(The Center Square) – Despite recent rain from two weather systems, most of Illinois continues to experience drought-like conditions.
Although parts of Chicago received over 8 inches of rain recently, many parts of Illinois were left out. Drought conditions persist as June is expected to be one of the 10 driest months in the state’s history. The state climatologist office said Illinois is down about 10 inches of rain compared to normal years.
The recent rains around the state helped, but farmers could use more in the coming weeks during the critical reproductive stages of corn and soybeans.
Cody Book, a farmer in Harvard, told WTVO TV that during a stressful time for corn and soybeans, it’s best to stay out of the fields, especially when it’s hot.
“Just because they’re tolerant to it doesn’t mean they’re not metabolizing it, and that takes energy and you don’t want to take any energy they have to give,” Book said.
According to the latest Crop Progress and Condition Report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, corn and soybeans actually improved.
The condition of corn was rated as good by 32% of respondents on July 2, compared to only 21% on June 25. Soybeans were rated 27% good on July 2 compared to 20% on June 25.
The derecho that blew through Illinois recently brought rain, but also flattened corn crops in central Illinois. Wind damage reports from the derecho stretched more than 500 miles.
Chad Bell, who farms near Viola, told WQAD TV that it pays to be prepared for the unexpected.
“We do have crop insurance that we can take the insurance claim on,” Bell said. “That won’t make us whole but that also puts money in our pocket to hopefully continue on for next year.”