The good news is that there probably won't be as many farm accidents during this year's harvest. The bad news is that's because there isn't that much to harvest.
Still the folks at Farm Credit Services of Illinois, Red Bud regional office, are highlighting Farm Safety Week with their annual Meals in the Field event, asking farmers to be careful out there.
Five lucky farmers get a catered noon meal this week courtesy of Farm Credit. Usually the meals end up being in the shed although the FCS people are prepared to go to the field if necessary, said JoAnn Vosse, regional vice president.
That wasn't necessary on Tuesday when the meal came to the Kinzinger farm between Freeburg and New Athens because the family couldn't work in the field because of rain.
After a horrible summer of little rain, September seems to be attempting to right matters. With a little over half the month gone, September has seen a little more than 5 inches of rain, already more than the 30-year monthly average of 3.28 inches for the month. That leaves the area still nearly 4.5 inches short of the average total to date of 31.38 inches.
It won't have much effect this year except maybe to improve late planted soybeans but farmers welcome the rain even if it is late. There's always next year.
The Kinzinger family, more than 20 of them at the meal, welcomed the FCS food and thanked God for what harvest there is.
Randy Kinzinger said most of the corn they planted has been cut for sileage.
"But I know of guys with crop insurance who have been having yields of 2 to 12 bushels per acre.
"A lot of our beans just died after they came up. A lot of fields are already disked up.
"We really have a lot of nothing."
Joe Luechtefeld, a crop insurance specialist for FCS, said he has heard a lot of sad stories about crop yields. He even had one of his own.
"I had to call a landlord yesterday and tell him his corn made 12 1/2 bushels an acre," he said. "And that will be split between six people."
The Kinzingers did have a good wheat crop, said Ralph Kinzinger who bought the farm back in 1957. He stood during the meal and credited FCS with helping him to stay in business through the years.
Voss said the pulled pork sandwiches that FCS served came from a hog that Farm Credit bought at the county 4-H livestock auction.
Luechtefeld said he has read estimates that about 20 percent of farmers didn't have crop insurance this year.
"In the long run, if you have a decent crop insurance policy, you come all right income wise," he said. "It's a management tool. At least you cover yourself and in years like this at least survive."
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September: 5.01 inches
Normal: Sept. 3.28
Total to date: 26.93 inches.
Average 1981-2010 to date: 31.38
Source: Illinois State Water Survey