Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Fall is time for land improvement season

As harvest season is over, fall tillage is completed and cleaning of farm machinery is finished, the next chore is to continuing to improve the land owned and operated by McKay Farms. It is important to pay close attention while harvesting fields to see any low spots in fields, dead trees around the ends of fields or anywhere needing more drainage. The early completion of harvest 2015 allowed the family to spend more time on improving the land and improving acreage for future generations.

Removal of trees increased acreage and quality of land

Friday, November 6, 2015

Time to Clean the Farm Equipment!

Blake McKay washing John Deere
Tyler McKay cleaning Brent Grain Cart
Harvest 2015 is over and preparations are made each day for the coming year. The beautiful weather lately has been great to allow us to clean our farm machinery before storing for the long winter ahead. We have most of the equipment cleaned up but still have to finish a few tractors and the hardest piece- the combine.

Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Favorable conditions could bring farmers back to wheat

(Illinois Farmer Today) Ideal fall weather conditions may have helped shorten the memory of Illinois wheat producers who have endured two years of trouble with the crop. Many observers expect planted acreage to be down somewhat this fall. But the dry fields, combined with timely corn and soybean harvest, coaxed some back to their planters. “Conditions have been really good. October has been dry,” said Craig Ratermann of the cooperative Gateway Farm Service. “Coming off the past couple years, though, with wheat quality issues, that’s going to keep our acreage down.” While yields were good this year, quality was a problem. Excessive rainfall in late spring ushered in head scab and other diseases. That resulted in low test weights, vomitoxin and other problems. Some producers reported they were lucky to break even when hauling some loads to the elevator, as prices after dockage barely paid for fuel, seed and inputs. “Test weights were a little light,” Ratermann said. “We had more problems with sprout damage this year. There was some vomitoxin, but vomitoxin was worse the previous year.”
Pioneer agronomist Scott Eversgerd doesn’t believe acreage will take a big hit. He credits the pleasant weather conditions along with a growing commitment to wheat among some growers.

“From an acreage standpoint, we’re probably close to fine,” he said. “But the number of growers growing wheat is probably down. Those who grow wheat have planted equal acres or a few more.  “There are also some growers who aren’t planting any. At the end of the day, acres will be flat or maybe slightly down, but not a huge adjustment down.” Kyle Brase, who farms near Edwardsville in Madison County, planted less wheat this year. Quality issues with the 2015 crop, however, weren’t the reason for that decision. “We are down just a little bit but mostly just because of rotation,” he said. “We didn’t have any other decision than that other than that’s how the crop plan worked out.” Some of his neighbors are foregoing planting wheat this year, but Brase doesn’t see that as part of a long-term trend. “There are a few of them shying away, but mostly only because of the trouble we’ve had the past couple of years, he said. “We’ve had quality issues two years in a row.”

Farmers unhindered by wet fields were able to get their crop into the ground in a timely manner this fall. But for some, the pleasant conditions weren’t enough to change their minds. “The planned acres for guys doing rotation are mostly done,” Ratermann said. “If it weren’t for the last couple of years with quality issues, we’d see a lot more wheat going out. But it’s left a bad taste in people’s mouths. . . . We’ll still have a crop, but it’ll be below-average acres.” Eversgerd said the dry conditions are good, for the most part. “With the exception of the west side of Southern Illinois, the other part has gotten pretty good moisture,” he said. “The wheat has gone in in great shape. Planting conditions have been very good. So I think who had been thinking about it worked the ground, it worked great. “Wheat’s getting off to a good start. That all puts a little optimism out there, I guess. “In St. Clair County and that part of the world, they’re really dry over there. There are actually a few guys who quit planting because it’s too dry.”

Monday, November 2, 2015

Happy 90th Birthday Louise!

We would like to Congratulate our grandma and mother on celebrating her 90th birthday. We took her out to a nice dinner at Richards Farm Restaurant in Casey, IL.

(Effingham Daily News) Louise McKay of Beecher City will celebrate her 90th birthday on Friday, Oct. 30, with a card shower. She was born on Oct. 30, 1925, the daughter of Andrew and Catherine Koester. Cards may be sent to her at 2832 East State Hwy 33, Beecher City IL 62414.