Farmers hoping for rain to help corn and soybeans

There's concern about the lack of rain.

Plenty of rain earlier this spring put quite a strain on some farmer's who were forced to plant their crops later than usual.

But now, there's concern about the lack of rain.

Alan Ippensen is busy taking care of his hay fields. But he also wants to take care of his corn and soybean fields. He said spotty rain has benefited some of the fields he's planted, but in other places, there's hardly been a drop of rain.

"You know, some of the ears have an inch tip back on them. I mean it's not drastic, there's definite yield loss from the lack of rain in the past month, month and a half," Ippensen said.

Since July 1st, measured rainfall at the Quincy Regional Airport has been about an inch and a half. That's less than what it was at the same time last year during the record drought. Mike Roegge is a crop specialist with the University of Illinois Cooperative Extension. He said at this point, the corn could start aborting kernels and lowering yields.

"Rain fall is critical for the corn crop at this point. As a matter of fact it's a little past critical for some fields. So we're lowering yields daily without rainfall," Roegge said.

As for the soybean crop, both Roegge and Ippensen say it's too early to tell what the final outlook will be for that.

"I guess what I should say is I don't think anybody is complaining this year after what we went through last year," Ippensen said.

And both of them say rain is needed for the entire area. Surface moisture would help increase numbers for the upcoming corn and bean harvest.

The latest Illinois crop report shows corn at 26 percent fair, 48 percent good and 18 percent excellent. While soybeans are at 25 percent fair, 52 percent good and 13 percent excellent.