After driving over 300 miles in a couple of days, I feel as if I have conducted my own crop tour from the cab of my pickup.
As I made the trek from Streator to Bloomington for some meetings last Tuesday, I noticed some green healthy looking corn near the LaSalle County border. As I traveled farther south through Livingston and McLean counties I didn’t think the crops looked quite as good. I even noticed a soybean field starting to turn yellow – which means the bean harvest for that guy is only a few weeks away.
I had the honor of attending the Farm Journal Midwest Crop Tour stop in Bloomington Tuesday evening. Scouts on the tour, who spend countless hours examining local corn and soybean fields, noticed quite a bit of variability throughout Illinois.
“It naturally is better (in Illinois) but it is not quite as good as we anticipated it would be,” said tour scout Bill Bayliss, referring to this year’s corn crop. “We were walking in water about two inches deep and some beautiful black dirt underneath. Really, the crop looked good.”
The morning after the local crop tour stop, I hopped in the truck and headed south to Decatur for the media preview of the Farm Progress Show. As I approached Macon County, I noticed cornfields that appeared to be considerably drier than the fields around here. Those farmers may start harvesting in the not too distant future. In fact, organizers with the Farm Progress Show tell me their corn should be ready for harvest in time for the show, although an extremely early maturity was used at planting time.
This year’s Farm Progress Show is supposed to be bigger and better than previous shows. You may recall two streets being added to the grounds in 2009 and the 10-acre addition opened in 2015. The show is really filling up the space near Richland Community College. Take a look if you get the chance this week (the show runs through Thursday).
Maybe I’ll see you roaming the streets and gazing at all of the new farm equipment. Just watch out for all of the golf carts zooming by while you are there.
(The View from the Cab is brought to you each week by Petersen Chevy-Buick in Fairbury)