CENTRAL ILLINOIS– The continued rain and storms in Illinois have farmers scrambling to get crops in the fields.
As of Sunday, only 35% of corn and 14% of soybeans has been planted.
According to the latest Illinois Crop Progress And Condition Report from the USDA, corn and soybean planting is over 50 percentage points behind the five-year average.
“There’s just a lot of questions right now,” said Patrick Kirchhofer, Peoria Manager for the Illinois Farm Bureau. “Farmers have a lot of options right now and a lot of decisions to make.”
June 5 for corn and June 20 for soybeans are two key dates. Central Illinois farmers will decide wether to opt into an insurance plan, Prevent Plant Option, or wait for congress and the Trump administration to pass the Market Facilitation Program.
“They’re still deciding on the Market Facilitation Program on the amount of dollars that would be paid out and it’s going to depend on what happens in month,” said Kirchhofer.
“You have full coverage up to that date, then after that date, it gets a little more complicated,” said local farmer, Ross Pauli. “There’s thing called prevent planning or each day past that up to so long your coverage just goes down a little. I took out insurance on mine, but there’s also a problem that a lot of farms in Illinois are farmed 50-50, that means the farmer has half the crop and the owner has half, and they have to decide if they want insurance or not.“
The longer local farmers wait to put their crops in the ground runs the risk of a lower yield in the fall but the question remains: is it worth the risk?
“If the farmer cannot generate some revenue, for his business, that means there’s going to be businesses that suffer also in the area,” said Kirchhofer.
Area farmers have been having regular meetings. Wednesday morning, The Illinois Farm Bureau took over 60 questions.