Corn in Jackson County looks promising - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Corn in Jackson County looks promising

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JACKSON CO. -- At seven years old, Tony Boyle knew he had a passion for the agriculture industry.

"As a little kid, I'd always go onto my grandpa's farm and see everything and I was kind of hooked then," said Boyle, a crop specialist at Southern FS in Jackson County. 

Originally from Missouri, the Southern Illinois University alumni studied agriculture systems before becoming a crop expert. He now focuses on three major crops, one of them being corn. 

Boyle said he works with over 60 farms in the area, including U.H.H. Clark Farm.

"A lot of what I do is to be the eyes and ears to produce the best product for my growers," said Boyle. 

He said part of what makes the corn so harvestable is the weather in southern Illinois. Unlike other parts of the state, he added the weather has been favorable on his end for the most part.

"I wish I could say that for everyone, but we've been very fortunate," said Boyle. 

Dr. Jason Bond from SIU said the condition of corn crop in southern Illinois changes depending on the amount of rain received in the last month.

Experts and farmers agreed that they would like to see more rain.

"If mother nature can grace us with some rain across the southern part of the state, it would make a lot of guys happy," said Boyle. 

What also makes Boyle happy is the advanced software he uses to help produce more accurate yield maps, with help from drones and aerial mapping.

"The advancement in technology has really opened our eyes to what we can do," said Boyle. 

That technology also helps in other areas, including disease prevention. 

Dr. Bond said corn foliar diseases are starting to increase, which could impact production.

So far, no reports of Southern Rust in Illinois has been reported. Both Boyle and Dr. Bond said the industry is cautiously keeping an eye out for it. 

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