Fall 2019 Logan County
Farm Outlook Magazine

Pictorial:  The year that almost didn't happen
By Jan Youngquist

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[November 05, 2019]  This was the year many thought there might not be a crop. The reverse of the Dust Bowl, and a year like no other in recent history when too much rain kept farmers from getting into their fields.

Exiting winter months, Illinois was in a mild drought stage. The season ahead was a gamble few might have anticipated. Drought was soon a forgotten concern as rain after rain saturated grounds from April up to July.

Farmers looked each day, as well as at the extended forecast, for the best time to enter the field. It is a narrow window of about six ideal condition days to plant in a normal spring.

In addition to following insurance rules that do not allow too early planting due to potential young plant freeze, soils temps and moisture are determinants as to when to plant. As the season progresses it becomes a race against time for crops to reach maturity and against insurance regulated plant-by dates.

This year heavy rains filled the standard planting time frame and kept fields saturated.

Soggy fields pose a couple immediate problems: heavy equipment more readily compacts soil, and seed may rot. Continued wet conditions and flowing water may also affect nutritional needs of growing plants.

In July, the trend changed, both corn and soybean plants quickly made up for the late start.

If you look close at the photos you can see that most fields have some lower areas and those small to large patches failed. Seemingly, the yields at harvest reflect the loss of those plants.

There were also scattered fields that could not be planted this year.

May 1, 2019
Plenty of rain has fallen regularly since just before planting season began with several heavy rains causing creeks to flood nearby fields. Some of those fields would recover enough to produce a partial crop by harvest.

Kickapoo flood

Fields north of Lincoln near Kickapoo Creek flooded time and again, drastically reducing acreage planted.

Kickapoo, Lakefork and Salt Creeks would continue to flood nearby fields until late in the season.

A late May overview of fields shows little progress in planting

On the south east corner of Logan County, it is now late in the planting season. This day the farmers are taking a chance to plant with more rain still in the forecast, but note the darkened moist areas of the fields indicating near past saturation.


Southern and eastern Logan County fields look a lot alike, unplanted, with a few newly planted fields showing dramatic moisture variances, some with water in lower lying areas.

Nothing happening at Kenny.

June 4

Note the development of leaves on trees and growth of weeds while many fields remain unplanted.

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June 15

While many fields were still not in on June 1st, some area farmers were now faced with what to do in the middle of June when the crop drowned, as seen in this corn field at Kenny.

On June 19, 2019 the USDA announced that due to the extraordinary weather events Illinois has experienced in crop year 2019, Illinois Farm Service Agency State Executive Director William Graff approved an extension to all counties in Illinois, for producers without insurance or NAP coverage, to file a prevented planting claim by the final acreage reporting date of the crop.

June 24

Looking east of Lincoln, nearing Clinton, this field eventually made it in and like many fields held sparse areas.

July 2

What a difference some luck and a couple weeks make. By early July the story of 2019 was mostly written. Fields that were in, began a quick catch up. Note the right edges of the afore soybean field look a little sparse where water had pooled, a common sight throughout the region.


Nothing has happened yet in this field east of Lincoln.

Near the Mount Pulaski exchange, the field spent a lot of time water logged. Note the darkened failed patch, which represents what happened in most fields, thereby reducing yields at harvest.

Fields east of Lincoln show the same low patches where growth was retarded or plants failed to thrive.

Oct 29

Higher ground of a flood prone area produced a nice stand of corn.

Lower ground, failed.

Another field of lower ground between surrounded by higher grounds was not planted.


Read all the articles in our new
2019 Fall Farm Outlook Magazine

Introduction - The year that almost wasn't 4
Pictorial - The year that almost wasn't 7
Climate expectations for Logan County 13
Growing Hemp:  Profitable but challenging 17
The impact of Trump Bucks, Donny Dollars 24
Putting obstacles in the way of pests 27
Is horticulture a viable option for small farms in Logan County 32
Local farmer gets a piece of the pie - pumpkin pie 38
Farm Businesses qualify for low interest loans 42
Farm safety tips 44


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