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Farm

  • Temperatures moderating, but rainfall still very short

    Temperatures moderated somewhat compared to previous weeks, while the rainfall total once again fell below average. Statewide temperatures averaged 72.8 degrees, 0.9 degrees below normal.
    Precipitation totaled 0.28 inches, 0.63 inches below normal. Topsoil moisture was unchanged from last week, with 72 percent very short, 23 percent short and 5 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture was rated 80 percent very short, 17 percent short and 3 percent adequate.

  • Crop Survey: Corn 41, Beans 21

    The Fayette County Farm Bureau Marketing Committee held its annual crop survey, with six teams of 26 surveyors collecting samples throughout the county.

    The survey showed estimated yields of 41.65 bushels per acre for cor and 21.49 acres for soybeans. Samples ranged from 0-170 bushels for corn and 2-51 bushels for soybeans. In the first photo, Nate Prater shows his team members a soybean sample north of Vandalia. In the second photo, from right, Prater, Paul Ruholl, Tim Brauer and Tim Schaal examine corn samples. Schaal is the marketing committee chairman.

  • Weathering the Drought

    Billowing dust plumes follow farmers’ trucks as they drive the parched gravel roads near Vandalia. And the crops lining those roads clearly illustrate the toll taken by the worst drought in decades.

  • Farm Heritage Days
  • High temps, no rain stress crops

    Above-average temperatures and below-normal precipitation persisted last week, with reports of small, fast-moving showers throughout the state.
    Statewide temperatures averaged 81.6 degrees, 6.6 degrees above normal.
    Precipitation totaled 0.31 inches across the state, 0.53 inches below normal.
    Topsoil moisture was rated  85 percent very short and 15 percent short.
    Subsoil moisture was rated 86 percent very short and 14 percent short.
    Some producers reported concerns of spider mites, and are preparing to spray for them.

  • CRP land is released for hay, grazing

     Illinois livestock producers this week received additional drought relief as USDA Secretary Tom Vilsack authorized the release of emergency haying and grazing for all Illinois counties for certain practices and acres enrolled in the Conservation Reserve Program.
    The grazing can begin Aug. 2, outside the primary nesting season for wildlife. The decision was based upon the U.S. Drought Monitor.

  • Heat Wave Continues

    Parched corn plants are silhouetted against the afternoon sun in a field west of Vandalia.

    Area crops continue to deteriorate as the hot, dry conditions persist.

  • Farm Briefs

    FB crop survey to be held on Aug. 9

    The Fayette County Farm Bureau will hold its annual crop survey on Thursday, Aug. 9.
    At that time, the Farm Bureau will be sending out teams throughout the county to assess the progress of area crops. The teams will include farmers, bankers, members of the media and those involved in agribusiness.
    The day will conclude with a steak dinner cookout and the presentation of a market outlook report at the Farm Bureau office, located at 1125 N. Sunset Drive in Vandalia.

  • Hot, dry conditions take heavy toll on area crops

    The hot, dry weather continued to prevail over much of the state again this week, with a few areas experiencing spotty showers.
    Statewide temperatures averaged 78.2 degrees, 1.8 above normal. Precipitation averaged .53 inches across the state, .31 inches below normal.
    Topsoil moisture continued to worsen, and was rated at 73 percent very short, 25 percent short and 2 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture also continued to be a concern, rated 70 percent very short, 26 percent short and 4 percent adequate.

  • Farmers urged to report losses to USDA's FSA

    Grain farmers are reminded to report crop losses resulting from a weather-related disaster event, said Scherrie Giamanco, state director of the USDA Farm Service Agency.
    "Crop losses are acres that were timely planted with the intent to harvest, but the crop failed and could not be harvested because of a disaster-related condition," Giamanco said. "In order to meet FSA program eligibility requirements, producers must report failed acreage to the county FSA office before disposition of the crop.