CENTRAL ILLINOIS (WCIA) — Heat and dry weather across the state are making farmers sweat.
The past few months have seen below average rainfall across the state, to the extent Central Illinois towns are experiencing abnormally dry to moderate drought conditions.
Farmers are worried they might not break even on some of their crops, and they’re hoping it doesn’t get doesn’t get worse.
“It drains part of a couple hundred acres, and as you can see, it’s dry as dry can be – and it has been for about a month. The water table is really low, and that is stressing our crops.”
You don’t have to look far on a farm to see what months of heat and dry weather have done.
“It doesn’t feel like any moisture at all, so the plant is not able to get much moisture from that, and this is really when it needs it.”
Central Illinois farmers had a glimmer of hope weeks ago when it seemed there would be rain, but it just wasn’t enough, and now, that hope is fading fast.
“Now this plant is cannibalizing itself to help support this ear.”
“I can put my hand almost to my wrist.”
Those widening gaps are causing cracks in the market — both the yield, and the prices are going down.
“I’m worried right now, i don’t know what to think, I’ve been farming since 1985, and this is the first time that I’ve needed to worry about income.”
If it keeps up, some say it just makes more financial sense to switch crops.
“The prices are terrible right now, terrible, or a while now we were all optimistic. I know some very good farmers who say, you know if it stays like this we may just get out.”
But for now, they’ll just have to see what mother nature does next.
“Farmers are too trusting, we just wait and see what the yield is going to be, and what the prices are going to be.”
That dry weather looks like it will continue for the next few days, although Central Illinois could see some rain tonight. However, it’s not expected to be anything substantial.