• Farm Briefs

    GROWMARK aid to Lucas Benning

    Lucas Benning, an agronomy management major at Illinois State University, is the recipient of a $1,000 scholarship from  GROWMARK, Inc. He is the son of Carl and Karen Benning of Shobonier.

    This year, the regional agricultural supply and grain marketing cooperative presented 39 scholarships, totaling $41,500, to students majoring in agriculture or accounting from 14 colleges and universities.

  • Illinois grain stocks down from 2009

    Corn stocks in all positions in Illinois on Sept. 1 totaled 246.3 million bushels, down 18 percent from last year’s stocks of 298.9 million bushels. Off-farm stocks, at 206.3 million bushels, accounted for 84 percent of the total. The indicated disappearance from all positions for the June-August quarter was 519 million bushels, up slightly from the same time a year ago.

  • One More Cutting

    Ashley Snow is shown on Monday raking this season's third cutting of hay on land owned by David and Ruth Stone. The field is located about five miles west of Vandalia. Recent weather has been good for harvest activities as well as baling hay. 

  • Harvest in high gear

    As farmers flipped the calendar to October last week, it must have seemed strange. Unlike last year, when they’d hardly gotten into the fields by Oct. 1, many county producers now have nearly 90 percent of their corn in the bin.
    Though there’s still some corn out there, it’s getting harder and harder to spot. And farmers have put a big dent in their soybean acres, as well.
    “The last four years have been strange,” said Ron Marshel, Fayette County Farm Bureau manager. “We don’t know what normal is anymore.”

  • Harvest continues

    Rains fell heaviest across the northern half of the state last week and slowed soybean harvest. But statewide, the corn harvest continued with little interruption.
    The unseasonably warm weather and breezy conditions helped dry fields out quickly after the rain showers moved through.
    Temperatures across the state were 7-9 degrees above normal for the week, and precipitation averaged .9 inch statewide, only slightly above normal.
    There were 5.1 days suitable for fieldwork last week.

  • FFA chapter busy in summer months

    The Vandalia FFA chapter has been active in many activities in recent months.
    Levi Ulmer, Jacob Rau, Bradley Jenner, Nate Elam and adviser Todd Ehlers attended the 82nd annual Illinois state FFA convention. At that event, the chapter was recognized with three awards:  the Silver Emblem Chapter award, the $1,000 FFA Foundation Sponsor award and the Century Challenge award.

  • Ready for Harvest

    Though some of the northern parts of the state received rain showers last week, Fayette County farmers were able to continue their harvest activities. Officials say that more than half of the corn has now been harvested, and many producers have started on soybeans. This year's harvest has gone much better than last year, when persistent rains delayed planting in the spring and hampered harvest activities in the fall.

  • Area farmers eligible for flooding loans

    Family farmers in 55 Illinois counties  – including Fayette – are now eligible to apply for low-interest emergency loans due to physical and production losses caused by excessive rain, flooding and flash flooding that occurred after April 1 this spring.
    In addition, with a qualifying loss, the designation makes producers eligible for the Supplemental Revenue Assistance Program (SURE).

  • Rural King's move to Orgill facility nearly triples size of former store

    When the Vandalia Rural King store moved to its new location, it was only a couple blocks away.
    But judging by the reaction from customers, the new store is in a different universe.
    "People really like the space, the openness of the store," said store manager John Beck. "There's also a lot more room in the parking lot."
    Now, with more than 100,000 square feet of retail space (compared to less than 40,000 square feet before), the store has expanded many of its existing lines and  added others.

  • Good weather, moisture launch harvest activities across Illinois

    Cooler conditions continued over much of the state last week.
    With small amounts of precipitation across the state, many farmers were able to take full advantage of the favorable weather.
    Many producers are either harvesting or preparing for harvest.
    Other farming activities include fall tillage and planting winter wheat.
    There were 5.8 days suitable for fieldwork last week.