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View from the Cab: Harvest hope

(CIFN file photo)

Many farmers are ready to move on from 2019 and never look back.

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves, we have to focus on the pending harvest season. Harvest is my favorite time of the year and driving the combine up and down the field gives me more joy than anything else I do on the farm.

Some have asked me before why I like combining so much. I guess it is just the thought of bringing in all of that year’s hard work and seeing what kinds of yields we get. Sure, I don’t mind putting seed in the ground in the spring because that sets the stage for the season but the real results come once we harvest a field.

I just saw a few photos on my Facebook news feed of someone wrapping-up their 2019 corn harvest in Louisiana. They supposedly had yields of over 200 bushels per acre when they normally see numbers in the 230-250 range. This makes me wonder what we will see around here. Early indications point to decent crops which were planted in late April and early May but not so great crops that were planted in June.

The Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour revealed an Illinois average yield of 171.17 bushels per acre this year. The low end came in reporting district five with a yield of 164.75. The highest number was 185.36 reported in district two. By comparison, 2018’s Illinois average was 192.63 and the three-year average for Illinois corn from 2016-18 was 188.95.

Soybeans can be a bit tougher to predict but the numbers are looking lower than previous years, according to Pro Farmer. The Illinois average pod count in a 3’x3’ square was 997.68. This compares to 1328.91 in 2018 and the three-year average of 1292.59.

Since the Pro Farmer Midwest Crop Tour is behind us, farmers will have something new to talk about at this week’s Farm Progress Show in Decatur. These are extremely interesting times for the industry and I am anxious to see the overall vibe from those attending the show. Will farmers have a spring in their step because they are at one of the biggest outdoor events in the country or will they hang their heads low due to these trying times?

(The View from the Cab blog is powered each week by Petersen Motors in Fairbury)

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