As the weather woes continue across the Midwest, I feel like we are in pretty fair shape down here in southern Illinois. We logged in around three inches of precipitation for the month of July. That doesn’t sound like much, but we came into the month on the wet side and the timing of the rain was spot on. Even with the couple of heat spells that came through, our crops haven’t had much stress at this point.

From the road, crops look well. The early corn is already made, and at least the later corn and beans have a chance. I’m sure there are holes in the crop if you were to take an aerial photo. The water that kept sitting in the low places will be noticeable from the combine seat this fall. All of that said, we might have a respectable harvest in front of us. It was hard to see how any of it was going to work from the way the fields looked earlier. There are still several fields that took preventive planting, and the amount of replant was astronomical. I can only imagine what crop insurance will be like next year. I almost feel like this could be a year that will change agriculture.

The pastures are still very active, and the cows are fat as always. We started hand feeding chlortetracycline to the brood herd and plan to continue that for 60 days. We hade good luck last year controlling anaplasmosis by this method. It is more labor intensive than running it free choice through the mineral, but it is a more positive way to make sure that all animals get their ration every day. It is also a great way to keep a check on the herd and assess issues.

Our farm set up a booth at the Southern Illinois Made Expo this past week. This expo is put together for businesses that make and sell products that are made in the southern Illinois area. Sen. Dale Fowler has put this together, and this is the second year for it. It was even bigger than last year. It is amazing of all the things that we manufacture right here in our neighborhood. There were well over 100 vendors, from baseball bats to barbecue sauces to us who raise quality beef. This gave us an opportunity to discuss our freezer beef program and explain how we raise our animals. I will have to commend Senator Fowler and the Marion Chamber of Commerce for organizing such a great event to help our community.

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