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Focus turns to crop scouting


Chuck and Dianne Hanley work at the St. Mary's food booth at last summer's Livingston County Fair.

SAUNEMIN – Chuck Hanley, who farms near Saunemin in Livingston County, was lucky enough to get everything planted and his crops look good.


The Saunemin area received between 0.8 and 0.9 inches of rain last Friday.


“That just really helped,” Hanley told The Central Illinois Farm Network.


Hanley has noticed fewer planters out in the fields as the season winds down and growers turn their attention to other field activities like spraying and side dressing. When traveling back from Champaign the other day, Hanley only saw two soybean planters in the field – one just south of Gibson City and the other south of Saunemin.


“I’d say soybean planting in the area is about 95-98 percent done.”


Hanley and other farmers nearby never really had to worry about too much replanting. He got some corn planted at the end of April just before that cool, wet spell the first week of May. He finished everything up by late May.


Those soybeans planted 10 days ago have poked through the soil and are looking good. Hanley has also noticed a nice stand of corn.


The Livingston County farmer stays busy as he is also vice chairman of the Livingston County Soil and Water Conservation District.


“We have quite a few programs available to local farmers,” Hanley explained. “They just need to contact Becky Taylor in our office at Pontiac to get signed-up.”


Cover crops have been used on Hanley’s farm for the past 10 years. He no-tills soybeans and is now doing strip-till for corn.


“That seems to be working out really nice. We put a little shot of nitrogen down in the spring and plant right into that nice worked area.”


Like many of the neighbors, Hanley plans to keep the grass mowed as a few have started mowing roadsides already. Scouting fields will be another chore for Hanley throughout the summer months.

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