PEOTONE, Ill. (CBS) — Farmers in Illinois can’t seem to find happy medium. After several years of drought, this year the problem is too much rain.
CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports farmers in Peotone are dealing with soggy crops.
Just walking through the muddy, rain-soaked cornfields of Peotone farmer Jim Robbins is hard enough, but driving a tractor through there is impossible.
“We’ve been sitting since about the first of the month and haven’t done anything out in the field,” Robbins said.
And rain is the reason why: 5.5 inches last month and 11 inches more this month, turning most cornfields into a quagmire while totally flooding others.
“You can see an area, there is probably two or three acres in this field that is completely gone that is flooded,”Robbins said. “So that won’t come back, that’s dead.”
It’s much the same for soybean fields after three to four days underwater, plants simply die. Even if its dries out soon, some crops may not survive due to shallow roots.
“We need dry weather but if we get too dry…these roots should down here and they haven’t had to go anywhere because all the moisture’s been on top of the ground,” Robbins said.
Robbins, an optimist, hopes even some damaged crops can recover, but there’s little hope that last year’s bumper harvest will be repeated.
“Normally, we’d be looking at 180-200 bushel corn [per acre],” he said. “We’re probably at 140 now, if things would turn around.”