Heavy rains leave headaches for farmers

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CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Heavy rains over the past week have benefitted dry soils, but when there is more than enough it begins to impede fieldwork and hurt the crop.

Within WCIA’s viewing area, many farms measured at least 5 inches of rain, and some upwards of 12-13 inches in southern McLean County.

Matt Hughes, who farms near Shirley — south of Bloomington — says he ended up with a little over 8 inches around his house. Heyworth and Bloomington reported about 10 inches.

Hughes said fields were pretty dry before all of this started and the first 1.5 inches were barely noticed. Then, nearly 5 inches in one rainfall filled the creeks and ditches.

He still has several ponds in some fields and the soil is completely saturated.

About 100 acres along the Sugar Creek stood underwater for several days and may not recover. Most of the other areas that were underwater will be stunted in their yields. The biggest uncertainty at this time is how much nitrogen is left in the soil for the corn.

Steve Stierwalt, of Sadorus, said the 5 inches in his area left some ponds. Other farmers indicated wet soils will retard their efforts at weed control.

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