Friday, May 4, 2018

Planting continues...

We started planting our 2018 crop in earnest on April 20th with soybeans. On Saturday, April 21st we made the switch to corn and never looked back. Nine days later we finished corn. This was one of the most fast paced planting seasons we've experienced in several years. The soil worked up extremely well. While we planted corn we also planted soybeans with another planter which sped up our planting season. The weather turned from cold to hot and windy. These conditions wicked the moisture out of the planting profile quickly and as we turned the calendar over to May we actually became concerned about the lack of moisture in the top three inches of soil. As luck would have it, we received a very welcomed rain on Thursday, May 3rd. This gave the freshly planted corn and soybeans a great start, but it also gave everyone time away from the farm to spend with their families and catching up on office work. We have about 900 acres of soybeans left to plant, but with three planters it should not take longer than a couple days. 


20" strip-till corn at high-speed. It planted beautifully this year.

Planting no-till corn on the University of Illinois farm.

Our April 20th planted soybeans are up and looking good!

Several of our April 21-24th planted corn is already up!

Adding more tile and new tile risers on the University of Illinois Hunter #3 Farm we operate.


Sunday, April 15, 2018

Plant 18 has begun!

Despite Mother Nature dropping another Sunday's snowfall on us, the 2018 planting season did get underway at Johnson Family Farms this past week. We went from a couple inches of snow to 80 degree temperatures to over two inches of rainfall by the weekend. This is some of the wildest weather I can remember and from the sound of news the weather is all out of whack all over our country. We hope to be back in the fields planting this week, but the forecast does not look promising.

Snow in April in Central Illinois???

Re-seeding a waterway on the Dunlap Young Farm.

Working ground ahead of the planter on Thursday.

Time to get the soybean planter going. Friday the 13th - why not?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Pre-planting activity...

The calendar is getting closer to April 1st and the start of the 2018 planting season. The neighborhood has been fairly active with tile projects, emptying grain bins, a little field work and other jobs. We have been hauling grain, getting equipment ready, taking delivery of our seed and finalizing our 2018 crop plans. Although the calendar is two weeks from April 1st, Mother Nature seems determined to keep things cold and windy in the 10 day forecast. Soil conditions in our area are very dry as they have been since last July. We do have moisture in the top 1-2 feet of the soil profile, but below that where the corn and soybean roots will need to grow we are still extremely dry.  

Neighbor's tile main cutting through the South end of our Grand Prairie farm.

Notice how dry the soil is. Our area is still included in the latest drought monitor.

18" tile main being laid through our farm. This will drain 120 acres that is over a mile away from us.

Uncle Bob applying anhydrous ammonia to his Atwood farm today.

Cleaning out the last of the small bins we filled with soybeans last fall. Storing soybeans paid nicely this year.

Saturday, January 27, 2018

January means hauling grain...

The New Year has come and gone and we are now focused on what lies ahead in 2018. While the January weather may be taking drastic swings from bitter cold to a pleasant 50 degrees, we remain focused on getting our 1st of the Year grain sales delivered. Since January 2nd we have been busy hauling our stored grain to a variety of locations. We have delivered nonGMO soybeans to ADM in Decatur, white corn to Bartlett Grain in South Jacksonville as well as traditional yellow corn and soybeans to Beardstown. We even answered the call from a local feed mill that was nearly out of corn during the bitterly cold days after the first of the year. When the weather was not fit to move grain we've spent time in the office getting end of the year reports and accounting caught up. We have also attended several informative meetings such as the Precision Planting Winter Conference in nearby Tremont. Their were some intriguing new technologies unveiled at that conference and we are in discussions on how those could impact our business' bottom-line. 


Unloading the temporary white corn storage into a semi. We had about 550 bushels of white corn that would not fit in the grain bins during harvest, so we stored the overrun bushels in a wagon in our cold storage area of our shop until the time came to deliver the first bushels on the contract.

Beautiful sunset while unloading the temporary storage.

We are very fortunate that Bartlett Grain in South Jacksonville is open weeknight's until 9pm. That allows us to deliver to other places during the day or attend a meeting and still be able to deliver grain later in the day.


Saturday, December 23, 2017

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Years from all of us at Johnson Family Farms!  What a wonderful fall it has been with warmer than normal temperatures and almost zero rainfall.  We have been busy doing dirt work outside on various farms, cleaning up fall harvest and tillage equipment and hauling grain from our bins to the Illinois River.  

We were very blessed again this year with high yields and good health. We have many other blessings to be thankful for this past year including all our employees and suppliers that make our business successful.  We look forward to higher prices and more timely and adequate rainfall in 2018!



Mold board plows have been sold and are heading to a new home at a local organic farm where they will use them to plow under cover crops as "green manure."


Building a new terrace on the Dunlap Young farm.
Rebuilding the terrace on the Mears Land Trust in Greenfield. After several multiple inch rains that topped the terrace it eventually wore down the terrace in places and the dirt needed to be moved back.

Sunday, October 29, 2017

Harvest 2017 is over...!!!

In our typical seven week fashion harvest has started and finished for us here at Johnson Family Farms. Yields overall were better than expected across the board regarding our yellow corn crop. Given it was our first year growing white corn, we were pleased and also disappointed with that crop. We did learn a few things that we may employ next year should we grow white corn again. The majority of the soybean crop was exceptional with only a few hiccups in yield where we had to replant beans in June due to armyworms.  Fertilizer is being applied and most of the limestone has also been applied. This week we will focus on getting the harvest machinery moved back to our shop and keeping the tillage rigs moving while the weather is good. A few locals have started applying anhydrous ammonia nitrogen, but we will wait a few weeks to ensure that the soil temperatures are below 50 degrees and only getting colder. 

We would like to thank our many employees who helped make our harvest season so successful and without injury. They worked countless hours and many times for weeks at a time without a day off and never complained. We are happy to have harvest behind us and take a break from lunch meat sandwiches...

Filling the grain cart in a hurry while waiting on trucks.

Harvesting soybeans as the sun sets.

Tag-teaming soybeans in Greene County on the Mears Land Trust.

Unloading yellow corn on the run into the Kinze grain cart.

The last pass of Harvest 2017...

Sunday, September 24, 2017

Harvest is here...

Harvest began for us on Monday, September 11th. We started with corn testing anywhere from 24-26% moisture. Since that time the weather has become extremely hot and dry and our corn is now 19-20%. The rains have missed us most of the later half of the summer and continue to do so through fall. After two weeks of uninterrupted harvesting, we are now about one-third complete. We have also combined quite a few acres of soybeans and those tested 15% to now a very dry 8% moisture. Yields have been surprisingly good considering how little rainfall we received all summer long. We continue to be thankful for good yields and great employees that help make our harvest season go smooth.

Please be vigilant of farm machinery moving on roads this time of year - we often can't see you behind us; especially when you get really close to us. Be safe!

Harvesting soybeans on the Grand Prairie Farm.


Harvesting corn on the Creed Field just East of our shop.

Owen operating the combine while we harvest soybeans outside Ashland.

Dumping corn through the scale at our grain drying site.