Recent rains only delaying Illinois farmers

By Benjamin Yount 
Illinois News Network

A good number of farm fields in Illinois still look like lakes, but the wet spring doesn’t mean big losses for farmers yet.

Illinois Farm Bureau President Rich Guebert said anyone who’s driven in Illinois knows the situation.

“The whole state has water issues,” Guebert said. “It varies from area to area.”

Some areas, like in southern Illinois, are inundated with flood water. There’s minor flooding throughout the Illinois River valley as well. Guebert said some spots in central Illinois are simply dealing with the lingering effects of last week’s rain storms.

Dave Steward farms about 2,000 acres of corn and beans in western DeWitt County. He said last week’s thunderstorms quickly soaked his entire farm and put a few places under water.

“I was out there the last couple days, with a shovel, trying to drain little bitty pockets and such,” Steward said.

April was the second wettest in Illinois history and May started off just as wet. But just because some of Illinois’ fields are flooded now doesn’t mean Illinois farmers are out of luck.

Guebert said there’s plenty of time for farmers to replant.

“We’ve got the month of May to finally get our arms around this and get it planted for corn,” Guebert said. “We can always fall back to beans. [The deadline] is the 20th of June.”

Steward said he’s been there before.

“I’ve planted a couple of times, due to a wet streak, in the first couple of days of June,” Steward said. “They weren’t my best, but they were respectable.”

Guebert said he doesn’t expect too many farmers to file a crop insurance claim from these rains. But if there are more problems a month from now, Guebert said that’s a different situation.

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