Farmers remain strong, united as harvest approaches

By Richard Guebert Jr.

This year has been one for the history books. A global pandemic, federal relief packages, market shifts and social distancing measures initially rocked the food supply system as our supply chain was tested.

Specialty crop producers, row crop, livestock and dairy farmers readjusted quickly and creatively to continue providing food, fiber and fuel across our nation. We did not waver. After all, we’re a resilient bunch – we wouldn’t make it in this business if we weren’t.

As for the crops, it’s surely been another roller coaster of a growing season. The majority of farmers in the state got their crops in on time. The weather has been fair, considering the record rainfall and prevent plant challenges of last year.

Corn looks good on our farm in Randolph County. We have been blessed with timely rains. Soybeans are setting pods and look good. We’ve been able to keep up with cutting hay and mowing our ditches. The cool snap provided an excellent opportunity to sweep our bins and get grain hauled to the elevator. I have high hopes there will be no combines running into the holidays this time around.

Long days in the fields are ahead as we move into the thick of harvest. Please remember to keep safety as your top priority. Stay alert on the roads with proper signage. Never enter a bin alone. Lock out/tag out every time, and take a break when you need it.

It is always tragic to learn about the loss of a neighbor. Oftentimes, it is preventable. It’s important to continue looking out for each other, especially in this high-stress year of 2020.

I know our membership is wearing this year heavy on their sleeve. The months have both flown by and dragged on with new challenges and a new humble appreciation for in-person interaction.

Farmers remain strong and united in working together toward a better future. It is times like these that often bring forward new ideas and innovations for needed improvements.

I look forward to continuing to work on behalf of our members and Illinois agriculture. I wish you all a safe and bountiful harvest.

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