Fall is here — or, at least what I consider to be the first signs of fall. Corn silage chopping and apple orchards opening are here. Both Curran’s Orchard and Edwards Apple Orchard in the Rockford area are open, as well as a new DeMeester Apple Orchard and Greenhouse in Freeport. Go check out the local orchards for apples, cider, doughnuts, honey, other local ag products and activities for the whole family.
We will be custom chopping for clients in Illinois and Wisconsin this week. This past week there was quite a bit of hay chopped before choppers switched over to corn. The rain earlier in the week didn’t slow crop progress down much. The relentless heat and humidity continued all week. There was a pop-up storm that passed through the area this morning and finally brought some relief.
This week’s forecast is for cooler temps in the upper 70s to lower 80s with much lower humidity, and overnight temperatures are forecast to be in the mid to upper 50s — perfect corn silage chopping weather. Time to dig those hoodies and flannels back out. Then try to remember where you ditched them during the day as the temperatures warmed up when you need them again in the evening.
There have been reports of armyworms moving into the region in lawns, pastures and wheat stubble. A few places have been spraying to control them. Others are monitoring the populations to see if spraying will be needed, especially in fields that will be going to corn next growing season.
Take time for safety as harvest season approaches. Check all those lights out on the tractors, wagons, grain carts, trucks and other equipment. Make sure SMV signs are firmly attached and are the latest version for the best visibility to motorists while you traverse the roadways. We need to be proactive for our own safety, making sure we do as much as possible to be visible to the motorists we share the roads with during harvest.