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McLean County

Brian Schaumburg

Brian Schaumburg farms near Chenoa in northern McLean County.


The year 2019 in review? Too wet, too cold, delayed fertilizer applications, tariffs, late plant, prevent plant, spray deadline extended, degree days struggle, market peaks early July, Trump money (remember, trade wars are easy to win), too dry, questionable USDA yield reports, black layer worries, late start to harvest, continued strong basis, weak futures, late start to harvest, better than expected yields (for some), wet corn and green beans, scarce propane, too wet again, record-low temps and still a lot of harvest to go! Time to call it a career. See you at the auction Dec. 5!


Another week of propane supply delivery problems continued to hamper corn harvest efforts. Some have gone more than a week without a refill, and there is little relief in sight. Record cold temps and 1 to 4 inches of snow halted most NH3 applications, but some tillage and fertilizer spreads were completed. Few, if any, ground piles are seen, lending many to believe this crop is not as big as projected. Conspiracy theories abound. Retirement is looking better and better. Corn, $3.70; January, $3.73; new crop ‘20, $3.69; beans, $8.80, January, $8.85; new crop ’20, $9.01; wheat, $4.59.


Record-low temps and high moistures have slowed corn dryers to the point where elevators have resorted to earlier than usual closing times, as wet holding capacity is maxed out. Beans are nearing completion, but corn has a couple weeks to go. NH3 application and tillage work are gaining momentum since soils have dried out considerably. Some propane rationing has been mentioned. Futures are anemic and basis is doing all the work. Corn, $3.65; January, $3.68; fall ‘20, $3.69; beans, $8.96; January, $9.04; fall ’20, $9.22.


Inclimate weather will make the last 50% of harvest much more difficult than previously thought. About 20% of the beans and 40% of corn remain. Drying systems will be tested to the max as moisture stays in the high 20s and low 30s. Ear drop and lodging are problems. Basis stays strong, but the CBOT has yet to rally. Corn, $3.83; January, $3.86; new ’20, $3.75; beans, $8.81; January, $8.92; new ’20, $9.16.