Farmers ‘slightly concerned’ from continued dry weather

Published: May. 25, 2023 at 6:22 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25News Now) - The latest drought monitor released Thursday morning shows much of central Illinois is abnormally dry, but not yet in a drought. Jason Lay, a grain farmer in Normal, said, “So obviously, we need moisture, but we don’t need it as much this early in the growing season. So hopefully we’re not setting the stage for prolonged area, and prolonged time of dryness.”

But if the dryness continues for another one to two weeks, farmers concerns grow and their worried about weed control. Lay added, “One of the tools that we have in the toolbox of herbicide is residual herbicides.” In Edwards, farmer Ross Pauli continued, ”But in order for the residual herbicide to work, you need rain to activate it once your corns up.” ”If we don’t get the rainfall to activate, then we’re going to have probably less than optimal weed control,” Lay concluded. If the weeds continue to grow, they’ll steal nutrients and water away from the corn and soybeans.

As for the heat that’s on the way, the farmers say they rather it come early in the growing season rather than later. Pauli said, ”If your crops big enough to have some roots on it, they kind of go down to moisture. So you’d rather have it hot and dry early than in July or august, when the plants are a lot bigger, it needs more water, and you’re filling out those ears or those soybean pods.”

On the more optimistic side, the recent dry and sunny weather is perfect for haymaking. ”I’ve seen mowers the last two days just mow and everything, hay fields, roadside, I mean ditches you know anything that they want to bale because this is ideal weather for hay because low humidity and sun and when it will dry it out,” said Pauli. All we can do now is hope for some rain soon.