A trying harvest season


A wet Livingston County soybean field is shown last week / CIFN photo.

COLFAX – It can be tough to remain patient when it is the first of November and you still have soybeans standing out in the field.


Just ask Colfax farmer Gerald Thompson. He is hopeful for below normal precipitation in the extended weather forecast after the past two weeks have caused him and others in Central Illinois to sit on the harvest sidelines.


“Hopefully we are not going to get to that point where we have to wait for it to freeze,” Thompson told The Central Illinois Farm Network on Monday. “I don’t think it’s to the point where we need to go out and make messes because that’s just long-term bad news for us.”


Thompson has all of his corn harvested and just started on soybeans ahead of the rains. He plans to let things dry before heading out to try it again.


“We have a ways to go,” admits Thompson.


Like many growers this fall, Thompson experienced disease pressure in corn. Tar spot did some damage resulting in lower test weights since the corn was not able to mature normally. Overall, Thompson feels fortunate.


“We did apply fungicide on all of our acres so I think that paid dividends.”


Several of Thompson’s fields received excess rain during the growing season leading to ponding water and some crop damage. Corn often has a difficult time recovering from early season saturation.


“Excessive rains always take a toll on the crop,” Thompson observed.


With skyrocketing input costs, farmers face plenty of uncertainty heading into the next season. Thompson has some prices already locked in for 2022 after booking his needs early.


“Availability is even the bigger issue. Even if you can pay for it, you might not be able to get it,” he said.


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