Southern Illinois is still holding on to a dry weather pattern. We managed to get around an inch of rain this month, but that disappeared pretty quickly. We have had to tap into our winter hay supply earlier than we expected. The temperature has been warm all month adding to the drought conditions.
The clear weather has helped the crop farmers get ahead with their harvest. The later planted corn has dried down and most of the beans are harvested at this point. The yield has been average to above average in most cases. The rain earlier this summer was timed out about right for pollination.
The harvest on our farm has drug a bit behind due to a late start. We hosted a field day for Southern Illinois Beef Association this past month. Back in June when the preparations started it was planned to be a beef meeting at a producer’s farm. Our farm was excited to help put this together, but we were looking further than just farmers and ranchers. The committee wanted to open this up to the general public and help educate the consumers about how their food is raised. The sponsorship was overwhelming, which gave us a budget to work with and run a strong campaign for advertising the event. The weather was warm and the sun was shining, and the open house was a huge success. There was around 450-500 attendees present. Terry Medford (SIBA President) put together a great lineup of speakers. Purina had a nutritionist speaking about animal nutrition and how it applies to our own nutrition and everyday diets. Rend Lake had speakers from the culinary department discussing proper ways to handle and prepare meat. Everyone that attended learned something about beef. I will say I was a bit unsettled about opening up our farm to, in this case, just anybody. The one thing that really stood out was the good character of the people that showed up. As a farmer, it is our job to help educate consumers about the responsible way we manage animals and how they are raised. Too much information is misinterpreted through social media and TV. The Beef Association is hoping to do this event again at another location next year. This is something that can put a positive spin on the industry and our local organization.