Central Illinois is expected to get some much needed rain tomorrow and Friday and it can’t come too soon.  The fields are dry, the crop is suffering, and the excessive heat here over Memorial Day weekend didn’t exactly help the emerging crop.

Is your lawn turning yellow?  Are your flowers receiving daily waterings from your hose or watering can?  Think of the acres of corn and soybeans burning up under our current scorching conditions!

Here are some of the latest crop reports from corn farmers around Illinois:

The chances for rain don’t appear to be destined to hit our farm this weekend. We are extremely dry and hurting for a rain. The yard is looking like the dog days of August. Thursday of last week we had 90+ degrees and 40+ MPH dry winds……..a bit eery as the sky looked dark in the afternoon filled with dirt. We’ll make knee high by the 4th of June* but if it doesn’t rain as plants determine ear size, those plants are feeling a little sick not wanting to support too many kernels. – Rob Elliott, Cameron, IL

*The old farmer adage is that the corn crop should be “knee high by the fourth of July.”  This year, because weather and soil conditions allowed farmers to plant much earlier than usual, the crop will be knee high by the fourth of June.

After getting 6+ inches of rain the end of April and first week of May, we had gotten very dry. Beans that had been drilled had spotty stands because once the soil was opened up, it dried very quickly.*  Some beans took hold, some swelled before the moisture was sucked away, and some were just in dry dirt. On Memorial Day, we were teased with a shower in the morning that got the sidewalks wet, but were blessed with .7 inches later in the day,  – Tom Mueller, Taylor Ridge, IL

*Drilling beans means that a small trench was dug into the soil and the beans placed into the trench.  This act of “opening up the soil” allowed the moisture that was protected deeper in the earth to evaporate.

The corn planted March 30 looks the best. I replanted 250 acres of April 9th low ground corn on May 10th.  It really needs a drink.  The rest of the corn looks good today after a long hot Memorial weekend.  Mark Degler, Mattoon, IL

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