Corn farmers face challenging season; expecting harvest delays

Local News

MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. — Farmers across central Illinois jumped hurdles for this year’s crop.

“From the start, its been a very challenging season,” said farmer Jason Lay.

A rainy spring left fields in poor conditions, meaning farmers couldn’t get their crops in the ground.

“The growing season for 2019 for corn farmers has been pretty unprecedented in terms of the challenges we’ve had with the weather,” said Tricia Braid, the communications director for the Illinois Corn Growers Association.

While corn and other crops are usually planted from late April to early May, some fields weren’t planted until June.

“We were probably five weeks behind on the average planting date for our crops,” said farmer Fred Grieder.

The summer growing months will reveal how the crop develops.

“This year we’re going to be seeing probably more un-planted acres than we’ve seen in a long time,” said Braid.

Farmers also expect their harvest dates to be delayed.

“Typically, we’d probably start the third week of September. I would say for our June planted corn, which that;s not all but its quite a bit of the area, probably more like the middle of October,” said Lay.

Temperatures will play a big part in how farmers are able to harvest.

“On average, the later you plant, you just lose part of the growing season, and you could expect lower yields,” said Grieder.

If the weather is warm later in the season, harvest won’t be an issue. But many are worried about an early frost.

“If we have good conditions to finish, especially moderate temperatures and a lot of sunshine and some moisture, we could have close to an average crop for the crop that is planted,” said Grieder.

For now, the farmers have to wait and see how their season wraps up.

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