• Tornado Hits St. Elmo Farms

    What remains of a barn is shown in the foreground on a farm two miles west of St. Elmo on County Road  1950 East.

    Residents of the house were home at the time the storm hit on Sunday, but escaped without injury by going to the basement. The farm is located about a half-mile north of U.S. Route 40 between Brownstown and St. Elmo.

  • Corn Harvest Under Way Again

    Corn harvest was once again in high gear on Monday as the rains held off long enough for area farmers to get back in the fields. Shown here are harvest activities by employees of Draege Farms. They are shown in fields south of Vandalia, along Carlyle Road. Tony Draege is operating the combine. Rains on Tuesday and Wednesday will slow the pace of harvest again.

  • Area harvest moving slowly to completion

    Though many Fayette County farmers are making progress in getting their crops out of the fields, this year’s harvest is all over the map.
    “We have a few who have finished harvesting, and we have others who won’t finish until Thanksgiving,” said Ron Marshel, Fayette County Farm Bureau manager. “A few fields of soybeans remain, but there’s still a considerable amount of corn to be harvested.”
    Marshel estimated that 85-90 percent of the county's soybeans have been cut, and about 75 percent of the corn has been harvested.

  • Area Harvest Moving Along

    Soybean harvest is still progressing well in Fayette County, with many farmers nearing completion.

    Corn harvest is slow to start, largely because grain moisture levels are still high. As a result, many farmers are letting the corn dry in the field rather than running their bin dryers. These pictures were taken in the Kaskaskia River bottoms just east of Vandalia on Monday.

  • Average cash rents for cropland top out at $385; Fayette County is $151

    The Illinois field office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service recently released statistics for cash rents in Illinois.

  • ATVs, ROHVs have rules for on-road use

    Under certain conditions and only for purposes of farming, farmers are allowed to operate all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) and Gator-type vehicles of limited size on county and township roads
    Those vehicles may not be driven on state highways or city streets, however. And a driver's license is required for on-road operation.
    Until, 2010, ATVs had been prohibited from anything more than crossing a public road unless a local ordinance provided further authorization.
    Non-farm use of ATVs on public roads is still prohibited.
    Vehicle Types

  • Meals In The ... Shed

    Farm Credit Services last week sponsored a meal on the farm of Lynn Wollerman, in first photo, northwest of Vandalia.

    The "Meals in the Fields" program provides a meal to give farmers a break during harvest activities. With crops maturing late this year, however, the meal was served in Wollerman's shed instead of in the field, since he hadn't started harvesting yet. Farm Credit Services provided more than 100 meals around the state.

  • Corn, bean stocks down 17 percent

    USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service this week reported that on Sept. 1, there were 824 million bushels of old crop corn and 141 million bushels of old crop soybeans in storage. Corn and soybean stocks stored in all positions were down 17 percent from 2012, according to the quarterly grain stocks report.

  • National Co-op Month

    GROWMARK, FS and other cooperatives across the United States are celebrating cooperative enterprise and the contributions cooperatives make to social and economic development as part of National Co-op Month in October.
    This year’s theme is “Collaborate, Communicate, Cooperate,” reflecting the benefits that arise from collaboration – the sharing of ideas, resources and capital, which helps individuals accomplish more together than they would on their own.

  • Temps up, precip down as Illinois harvest begins

    Above average temperatures and minimal precipitation last week allowed many producers to continue harvesting corn, soybeans and sorghum.
    Temperatures averaged 64.6 degrees for the week, 3.3 degrees above normal.
    Precipitation across the state averaged 0.28 inches, 0.47 inches below normal.
    There were 6.4 days suitable for fieldwork.
    Topsoil moisture was rated at 21 percent very short, 49 percent short and 30 percent adequate. Subsoil moisture was rated at 24 percent very short, 45 percent short and 31 percent adequate.