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Untouched stalks a concern

A staff agronomist for Diversified Crop Insurance Services has one concern as we head into the 2019 growing season: untouched fields of stalks.

“We can no-till some soybeans, but if a guy is thinking corn on corn with untouched stalks at this point in the game, it would really make me concerned,” said Mike Toohill during a meeting in Fairbury last week.

Toohill is not a fan of deep tillage in the spring or “freeze” chiseling as these methods don’t tend to work out well. For soybeans, it is difficult to plant early into no-till stalks versus a worked field.

Many, including Toohill, observed a unique season in 2018. Northern Illinois got surprised with tar spot and late season dry weather issues popped up in Livingston County.

“My brother farms on the McLean/DeWitt county line and had the best crop we’ve ever grown,” Toohill explained.

Even though it was a record crop for Illinois, yields were still quite variable across different counties. Toohill was surprised to still see some growers in the field last week as he traveled to Fairbury. One farmer was cutting beans near Towanda while another was shelling corn near Lexington.

Toohill is busy traveling to meetings this time of year and has traveled in the past week to Quincy, Mt. Vernon and Madison, Wisconsin.

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