At this time last year, 88 percent of Illinois’ corn crop was in the ground. This year, just seven percent is.
The harvest advanced from 80 to 87 percent, as farmers switched to soybeans or were kept out of the fields by rain.
Statewide, topsoil moisture is now 44 percent adequate and 4 percent surplus – not enough to help this year’s corn and soybeans, but good news for next year.
USDA crop statistician Brad Schwab says the damage to the corn was done weeks ago, and even now soybeans probably won’t benefit from rain.
Steve Worthington, who oversees crop claims for Country Financial in Bloomington, predicts crop damage nationally this summer will top the $40 billion.
Brad Schwab, with the Illinois field office of the USDA says the results are, as you can expect, terrible.
The University of Missouri Extension is encouraging people and groups to post on a Facebook page devoted to the drought.
It’s the sixth driest year on record in Illinois and much of the state’s corn and soybean crop is suffering.
Central Illinois crop insurance agent Rustin Godfrey says he’s been on the phone almost constantly with clients.
Much of the corn crop could be past the point of no return, says Mark Schleusener with the USDA..