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Western Illinois Farmers Remain Vigilant for Crop Emergence
Illinois Ag Connection - 05/23/2023

Western Illinois farmers are closely monitoring crop emergence as they strive to maximize yields in challenging conditions. The Rylander family, for instance, demonstrates exceptional attention to detail, even on fields with lower yield potential than county or state averages.

One such field they rent in Knox County was previously strip-mined for coal, necessitating topsoil replacement during reclamation. However, due to poor water retention and soil structure, its corn yield is limited to around 100 bushels per acre. Nevertheless, Doug Rylander remains committed to ensuring the success of the newly planted corn, personally inspecting the depth and placement of the seeds.

Doug's father, Dave, joins him in closely observing the progress. They employ various techniques, including applying Pivot Bio microbial fertilizer and liquid nitrogen (non-anhydrous), to enhance plant growth and performance. This year, they initiated planting on April 15 for both corn and soybeans, starting earlier than ever before.

Despite their meticulous efforts, challenges emerged. On May 4, a rotary hoe was spotted in the area where they planted corn early, potentially causing emergence problems. Dave promptly investigated the situation and concluded that the first two varieties planted on April 15 would likely require replanting, while the subsequent two showed better progress. Seeking guidance from seed experts, Dave aims to make informed decisions to optimize yields.

Although a rainfall of approximately 1.5 inches on May 8 temporarily paused planting activities on their Knox County land, the Rylanders remain dedicated to achieving the best possible outcomes. Their vigilance and adaptability exemplify the resilience of Western Illinois farmers in navigating the uncertainties of agricultural production.

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