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Farm

  • State's crops still ahead of average

    Precipitation was sporadic throughout the state last week. Rainfall totals ranged from .38 inches in Central Illinois to 1.14 inches in Southern Illinois. Some farmers reported flooding and standing water that hindered crop development.
    However, most farmers reported dry conditions that allowed them to continue mowing and spraying, with a state average of 5.3 days suitable for fieldwork.
    The state averaged .63 inches of rainfall, which is .13 inches below normal. Temperatures averaged 77.1 degrees, which is 2.7 degrees above normal.

  • Farm production expenses fall

      After setting a record high in 2008, U.S. farm production expenditures decreased by nearly $20 billion in 2009 – the first major decline in nearly a quarter century, according to the Farm Production Expenditures 2009 summary released this week  by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
    The average production expenditures per farm fell 6.4 percent in 2009, from $140,075 to $131,137. Total U.S. expenditures totaled $287 billion, down from $307 billion in 2008.  

  • Making hay while the sun shines

    Clayton Whitten bales hay Tuesday afternoon on land along Zent Drive north of Vandalia. Recent rains have made for strong hay crops – if farmers can time it right to cut it, dry it and bale it before the next rains come. With temperatures in the mid 90s and humidity high, it was a hot job on Tuesday.