As we approach mid-August, farmers concern for their crops is turning away from a need for rain, and towards the need for growing degree units. Agronomist Lance Tarchionne says plenty of warm sunshine should finish off what figures to be a great yield for corn and soybeans.
“The cool weather has certainly been pleasant,” Tarchione said. “That’s beneficial for yield. It’s not necessarily bringing the crop along as quickly as people would like. Things haven’t changed tremendously in the last two weeks. It still looks great, and it still is great, and it’s still a long way from mature.”
Lance noted that it’s setting up to be a later-than-usual harvest, perhaps similar to the fall of 2009.
“At the pace we’ve been on, there will be quite a bit of corn black-layering around the first of October, which is a little later than we would ideally like,” Tarchione said. “Your conditions for field-drying sometimes aren’t the best when you black-layer that late. That can sometimes get into some pretty high moisture at harvest. So there’s a little bit of nervousness about this summer being a lot like the summer of 2009, when we had a very cool summer, and a late harvest.”
Lance added that parts of central and most of northern Illinois might not see any harvest activity until October. We talked with Lance as he was at the Illinois State Fairgrounds in Springfield Monday. Tuesday was Agriculture Day at the fair.