In agricultural news, there have been some updates on harvests going into December as well as a new statewide coalition to assist veterans getting started in farming. Most recently, WCCU had a blurb and video segment recently with an update on area harvests:
By December, crops across the state are usually fully harvested but due to a wet spring, some farmers are still in the process of harvesting.Link to that blurb and video segment here. The week before, WCIA had an update with a couple farmers who had already completed their harvest:
They're not alone as farmers in Illinois still have about 10% of their crops to go, which they attribute to a record late planting season.
"I don't think we hardly planted any corn past the first day of May in 20 or 30 years. We planted a lot of corn at the end of May and one field the first of June. That's really late for us in this area," said farmer Garry Niemeyer.
From 2014 until 2018, the average percent of corn harvested by the week of December 1st is 100%.
For a long time, farmers used Thanksgiving as a marker for when they wanted to be finished with harvest. But with the unpredictable weather this season, many of them tried to finish a lot earlier.Full article with additional interviews and information, including trade issues and federal offsets here. The Illinois Farm Bureau had their news affiliate with a wider overview recently on their webpage:
Most of them are. Now they’re all putting the finishing touches on their fields to prepare them for next year. Some say the outcome of this harvest was surprisingly good...
While the outcome – or yield – is lower than last year’s past, it’s something farmer Lin Warfel says he can live with because of how prosperous the last 10 years have been.
“About 15% less than average, and the last 10 years, really good average, last two years were really really good, set records, and we’re down from the records,” said Warfel...
Now the wait begins to see what they’ll make from what they sell, but the waiting game won’t end until next summer.
Better luck next year? Harvest to spill over into 2020Full article here.
Issues with poor field conditions and low test weights also continue to be compounded by high crop drying demands and tight propane supplies, which eased in recent weeks at some locations due to emergency deliveries...
So, what’s left to run through the system to complete the 2019 harvest? Based on the most recent USDA crop estimates, approximately 1.4 billion bushels of corn and 137 million bushels of beans remained in the field as of Dec. 1.
In the Midwest, 7% of corn in Illinois and Indiana and 8% of the crop in Iowa was unharvested Dec. 1. The harvest delays are more severe to the north and west with a dire situation unfolding in North Dakota, where just 36% of corn was harvested as of last week after that region was hit with another major snowstorm.
In other news, WCIA had a recent blurb on the announcement of an Illinois statewide chapter of the Farmer Veteran Coalition, which describes itself as a "nonprofit organization assisting veterans–and currently serving members–of the Armed Forces to embark on careers in agriculture." The announcement came at the Illinois Farm Bureau's annual meeting. A lot more information and details and links are available from the FarmWeekNow story here. Excerpt:
The resources include information about programs the veterans may not be aware of, [Retired Army Reserve Maj. Amy Hess] noted. [National Farmer Veteran Coalition President Gary Matteson] added the coalition also has a fellowship fund which has distributed more than $2.5 million in small grants of up to $5,000. Grants may be used to add a new process, build fences or to expand a farming operation...More at that article here and the coalition website here.
Matteson emphasized the Farmer Veteran Coalition is “aggressively ecumenical” with representatives from all types of agriculture, all sizes of farms, different farm organizations, and conventional and organic agriculture. “We insist on that broad representation,” he said. “Our goal is to help them be the best at whatever they want to be.”