Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Continuous Corn Moisture Monitoring

Dan McKay is inside the new grain bin testing the moisture of the corn. Results came back in average ranges of 14.8 to 15.9.  Below is the maximum storage in months for shelled corn form USDA research. Most of our stored corn will be hauled away during the winter or early spring months.

Monday, October 26, 2015

Farming more Efficiently with help of Auto Steer

Check out our new video of using auto steer to disk a bean field just outside of Beecher City. It is amazing how technology is being utilized in farming!

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Cash rent changes for 2016

(Source: University of Illinois) Cash rents on professionally managed farmland likely will decrease for the 2016 cropping year. Rents on non-professionally managed farmland likely will decrease as well. However, projected rent decreases are not large enough to cause farmers to have positive returns in 2016 given current projections of commodity prices and costs. The lagged relationship between returns and cash rents still exists.

Each year, the Illinois Society of Professional Farm Managers and Rural Appraisers conducts a survey of its membership. In this survey, managers are asked the cash rent for the current year and expectations for next year. This survey provides a good indicator of rents on professionally managed farmland. Managers give averages and expectations for four classes of farmland productivity:
  • Excellent - expected corn yields over 190 bushels per acre
  • Good - Expected corn yields between 170 and 190 bushels per acre
  • Averages - expected corn yields between 150 and 170 bushels per acre
  • Fair - expected corn yields less than 150 bushels per acre
For excellent quality farmland, the average cash rent on professionally managed farmland was $374 per acre in 2014. Cash rents decreased to $350 per acre in 2015. Current expectations are for cash rents to continue the decrease in 2016. Expected rent in 2016 is $318 per acre, a $32 decrease from the 2015 level. Similar decreases are projected for all land classes:
  • Good quality farmland: a $28 per acre decrease to $267 per acre
  • Average quality farmland: a $31 decrease to $219 per acre
  • Fair quality farmland: a $23 decrease to $177 per acre
These professionally managed cash rents typically are higher than "average" cash rents, which include all farmland, the majority of which that is not professionally managed. In 2014, for example, excellent productivity farmland had an average cash rent of $293 per acre, $81 less than the $374 per acre for professionally managed farmland. While $293 per acre is the average, there is a large range in rents, with some rents considerably below average, just as there are rents above average.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Land Improvements Season Begins!

Fall is great time of the year to begin land improvements to existing fields. By analyzing yield monitors during harvest season, you can determine low spots within the fields and begin to improve for the upcoming season. Many fields will also have fallen trees on the edge of the fields which will need moved before fall tillage or spring planting begins. There has been beautiful weather so far this fall to allow us to continue the work.
Jason McKay adding soil to field

Dan McKay lifting dead trees over fence line

Monday, October 19, 2015

Court blocks Obama's water act nationwide

Great news for farmers as Federal court blocked small waterways form being subject to EPA and Army Corps. Local US Representative Rodney Davis issued this statement: "This is great news for the farmers in my district who stand to have the water in their irrigation ponds and drainage ditches regulated by the EPA. The WOTUS rule is an egregious overreach by this administration that must be stopped. ‪#‎DitchTheRule‬." Read additional information here.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Check out our time-lapse!

We quickly created a short time-lapse of Blake McKay driving our John Deere combine during the recent harvest season. Check it out on Youtube now!

Thursday, October 15, 2015 is launched!

We are excited to announce the launch of our official website: The website provides more information about McKay Farms history and experience. We hope to keep providing you more information and our experiences here on our blog.

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Illinois Farmer with Cancer is helped by Neighbors

An Illinois farmer, located northwest of Peoria, with terminal cancer was helped by his community making national news. 10 combines and 16 semis assisted cancer patient Carl Bates who farms around 450 acres. This type of selflessness can be seen all around small farm towns in America. We hope more media outlets will pick up this story and similar stories to show the large hearts farmers have. Please continue praying for Carl Bates and their community of Galva, IL.

Click here to read the entire story on

Monday, October 12, 2015

Preparations begin for Spring 2016

With Harvest 2015 completed, preparations immediately begin for next year's season. Ground is being work everyday in the available fields but many fields' soil is being tested and not ready for tillage. Lime will soon be added to many fields to neutralize the acid in the soil so crops can reach maximum yields next year. Fall tillage is very important and will save the farm lots of time in the Spring so we are blessed to be able to prepare the land now.
Disking behind John Deere 8400

John Deere 9400 pulling Landoll 2320 ripper

View from back window of tractor in Fayette County, IL

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Harvest 2015 is Complete!

Nearly perfect weather throughout the months of September and October has allowed Harvest 2015 to finished at a record pace on October 3rd, 2015. Dan McKay and his sons worked day and night until the job was complete. We have to thank God for safety during the harvest season and for the beautiful weather to help deliver another successful harvest.
Working through the night

Jason McKay overlooking last load of corn for Harvest 2015