Downstate farmers face tough decisions due to heavy rains

By Cole Lauterbach 
Illinois News Network

After last week’s rains and a forecast showing more this week, farmers in parts of Illinois are being forced to make some tough decisions on the timing of their planting – or in some cases, replanting.

National Weather Service maps show most of central and southern Illinois have received more than 10 inches of rain in the past 30 days. Some counties are between 14 and 16 inches. This leaves some farmers with corn crops yet to be replanted and farmers with acreage to be replanted looking at the radar and wondering when to get back out there.

Tammie Obermark manages the Pulaski, Massac, and Alexander counties’ branches of the Illinois Farm Bureau. She said much of the crops in her area are in good shape but there are a number of farms that will need to be replanted once the water goes away.

“We have some hilltops planted. I’ve seen some stands of corn that look good. On the other hand, I’ve seen some that are going to have to be replanted,” she said. “In the last five to 10 years, we’ve been in the fields in mid-March. I think people have gotten used to that.”

Mid-April is the typical time to get in the fields, she said.

Further north, Fred Grieder said his corn in western McLean County has been lucky.

“We did have some ponding and some emergence issues, but we’ve had several weeks of good drying weather,” he said.

McLean County farmer J.C. Zimmerman has the same story.

“It took forever for the corn to come out of the ground, but it looks like just about everything’s coming up alright,” he said.

Another system of storms is due to roll through central Illinois for much of the week.

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