Buntings rolling through harvest season


Combines make their way through McLean County fields in September / CIFN file photo.

EMINGTON – After a busy start to harvest, Livingston County Farm Bureau president and farmer Jason Bunting was able to take a breather last week during the rain delay.


The Buntings started harvesting corn back on Sept. 17 and have only cut a few beans at this point. They are dealing with many of the same issues other farmers are this fall such as tar spot in corn.


“Our crops kind of died off on us and ran out of juice instead of maturing naturally,” Bunting told The Central Illinois Farm Network. “We are slowly progressing through harvest.”


The same weekend they started on corn, Bunting did a fourth cutting of hay as they run about 230 acres of hay in that area. Hay harvest typically begins around Memorial Day each year and they try to finish up by the end of September.


“I’ll be honest, we had some beautiful weather there for the first part of October. We laid some more down and baled some up before the last rain.”


As long as a killing frost stays away for the next two or three weeks, the hay crop should weather good.


Bunting feels farmers around Livingston County are optimistic with higher prices, which are always helpful, but this comes with high inputs. Also, growers are keeping a close eye on fuel costs.


“When I talk across the county with certain board members and farmer friends, they are extremely happy with the yields so far,” Bunting said.


Like Cub fans, farmers often look to the next year too.


The Livingston County Farm Bureau was hoping to hold the annual Ag Expo for kids at the Livingston County Fairgrounds last week but the event was rained out. Ag Literacy coordinator and Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District representative Debbie Ruff organizes the program.


“Mother Nature just didn’t give us the weather we needed,” Bunting admitted.


Bunting and other Livingston County Farm Bureau members are preparing for the annual Illinois Farm Bureau meeting in early December. As of right now, delegates plan to gather in Chicago for the meeting to discuss policies important to Illinois farmers with plenty of debate and discussion.

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