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Macon County

Tom Ritter

Tom Ritter is a long-time Cropwatcher and farms near Blue Mound in Macon County.


Harvest just got several days longer with last week’s precipitation. Last Saturday’s 2 inches of rain soaked in fairly fast, but the 1 ½ inches that followed late Tuesday into Wednesday left water standing in the fields. This was followed by 2 inches of snow Thursday, with chilling temps that made any field activity very limited. We are hoping it will firm up enough to go early next week but with no grain carts or trucks in the field. Soybeans are about 90% harvested in this area, but the remaining will be tough to get. Corn is more than 70% complete, but still running with moistures above 20%. The late seedsman Harold Garwood from Stonington always told me that one day in September is worth two in October, three in November and four in December. This is so true.


It was a good weather week with lots of sun and wind, even with some cooler temps. This made for some good bean cutting days. Probably over three-fourths of the bean acreage has been harvested. The wind and sun has not had the drying effect I had hoped for. Corn planted early June is still running in the mid-20s for moisture. Yields have been all over the board. Usually the rich, flat, black soils that normally shine are some of the poorest yields on both corn and soybeans from too much saturation. Fields with any roll to them, even with poorer soil types, are definitely the highest yielders.


It was a good week of harvest, especially for soybeans. Corn and soybeans are both more than 50% harvested. At this point, soybean harvest with the shorter daylight hours has not been the problem I envisioned. My biggest concern at the moment is the slow drying down of the June-planted corn. Early last week, we harvested a load at 29%. A big problem, especially on farms without storage.


A lot of progress was made early last week, but that came to a halt Thursday afternoon. Not sure how long this will delay harvest, especially soybeans, but the cooler, damper conditions will slow field work as well as the drying down of both corn and beans. Thirty to 40% of both the corn and soybeans have been harvested. Most of the drier corn has been harvested. We have June-planted corn still around 30% moisture with the good field drying days behind us. The cooler, shorter days also present a challenge, especially on soybeans.