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Kiefer faces extreme weather

GRIDLEY – If some type of harsh weather is going to happen, it tends to occur in Waldo Township, which is located in southern Livingston County just two miles north of Gridley.

In fact, local farmer Phil Kiefer calls this the “Waldo way.” This most unusual growing season, which started off cold and wet then warm and dry, is now back to being wet again for growers in that area.

“(Sunday) it decided to go ahead and dump three inches in 20 minutes,” Kiefer told The Central Illinois Farm Network Monday morning.

Kiefer said they replanted just about every corn field due to excessive rains earlier in the season. That young corn was looking alright even though it was a month behind schedule but now things have changed once again.

“Now, we’ve got those ponds back full again and hopefully the replant will survive it – we’ll see how fast the water goes down.”

Sunday’s storm appeared to follow Livingston County’s Ocoya Blacktop which runs east and west. The precipitation swelled on the radar and re-fired for a good hour or so, dumping impressive rain on a small area.

“It seems like if it’s going to happen, it happens in Waldo Township,” added Kiefer.

Once those ponds dry out, it will be getting late for replanting but Kiefer will closely monitor what survives out in the field. Whatever crops don’t make it likely means there will be gaps out in the field.

Overall, Kiefer would give his crops a good rating but not excellent since they were recovering from floods last month and extreme dryness during the past few weeks.

“Before the rain started, the corn was turning white in spots and rolling up pretty tight,” Kiefer observed. “We were getting a little concerned that if we’d go another couple of weeks like this, we’d have irreversible damage to the crop.”

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