Lack Of Rain Worrisome For Farmers

By Benjamin Cox on February 21, 2017 at 12:22pm

2017 has had very little rainfall in Illinois. With less than a half inch of precipitation so far this year, farmers are beginning to worry about their crops. Stephanie Porter, a Burris Sales Agronomist, says drought conditions are the opposite of normal planting concerns for Illinois.

“We’re starting to hear a lot of talk about drought already. Which is something to keep in mind, we haven’t had one for awhile. One of the biggest worries we normally have is too much soil moisture, but we can have just as many problems with not enough soil moisture, but it is not normal here in Illinois.”

Porter says she has not had to deal with too little soil moisture and explains what can happen to the crops without enough water.

“I don’t know that I have ever had to worry about not having enough rainfall, it is not common at germination or at planting. We always worry about having too much rain and saying ‘ let’s hold off, lets make sure the seedlings aren’t deprived of oxygen’ but this is different. It is a total flip. If we don’t have enough rain or soil moisture we start to worry about the seedlings not having water to germinate.”

Porter says with the warm spring like temperatures, farmers may be thinking of getting a head start.

“Things are warm. There are people who are actually really active right now. We just have to keep reminding everybody, it is the middle of February, it doesn’t seem like it, but it is the middle of February. It is probably much too early to be doing anything major like planting.”

There may be some hope on the horizon, precipitation wise. Overnight we recorded just under two tenths of an inch of rain, and there is more precipitation in the forecast for Thursday night.