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St. Clair County

Dave Hankammer

Dave Hankammer farms in a partnership with his brother near Millstadt, approximately 20 miles from St. Louis. They produce corn, soybeans and wheat.


Another growing season is almost behind us. It has been a challenging one. With the wet spring season that delayed planting and flooding of the major rivers, this is one year that needs to be in the books. Unfortunately, despite farmers’ best efforts, harvest still isn’t completed due to the same wet pattern we have experienced all year. Beyond that, crop yields have been good. The Thanksgiving holiday is upon us, and this is our last report of the year. Hopefully, we all will be thankful for the earthly gifts we have and be able to look forward to another year.


We had a few good days of harvest prior to Veterans Day when Mother Nature gave us an early preview of winter weather. As predicted, a wintry mix of rain and snow along with cold winds arrived Monday (Nov. 11), leaving about 1 ½ inches of snow. Wind chill factors dipped down to the zero mark. Farmers made good progress on soybean harvest prior to the snow. However, several fields remain to be harvested. Corn harvest continues despite the recent snowfall. Ground travel through the fields is good as long there aren’t any severe slopes in the field. The thawing snow creates a smeary surface. There has been some fall tillage done since my last report and a field of cornstalks was baled in round bales for winter roughage. Very few farmers can claim they are done with all their fall chores. Local grain bids are corn, $3.70; soybeans, $9.12; wheat, $5.26. Have a safe week.


Corn harvest continued despite muddy ground conditions. Several fields of corn have disappeared since my last report. Grain moisture remains the limiting factor to a quick harvest. Grain moisture in corn ranges from 18% to 22%. Some of the river terminals have set a 17% maximum moisture level before delivery rejection. This forces farmers to dry a greater number of bushels of corn than normal. Farmers switched to soybeans after several dry, windy days. Combines rolled until a light, drizzly rain moved through the area midweek. A daylong rain that soaked the crop left .1 of an inch. Cold air forced daytime temps into the upper 30s, which also slowed dry down of standing crops. Local grain bids are corn, $3.69; soybeans, $9.22; wheat, $5.16. Have a safe week.


It’s ironic that I’m writing this report on Halloween since our weather took a frightful change during the past week. Temperatures went from mid-50s down to the upper 20s. Fields have turned muddy after we received more than 2 inches of rain during several days. We even saw a few snowflakes. With a blend of crops remaining in the fields, I started to get the feeling of deja vu, remembering the extended harvest of 2018. The cold, wet weather also started on Halloween night in 2018. A chilling memory. Despite the rain last week, farmers were able to harvest corn for a couple of days before conditions became wet. Local grain bids are corn, $3.82; soybeans, $9.13; wheat, $4.77. Have a safe week.