfalfa. Tuesday morning we got another inch of rain. Tuesday night a storm came through that included wind, but it didn’t blow any crops down. It brought us another 1.5 inches rain, so we’re in pretty good shape. Some will be combining corn by Friday with more starting after Labor Day.