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A great run so far

A soybean pod shown in a Livingston County field Monday morning / CIFN photo.

Central Illinois farmers have had a great run for the 2021 harvest so far.

Dennis Wentworth who farms around Downs in McLean County started harvest in early September, taking advantage of the nice weather which helped dry down corn. Wentworth is disappointed in corn yields due to excess water this year.

“As a farm manager told me the other day, ‘water, water, water’ and that pretty much sums up the corn yields,” Wentworth told The Central Illinois Farm Network on Monday.

Wentworth has experienced better results for soybeans with yields running average to above average. He held off on trying soybeans until he was certain they were ready out in the field.

“A lot of guys are still in corn and haven’t touched beans at all,” Wentworth said.

Soybean moisture samples taken to the grain elevator have been plenty dry with many growers struggling with green stems and leaves on the plants. The recent rainfall should help the situation.

Back in August, Wentworth and other farmers thought it would be the first of October before harvest really started but a few weeks of above-normal temperatures and dry weather brought the crops along rapidly. Wentworth hopes everyone stays safe out there, especially after three weeks of nonstop harvest activity.

“It’s a marathon – not a sprint here right now. We’ve still got a long way to go.”

Randy Francis, who farms with his son in McLean and Livingston counties, is almost done with corn, as they still have to harvest a test plot for Heartland Bank. Francis is a third done with his soybean harvest. He has been pleased with bean yields but corn is spotty.

“It is still pretty good but not what we were expecting,” Francis explained.

Corn took the final two weeks of the season pretty hard with all of the hot weather. Francis sprayed fungicide on corn but still experienced tar spot and disease pressure which impacted stalk quality.

“In some places, it was a challenge.”

Once harvest is complete for Francis, he plans to do some chisel plowing and strip till on next year’s corn acres.


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