The Hancock-Henderson Quill, Inc.

The Wisdom Of Barnyard Bruke: "FUN TIMES IN THE COUNTRY FOR SUMMER!"

Greetings to everyone in Western Illinois.

It shore has warmed up and dried out around these parts. I even heard recently two farmers a talk'n they wouldn't mind have'n a nice shower about now. One is be'n predicted for Monday, July 11 or Tuesday, July 12. We'll see what happens and know by the time you read this.

Corn is a tassel'n here and there and much of it has a good deep color to it. Those with irrigation systems has for the most part tried them out already.

Speculators and government forecasters, with their crystal balls, is back again measure'n silage (corn stover) for price'n corn. They did the same last summer. They wouldn't give up on the optimistic corn yield prospects, based on "green silage (stalks) in late June and early July of 2010, even after the combines began roll'n. Their forward sales were based on that fiction of "green cornstalks means a bumper crop and not until they received their scale settlement tickets did they finally realize the market is for grain, not for stover.

Ear size, girth, length, etc. was determined early in the corn plants growth under some very adverse conditions again this spring, as was the case last spring. You can't change that now, no matter what USDA sez or how green the plant looks.

Additionally, whatever ear size was determined earlier will be affected in July and August by moisture levels, temperature at pollination time, and many other important factors.

Don't be a buyin' any $8,000-$13,000 per acre ground, or new combine and tractor based on bumper yields and high prices. One or another is gonna prohibit the other from happenin'! Unless of course you have forward sold 100% of your anticipated crop ahead at over $6.00 per bushel. Now alls you has to do is pray for good yields and keep takein' your ulcer pills.

A lot of fellers has told me they didn't get all their corn sprayed as they had planned. Also, some was shorted on nitrogen application due to wet field conditions. I'd guess those "yeller planes" I see a fly'n over regularly is try'n to make up the difference.

High priced grain allows for a person to stand a little extra expense to improve yields. Farmers just won't Give up and for that I tip my hat to "em".

Across the river in Burlington, Iowa they had a nice concert followed with fireworks. That was plenty of good "ole fashioned fun.

Additionally, up north in Biggsville they had an ice cream social with homemade pies, brats, and pork burgers. Also a band played for some mighty fine entertainment.

The Watson horse drawn equipment museum was open for folk to tour. My, what an interest'n museum, with quality videos, that family has put together. It would be well worth your effort to drop in and see it sometime.

I've been out pick'n raspberries lately, and have noticed a swarm of Japanese Beetles eat'n their share of the leaves. Has anyone else been a scout'n for them critters in their fields lately? Maybe a little insecticide applied with your fungicide may be necessary. Be careful with surfactant at certain stages of corn development as it could limit yield. The surfactant in the insecticide will be enough for the entire process.

It was sad to see the loss of another good Hancock County neighbor and mighty fine mule skinner Leo Hanks of Burnside. He and his championship mules will be missed at the Illinois and Missouri State Fairs as well as in our local parades. Him work'n them mules with that big ole fancy wagon was sure a pleasant sight, which reminds me, it's gett'n close to county fair time.

County fairs began in Europe, especially England, where gentlemen farmers displayed their livestock at community events. Durin' colonial years in the United States, farmers organized agricultural societies, the first in 1784.

By 1860, 941 agricultural societies were operatin' in the United States with the primary purpose of encouragin improvement in agriculture.

In 1811 the Berkshire Agricultural Society of Massachusetts organized a competitive display for farmers, includin' cash prizes for livestock. By the 1850s fairs were operatin' in the Midwest.

Today about 3,500 fairs are held each year in the United States and Canada (about 800 in Canada). Illinois holds about 105 fairs each year, Wisconsin 100, and Minnesota 95.

County fairs are show places for adults and youth, especially 4-H and FFA members, who exhibit their projects. Fairs bring people together to have fun, to compete with each other, and to enjoy time away from hard work and regular responsibilities.

A day at the fair, from the youngest member of a family to the oldest, is always one to remember and look forward to.

County fairs are ferris wheels and merry-go-rounds and other fancy rides. You may find fried onions and cotton candy or other delicious treats. 4-H clubs and FFA members along with their wide eyed siblings and proud parents mill about and enjoy the rural atmosphere.

Fairs include prize winnin' bread, first place carrots, and grand-champion livestock. You may find strength-testin' machines (ring the bell with a mallet), dart throwin' games (break three balloons and win a stuffed animal), and dunk machines (dump a neighbor, teacher, or preacher in the water with a well-aimed throw). Girls now regularly beat the boys in many of these contests.

Fairs might include a demolition derby, a tractor pull, a parade, and a chicken or greased pig catch'n contest, a Queen Pageant, Cowboy Country Church and horse show. Sleepin' over night along side your livestock project can be a special treat along with a water balloon fight or a bucket of cold water to catch ya by surprise as ya sleep or are "blindsided" whilst washin' a livestock project.

Fair meals, fellowship with kin and neighbors, crop condition reports and weather predictions get a good goin' over at county fairs. Industrial and commercial tents are interestin' and displayed machinery always hold special appeal.

Hope to see ya at the up come-n fair. Let's build good memories together there. Bring a friend and/or relative. Me, Ma, and the boys will be look'n for ya and we'll have a goodly spell of "jaw'n the fat" together.

Keep on Smile'n
Catch ya Later
Barnyard Bruke