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Stark County

Gary Steward

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


What a difference a dry, warm week has made in the crops. Most beans have now turned color and are rapidly heading to full maturity. A couple of bean fields were cut Monday (Sept. 18). I didn't hear yields, but they looked good. I had more than 0.5 of an inch of welcome rain Monday night, but it varied countywide. A heavy fog Tuesday morning slowed everyone down. We intended to start picking corn, but decided to wait. We took six loads of wet corn to the elevator Wednesday. They averaged 26 percent moisture. Yield was OK, but with calibration just completed, I can't say for sure what the yield is. Lots of guys were picking corn or cutting beans in the area.


One of the neighbors dipped into an early cornfield Sept. 8, but it was 30 percent so decided to wait a few days to keep going. On Monday (Sept. 11), a couple of farmers were picking corn but not pushing real hard. Moisture was at 27 percent and yields good, but not as good as the last two years. Beans are changing color slowly. You can tell who is spraying a lot of foliar feed and fungicides because those beans are still green. Lots of combines out of the shed with maintenance projects the focus. Several guys are still mowing roadsides. Anything to keep busy while the corn dries down. No rain for a couple of weeks now. Temperatures have been very comfortable.


Another week of nice weather in Stark County. No measurable amounts of moisture to talk about. Our corn is slowly drying, and soybeans are finally starting to turn color, but harvest is at least couple of weeks away for the majority of us. I think the guys with lots of acres will be going next week. Preparation for harvest is the main thing going on here. Several combines have been pulled out of storage. We replaced several bearings on our corn head and rebuilt both bean cutting bars. We found there are a multitude of sickle sections on a 35-foot bean head.


We had a nice week in Stark County with cool, comfortable temperatures that aren't helping crops mature very much. We had .5 of an inch of rain Monday night (Aug. 28). We've had enough rain in August that has certainly helped the soybeans. Corn is slowly inching toward black layer, but hasn't gotten there yet. A couple of friends have hand sampled 45 percent corn. One neighbor cut silage last week, so it must have been near 40 percent moisture. Lots of preparation for harvest is under way. Lots of corn being delivered to the river and ethanol plants, probably under duress.