“The crops look great for the middle of July.” That’s a statement, or variation thereof, I have heard uttered by a number of folks I’ve talked to about field and crop conditions around the area. This statement is fairly true since mid-July would be the typical time corn and beans are going through their current maturity stage, but with the late planting dates, because of the wet spring, we are running about a month behind what would be normal. Temperatures have been cooler the last couple weeks, and that has slowed growth. We need sunshine and heat to get this crop to the finish line.

Rain and storms passed across the area this past week, as well. Coverage, intensity and rainfall totals were varied. Visited farming friends about 10 miles away yesterday south of U.S. 20 and they received over an inch in a quick a downpour on Thursday. At the same time, the skies looked threatening with thunder heard, but we received a few light sprinkles, nothing measurable. Another rain event hit the region from Sunday evening to midday Monday. We received a touch over eight-tenths of an inch. A window of dry weather would be great to get hay made now.

Fall is coming fast. The local apple orchards have opened this week. A few more festivals and events to round out summer are happening in northwestern Illinois. Pickle Fest celebrates everything pickle related on Sunday, Sept. 1, at The Rafter’s from 4 to 7 p.m. They have pickle related games, food and drinks along with a great regional band.

The Sandwich Fair is Sept. 4-8. They are one of the premier fairs in Illinois and well worth a drive to visit. The 69th annual Lena Fall Festival is Sept. 6-8 in downtown Lena. The Highland Community College Agriculture Department has its Farm to Table Fundraiser Dinner at the Hinrich’s Family Farms near Freeport on Thursday, Sept. 12, and all proceeds support the HCC Ag Dept. Get out there and support these great events in our communities. They are a great way to showcase agriculture.

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