What a week we just had. If we could have controlled the weather for the Iroquois County Fair, we wouldn’t have made it as perfect as it was. I cannot remember a year where it didn’t rain at all, and I don’t think it has ever been as comfortably cool as it was this year. What a gift as it has been very hot the last few years. This was perfect for showing livestock, and food stands and venders were selling out by the end.

As I stated last week, I missed most of the fair because I was on a trip to North Carolina touring farms and processing plants. Wow, what a diverse state. We started in the mountains and ended up on the coast. They are able to grow just about anything with their climate. Home is where I love to be, but I always enjoy seeing how the rest of agriculture does things. North Carolina showed us more hospitality then any other place I’ve ever been. Thank you to the other Illinois young farmers who joined us on that amazing experience.

Well, out in our fields things are also enjoying the unseasonable weather we have had. What a perfect time for the bulk of the corn in my area to be pollinating. Other than the fact that some of the fields will be pollinating for twice as long as normal because of the uneven plants, it’s been probably best-case weather. The early corn is at brown silk, and even the later corn has started the pollination process.

We have had plenty of rain all along this season, and I have noticed that the number of rows around the ears in some cases is more than an average year. I do know some other areas that were dry for longer periods, back when the corn was deciding the rows around the ears, are maybe less than ours. Of course, those areas are rooted far better than our corn is. Not making any predictions here — just keeping in mind sometimes looks can be deceiving, and the crop has a ways to go before we really know the size of the crop. I am still shocked at how little bug and disease pressures are out in the fields. It seems like the ones who always spray fungicide, but only do it if disease is present, are saving the money this year.

I have to tell you after not seeing the soybeans for five days, I was disappointed in them. I think we have a better corn crop in my area than we do soybeans. However, sometimes the beans can surprise us, so it too early to tell. The best-looking early fields have good size and look to be setting a lot of pods. The later ones are flowering and maybe just starting pod setting, but they are not very tall and uneven in size and color.

I hope that we can keep bugs and diseases out of the beans, and that would help a lot. I am disappointed in the recovery of the beans that were hailed on around us that were not totally killed. They were thinned more than I first thought and are very slow to get much growth on them. Time will tell on them, but I think the corn may fair out better from that hail than the beans unless we have a bad wind or something to hit the corn.

Wheat harvesting and straw baling has gone a lot better with the lack of rain. The hay growers finally have got a break on this cutting and are getting it baled before getting wet, lots of baling this weekend and first of the week. Many farmers have been busy mowing roadsides as they keep growing with all the rain we have had last month. Have a great week and be sure to always stop at all of the country corn corners. Trust me, you have the time.