Last week, harvest and tillage work made some progress. Conditions were not ideal for corn harvest, but those with corn still out pushed hard in front of the Thursday rain. Many are happy their tillage is way ahead of where we were in 2018. It appears fall anhydrous is still behind where we are most years. As 2019 continues to close for many, all of us are ready for a new year and hopeful for a normal 2020. In Champaign County, it seems the range on corn has been anywhere from 125 to 245, and soybeans from 35 to the mid-70s. Lower yields came from the northern part of the county on thinner soils that also suffered from little rain. Generally speaking, as you travel south to Interstate 74, yields improved. Those of us south of 74 mostly had good yields. It was a strange year planting in wet conditions, areas suffering from green snap, late aphid pressure, poor standability and wet conditions in late fall. I think we all learned a lot in 2019, but hopefully we won’t need to use that knowledge anytime soon!
Last weekend, great progress was made in the fields. More of the few remaining bean fields were taken out along with the continued corn harvest. Tillage work was also in full swing with more anhydrous going on. There is certainly more fall tillage work done this year at this time than last year. Everything came to a halt when the snow and cold came in Monday (Nov 11). As you drive around the county, there are still a handful of bean fields. I would estimate 10 to 15% of the corn is still left in the fields. Midweek provided an opportunity for some to start working on corn harvest again.
Harvest drug on another week. The weather has provided a couple of days for soybean cutting. I would estimate less than 5% of soybeans are left in the county. Corn harvest got tough last week as elevators got long lines of wet corn and started to close early. Most of the corn left in the countryside is well above 20%. The southern part of the county continues to have better yields than the north. It also seems drainage and rainfall have been more key this year rather than planting date.
In my short years of living, I was hoping to not see another year similar to 2009 until late in my life. It seems 2019 is giving us a run for our money. Last weekend, we received about 2 inches of rain from the all-day rain event. By Tuesday afternoon, conditions had improved enough that some got in the field to pick corn and work at getting closer to finishing. Tuesday into Wednesday, we received another 1 ½ inches. I was calling ourselves “lucky” because it wasn’t snow like folks to the north. Halloween changed all of that when we received our share of snow. I would estimate we walked in at least 3 inches of snow as we took our boys out trick-or-treating. I am hopeful for better weather next week so harvest can be completed. I would estimate 10% of beans and more than 30% of corn are still out in the fields in the county.