Farmers are humming the popular nursery rhyme “rain, rain, go away” after recent rains saturated fields across the state.
McHenry County farmer John Bartman had 3 inches of rain in a 36-hour period.
“We are better than other areas of the state, but it's getting ugly here,” he said.
Bartman attempted to travel down Burma Road on the border of Boone and McHenry Counties and experienced flooded roads and fields that could be easily mistaken for a lake. See for yourself.
Before the excess rain, Bartman had finished planting corn and was nearly done with beans. Now, he is working on attaching sump pump discharge hoses.
In McDonough County, CropWatcher 2.0 Colby Hunt had wrapped up fieldwork within hours of the steady rainfall that began last week. He’s had 4 inches of rain since last Thursday.
Join Hunt as he checks out early planted corn with some help from his daughters.
Six to 7 inches of rain have fallen since last Thursday in Kankakee County. CropWatcher 2.0 Greg St. Aubin has all of his beans in the ground, but some corn acres left.
“The remaining acres of corn can go to soybeans, if necessary,” he noted.
St. Aubin and his son-in-law recently shared how farmers like himself are coping with COVID-19.
“It affects the bottom line very seriously,” he shared during the interview. “Our total source of how we operate our business is through selling of our commodities. We produce our commodities only once a year, compared to other industries that are making widgets every day. Having to depend solely on markets, world events, pandemic, to try and move the markets where we can sell our commodity at a decent price and make a living.”
A recent downpour in White County brought 3 inches of rain in a 30-minute period, according to Bryce Williams.
“We haven’t planted since sometime in April and it’ll be June before we get back in the field,” he said
Meanwhile, Williams has been getting comfortable with a new guidance system in the driveway between rains.
In Moultrie County, Lucas Roney is using the rainout to repair a few pieces on the planter. He reports being about two-thirds complete with corn and soybean planting.
“The first round of rain was actually needed in the area for corn and soybeans planted in the April 18-20th planting window because the ground had crusted over and plants were having a hard time pushing through the crust,” he noted. “The rain came nicely and didn't cause any ponding in the fields so a few days later almost everything was able to emerge with the warmer temperatures helping things grow.”
He said the second round of rain was heavier and left some ponds in a few fields, likely drowning some crops. Roney hopes to finish some tile projects if the ground dries out enough to get an excavator out there, but the forecast doesn’t look promising Still, he’s trying to remind himself that he’s in way better shape than this time last year.
“This week last year was the first window we were able to even think about doing any field work and that was in marginal conditions. I think we still have a lot to be thankful for considering what we went through last year,” he added.