Memories of years gone by


Planters continue to roll out in the fields as we near the completion of spring planting. Weather forecasts through the summer continue to predict warmer-than-normal temperatures for the Corn Belt with near normal precipitation. Should that occur as predicted it should be a relatively-good growing year. Of course, we never know until Fall harvest kicks-in.

As a kid growing up this time of year usually meant getting the cultivator ready to plow corn for the first time. Trying to get out any pesky weeds that emerged after planting. Beans would usually follow sometime a few weeks later.

It was July that I remember most. When the beans hit about thigh high it was time to grab the weed hook and go “walk beans.” It certainly was not the most pleasant job in the world, but it certainly built character, left you with a feeling of accomplishment and taught you that you are supposed to be tired after a long day of work.

I was home in Springfield recently and walking through the barn I spied those old weed hooks hanging in a corner. Memories came back of Pop and I trudging down those rows cutting out weeds. Brought my mind back to a simpler time in life.

And as I get older I start to enjoy those simple things the most.

Outlook event

The Lee, Carroll, Ogle and Whiteside County Farm Bureaus along with COUNTRY Financial will host a crop marketing outlook on the evening of June 12; at the Days Inn, Rock Falls. “What’s in Your Crop Marketing Plan?” is a two-hour seminar designed specifically for producers to help them manage risk associated with the current commodity markets and identify market conditions to capture profit margins through this year into next.

Dr. Steve Johnson, Retired Iowa State University Extension farm management specialist, will facilitate the program. Steve has served as the Farm & Ag Business management specialist in Central Iowa for Iowa State University Extension and Outreach since 1999. 

He specializes in topics related to government farm programs, crop insurance, crop marketing, grain contracts, farmland leasing and other crop risk management strategies. In the past year, he has conducted more than 120 meetings, workshops, seminars and conferences across the Corn Belt with nearly 15,000 in attendance.

Steve uses web sites such as ISU Ag Decision Maker and Polk County Extension Farm Management along with various print and electronic media. Annually he reaches more than 200,000 producers, landowners and other agribusiness professionals.

During the two-hour program producers will examine the following topics: Global Supply/Demand & Crop Price Outlook, Understanding Summer Weather Forecasts, Review Crop Insurance Coverage, Global Geo-Political Issues & Recession, Implementing a ’24-’25 Marketing Plan, and Pre-Harvest Marketing Strategies and Tools.

This presentation will assist producers in designing and implementing a marketing plan that is specific to their own operation. It will present producers with various options they can effectively utilize to capture market profits, manage market risks in this volatile market, minimize cost increases and make informed decisions on input pricing, storage options and position their marketing plan for profit protection.  Market, global and recent economic factors will be examined and producers will learn to identify where profit opportunities and pitfalls lie for their farm operations.

Pre-registration is required. To register for the program call 815-732-2231 or email

Program begins at 7 p.m. on June 12; Days Inn, Rock Falls.

“The only thing that sat its way to success was a hen.” -Sarah Brown

Ron Kern is the manager of the Ogle County Farm Bureau.