Monthly Archives: June 2012

I really am at a loss for what to post or put up here right now.  Just working around the farm trying to keep busy and out of the heat while not watching the corn die.  Its going to be in the triple digits the next 5 days so things will dry up fast around here.

Have some old crop corn to haul and some wheat to haul to the elevator so I am waiting on a trucker.  Will service the Cat now that I have the hose on it I blew working on a water way last week and then if its cool enough in the mornings I will try to do a little dirt work.  Its so hot and dry that you cant see once you get the crust broke.

With all the burn bans you cant burn brush, trash or anything.  Even talk about cancelling the 4th’s Fireworks display Saturday.

Mood in the country side is pretty low………..

It might be slow posting for a while.




All of the corn pictured was planted between March 30 and April 19 in Franklin Co, Illinois.

Sorry for the bad pictures in most cases, between the time of day, angle of the sun and using a small camera it doesn’t do it justice.  Most all of the corn is trying to tassel.

Water math for a Southern Illinois corn crop.

Inches of rain we are behind in this drought:  14 inches for the year.

Gallons of water needed to produce 1 bushel of corn per acre: 4,000 US Gallons (some say more some say less but we will use this number) 

Gallons of water needed per acre to raise 150 bushel corn:  600,000 US Gallons per acre

Gallons of water in a 1 inch rain fall per acre:  27,154 US Gallons

Gallons of water in 14 inches of rain:  380,156 US Gallons per acre

Inches of water needed to reach our current growth stage (~R1): 13 inches of water per acre or 353002 gallons of water per acre (University of Nebraska Irrigation Guide To Corn) 

Inches of water needed to finish the crop out to maturity: 16 inches of rain per acre or 434,464 gallons of water per acre.  (University of Nebraska Irrigation Guide to Corn)  

Rainfall predicted in inches for the next 5 days:  0.25-0.5 inch of rain (NWS Hydrometeorological Prediction Center) 

Gallons of water in a 0.5 inch rain:  13,577 US Gallons

A half inch rain is hardly a drop in the bucket when your dry like we are and a flood when you saturated.

But I would gladly take a half inch rain right now……………..gladly.

I keep getting asked just how bad is it really down here in Southern Illinois with the drought and the corn crop.  Well below is a picture of what I would call a typical field that was planted in March or early April.  Nope its not the worst picture I could post, its an average picture.  There is better corn but it is the later planted corn, mid April to first of May.  Pictures of that next day or two.

This is not one of my corn fields and I will not say exactly where it was but it was in Franklin Co, IL.  I scouted this corn on Saturday June 16 at about 10 a.m..  The yard stick is for reference.  This field was planted on March 30/April 1.  It is trying to tassel in some places in the field.

While I didn’t take a picture of the field today, its rolled up very very tight and is a brilliant white color.  Its currently 94 deg with 40% RH and 10MPH winds while I type this at 1745.  This field has had less than 0.75 inch of rain between April 17 and today.

I planted my first soybeans of 2012 yesterday and into last night.  Got 80 acres planted, no tilled into corn stalks.  We got 0.25 inch of rain on Monday and that softened up the very hard soil surface enough to get the drill in the ground.

There was some moisture down about 2 inches deep.  I hope its enough and it holds long enough to get the beans up.

I was very glad to have auto-steer last night, as without it I doubt that I could have got done.  I was very hard to see even in the light.

Saturday we loaded up in the truck and struck out for Bloomington, IL to pick up an item I had purchased.  We drove up I -57 through Effingham, Mattoon, Champaign then took I-74 over to Bloomington.  Our return trip was down I-55 to  Lincoln, Springfield, Litchfield to Rt-4 at Lebanon then I-64 back to Mt Vernon and  home.

All I can say is wow, this crop is in serious trouble.  Outside of a few pockets of good looking corn, one near Effingham, Bloomington and Lincoln, the whole route looked drought stressed.  Very drought stressed and in some places stands showed the effect of dry soils at planting, especially on the soybeans.

Plus there were areas that looked N deficient as well as areas that were fired.

On a scale of 1-10 with 10 being “good” (not even close to normal or excellent) and 1 being “near dead” I would give my my corn crop a rating of 3.  Overall I give the crop we saw from the windshield a 4 with some three pockets of 7 and an equal number rated at a 2 with one area of 1.

Most of the crop is a 4 or a 5, meaning its in the poorer end of “fair” looking.

All of  the corn we saw was twisted up.  It was just greener in some places than others………..

I have been few and far between on my posting on this site as well as the PCS site as of late.  Several things are causing it, none of which are really a good reason I guess.

First off is the drought conditions that just seem to have me repeating anything I want to post about.  It’s dry. Everyone knows that it is dry, and just commenting on the obvious is going nowhere so why do it.

Second, I am just tired as of late.  I feel like it’s the middle of August and I have ran the good race and it’s time for a break or something but the calendar says its the 7th of June.

So a tired farmer with nothing new to post about means we skip updating the website most nights.

The ground is dry.  Very dry in a lot of places.  It will take a major rain event, like two or three days, to get us  to a point where things will green up and stay that way.  Last night we tried to irrigate some of the sweet corn, but after a while we pumped the well dry and had to wait for it to recharge.  That told me we are in pretty bad shape.  But again everyone who is in this mess knows that.  No need posting this to the informed masses.

With the dry weather and poor crop conditions I am even more sarcastic than usual and even a little bit edgy.  With that, simple things seem to be getting to me, and it is better for me to try to keep my thoughts to myself.  Especially when it comes to stupid things the non Ag community says to me.  I have even had to walk away from the cashier at Rural King, who apparently has no clue about how dry it is and how much I don’t care if a rain shower would ruin her boating date.

Even worse is the stupid things that Ag community says, like the major chemical company rep who stated that rain would help the northern two thirds of Illinois corn crop on RFD radio the other day.  He never seemed to care about the southern third and he sure didn’t seem to know or care about our dry condition when pressed about it.  I realize that this dough head just judges his world out his back door in Bloomington but he also needs to remember that there is more to the state of Illinois than Chicago and Champaign Co.

Like I said, its better for me to really be deliberate on my posting right now before I say or do something I might not be able to edit later……..

Send a rain please.

Got done harvesting wheat yesterday.  Yields were exceptional in one field and average in another.  In a normal year it would have been reversed but the good wheat ground ran out of water with the drought this year and the low or flat ground put on a show.

I have yet to plant a soybean…………….no moisture.

The “significant rain event” that was talked about never materialized.  We got 0.18 after a bit of rain late Thursday evening.

That brings the grand total for May to 0.32 inch.

The rain last night nearly doubles the rain total for the first 30 days of May.

We are hurting for water.

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