• Lessons from 2011

    By Dennis Bowman
    Champaign Extension Center

    What can we learn from the 2011 crop and season?
    It has been a year of extremes, a very wet April started the crop season, and – depending on your location – it stayed wet, got almost normal or turned into a blistering drought.
    The northern part of the state was wet throughout the season. The western and southern parts of the state were somewhat closer to normal. The central part of the state was hit with what has been meteorologically referred to as a moderate drought.

  • Harvest continues at a rapid pace... until rains arrive

    Temperatures decreased 3.1 degrees from the previous week to an average of 60.6 degrees, but still remained nearly 5 degrees above normal for the time period.
    Precipitation averaged 0.68 inches across the state, with a high of 0.9 inches being reported in the East Southeast district and a low of 0.4 inches in the West Southwest district. Normally, rainfall equals 0.51 inches for the time period.
    An average of 5.6 days suitable for field work was reported for the week.

  • New Flagpole at Farm Bureau

    Gerald Forehand, center, a member of the Fayette County Farm Bureau board and a Vietnam veteran, helps raise a new flag on a new flagpole at the organization's office on Sunset Avenue in Vandalia.

    With him are Ken Cripe and his grandson Thacker, left, and Ron Marshel, Farm Bureau manager, right.

  • FFA Members Attend Farm Progress Show

    Forty-two members of the Vandalia FFA Chapter traveled to the Farm Progress Show in Decatur on Aug. 31 to explore the world's largest outdoor machinery show.

    They toured dozens of booths and saw massive farm equipment displays. The shirts worn by the FFA members were provided by Mike Cripe at Vandalia Tractor Sales.

  • Nearly one-third of Illinois corn harvested

    Temperatures remained below normal for yet another week, averaging 56.6 degrees statewide. The average for the time period is 61.9 degrees. Light frost was seen in some areas at the end of the week.
    Most areas of the state received above-average rainfall, with isolated areas receiving as much as four inches. In other areas, rains were below normal. The average for the state was 1.23 inches, 0.59 inches above normal. Days suitable for fieldwork were 5.4. Topsoil moisture was 15 percent very short, 34 percent short, 48 percent adequate and 3 percent surplus.

  • Taiwan signs pact to buy $3 billion worth of Illinois corn

    Illinois farmers sealed a two-year deal last week with a team of Taiwanese grain buyers to source corn from Illinois.
    Formalizing the agreement, Illinois Corn Marketing Board (ICMB) Chairman Bill Christ signed a letter of intent with the Taiwan Feed Industry Association in a ceremony at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum.
    Representatives from the U.S. Department of Agriculture hosted the 22-member trade delegation as part of a goodwill mission designed to further a long-standing trade relationship.

  • September grain stocks are reported

    The Illinois Field Office of NASS this week released the USDA’s September Grain Stocks Report. State and national highlights of the report include:

  • Head blight threatens Illinois' wheat plants

    Research results from the 2011 Fusarium head blight evaluations are now available on the University of Illinois Variety Testing website for growers to consider when choosing wheat varieties this fall.

  • Harvest In High Gear

    Aaron Draege, in the combine, and Allen Handigan, in the tractor pulling grain cart, harvest corn Monday in a field southwest of Vandalia.

    Area fields are yielding up to 180 bushels per acre, with some spots producing considerably less due to the difficult weather conditions this growing season.

  • 'Keep it for the Crop' is IEPA theme for program

    Dry conditions persisted across the state last week. Precipitation was below normal in all districts,  for an average of 0.35 inches state-wide, 0.34 inches below average.
    Temperatures were also below normal averaging 63.1 degrees for the state. The norm for the week is 69.9 degrees.
    There were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork.