WIUM Tristates Public Radio

Midweek Downpour not Enough for Farmers

Aug 9, 2013

The rain that areas of Western Illinois saw on Wednesday was enough to keep crops "one step ahead” of drought stress, but not enough to keep crops satisfied in the long term.

Mike Roegge with University of Illinois Extension in Quincy said from talking to area farmers, 2 tenths to half an inch of rain was the most the are received.

We are going to need some rainfall to finish this crop off
A field North of Macomb, taken on August 8th, one day after a brief downpour.
Credit SSS

"We're just keeping ahead of dire condition but we have been keeping ahead of dire conditions," Roegge said, referencing that the rains that the area has received in recent weeks have all been similarly light.

"We can't say we have an ugly looking crop because we still have a great looking crop, but we are going to need some rainfall to finish this crop off," he added.

For context, Roegge said that on sunny days with 85 degree temperatures corn can use the equivalent of a quarter inch of rain every day.

He added that the recent stretch of cooler days has helped  crops deal with the lack of rain, but it has slowed the plants development. Roegge said that delay is most likely hurt farmer's farther north, who had to plant significantly behind schedule due to a went spring.