Farmers are getting after it
This year’s harvest is in full swing, and the season is proving to be a mixed bag for the county’s ag producers.
Winter wheat, spring wheat and canola crops are all coming in good quality and weight, but getting the crops combined is presenting a challenge.
“It’s been a real struggle for these guys,” said McHenry County Extension Agent Raquel Dugan-Dibble. “The humidity makes it damp in the morning and early in the evening, so sometimes they only have four or five hours a day to get anything done.”
But what is getting done is looking good, according to the reports Dugan-Dibble is receiving.
“Things are looking good,” she said. “Canola is coming in at 12 to 18, winter wheat is anywhere from 45 to 80 bushels, and spring wheat is around 50 bushels to the acre with protein over 12.”
Reports from south of Velva have some spring wheat coming in at 65 bushels and 15 percent protein, but Dugan-Dibble says a number of factors play into the yields, including seed varieties and weather.
“The weather has been so sporadic,” she noted. “With the rain and the high winds, you could have a bumper crop on one side of the road while the weather wrecked the stuff right across the road.”
Last weekend’s hot weather should help harvest and haying operations, as well as push the corn and sunflower crop development.
“Guys can’t get to their lowland hay because it’s just too wet,” Dugan-Dibble said. “I’m also hearing reports of lower crude protein levels on the first cutting of alfalfa. The cool, wet spring just set everything back.”
The county agent recommends that producers get hay sampling done, given the below value nutrient reports.