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From the Fields: On the road

What a week! Second-crop hay finished without rain on it. Second-pass soybean spraying is finished. Received some much-needed rain that cut the humidity, making being outside a little more bearable. However, the accompanying winds in some places were hard on corn.

We made a quick weekend trip to Manhattan, Kansas, for my cousin’s wedding and came home to corn shooting tassels. It was interesting to see crop conditions across a much wider area than I usually see. We wanted to see different countryside, so we went out via back roads to Clinton, Iowa. Then we took U.S. 30 to DeWitt, where we headed south to catch I-80 the rest of the way across Iowa and into Nebraska before heading south to Manhattan at Lincoln, Nebraska. The return trip, we came east to Kansas City, where we went north on I-35 until we cut east once again to cross the Mississippi River at Hannibal, Missouri. From there, we cut across country to Peoria and north through Sterling to Freeport and home.

We are lucky to have some of the best corn and soybeans right here in northwest Illinois of everything we saw along the way. Yes, there are pockets of down corn – hopefully, not snapped — from the winds mixed in with the storms that passed through the area on Thursday and again Saturday. We saw water standing in soybean fields along Highway 40 south of Sterling from the storms. It was difficult to judge how much there was as it was after sunset when we passed though that area.

The rains through the area not only gave crops a timely drink and cut the humidity, they also helped with leafhopper numbers in alfalfa fields. There are some out there, but they are not at threshold at the moment. That will be something to keep an eye on for alfalfa. There isn’t a lot of wheat or oats across the area, but what there is looks good and it appears that harvest time is coming quickly for those crops, as well. I hope we continue to receive these timely rains and these favorable growing conditions continue throughout the rest of the year.

Ridott, Ill.

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