Corn fields near Royal, Illinois. Author: Daniel Schwen. Licensing: GFDL. Original cropped.

In August, my office phone lights up with calls from farmland owners wanting to know about the direction of cash rent values for farms here in east-central Illinois. This is never easy to answer because no one can accurately forecast the future. Currently, we are looking for average to above yields for the area’s corn and soybean crops. The price outlook for this fall's corn and soybean crops is better than was anticipated earlier in the year due to weather problems in other parts of the world as well as the United States.

Two Weeks after post-emergence herbicide application

This is the third year in a row that I have seen tall waterhemp, over 6" tall, sprayed with a post-emergent herbicide combination containing dicamba. Last year, I noticed a few fields where it seemed that tall waterhemp had survived a late application of dicamba and appeared to have small seed heads.

Young corn plants in the field

If you have been watching cornfields in Central Illinois, you may have noticed that the young corn plants have changed colors over the past couple of weeks. In late April, the small corn plants were green in color and two weeks later these same plants are pale yellow-green. On April 26, the 4-inch bare soil temperature was averaging 65°F. On May 12, the temperature was 49°F.