Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
Poor Weather Slows Local Crop Production
WSIL -- It's been a difficult year for local farmers so far. Fields blanketed with extra snow and ice this winter are now being soaked with April showers, making it too wet to plant.
"The ground is really saturated down," said Thompsonville farmer Larry Miller. "It's been a long time since I have seen it this wet not just on top but down below."
Miller hasn't planted any crops this spring and the recent rain could delay him further.
"We probably won't be in the field for a week or ten days depending on the sun and how many cloudy days," explained Miller.
Statewide 32 percent of the corn crop has been planted, only slightly behind the rate of this time last year. However, in Southern Illinois Miller is one of many farmers behind schedule.
"Too much rain is not a good thing for any crop and not enough rain is a problem so it's difficult to find a balance," said Miller.
In a good year he would have been in the ground already, but he remains optimistic.
"The earlier planted the better but last year were a little bit later and we raised a record crop," explained Miller.
Timely rains in July and August can still salvage this year's crop. It's too early to tell if prices will go up at the grocery store.
"I don't think the consumer is going to be impacted at this point," said Miller.
Miller only has a few more weeks to plant more than 1,500 acres of corn. With time running out, he and other farmers may compensate by planting more versatile crops instead.
"They may look at going with soybeans rather than planting as much corn as they had originally thought," said Miller.
Wind: 0 MPH
Humidity: 88 %