ST. LOUIS (KMOX) - With water still standing in some fields and other fields too muddy to work, area farmers are getting a bit anxious about this year’s growing season.
“I’m sure there’s some nerves and anxiety but it’s just way too early to write off the corn crop,” USDA Illinois State Statistician Mark Schleusener said. “Farmers may be choosing different varieties, different lengths of season. They may have to make some changes to soybeans rather than corn but it’s pretty early to make those choices too.”
At this time last year, 88 percent of Illinois’ corn crop was in the ground; this year just seven percent is. Outside the Bootheel, Missouri has similar numbers.
While Schleusener says it is too soon to panic, Missouri Farm Service Agency Executive Director Mark Cadle says the time to do so is fast approaching.
“Anytime you’re planting corn after the twentieth of May, we see yield potential drop off every day,” he said. “If we don’t see some real planting progress made within the next week to ten days then we’re going to see some pretty hefty swings in the market.”
Both Cadle and Schleusener said sunny, breezy days are what is needed to dry the fields and get crops on track.
“Sunshine, maybe some light wind to help dry off the soil,” Schleusener said, “and farmers can get their plants running, get their corn done, and start working on the soybeans.”