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Fingers crossed for weekend rain

It’s dry out there and some of the crops are starting to show it.

Central Illinois growers are hoping for rain and some is in the forecast for the weekend, although southern Illinois is expected to get the brunt of the hurricane remnants. A frontal system could impact our part of the state Friday evening though.

Many seem to agree local farmers will begin harvest around September 15 or 20 but if it doesn’t rain any more, corn could keep firing and it will definitely look like fall by then.

Wind damaged corn is one harvest challenge Pontiac farmer Rick Bauman is facing. His corn was impacted by a July storm.

“I’ve got a couple of fields with (damage),” Bauman told The Central Illinois Farm Network. “We might want to get out a little earlier than we want to.”

Bauman hopes his stalks stay strong out in the field and don’t fall over. He feels we have a pretty good crop but that it is deteriorating by the day.

“We are going to be losing test weight and putting that last little weight into the corn,” Bauman explained. “It doesn’t need to dry this quickly because usually what happens then is it gets a lot lighter and you start losing bushels.”

The year of weather extremes continues for Bill Roth’s customers at the Brandt ag retail facility in Gridley. His area has lacked a decent rain shower for more than two weeks.

“If we can tough it out here through these next few days of this heat, it’s supposed to cool back down next week. Maybe we can get a shower to help these crops get finished off,” Roth said.

Roth seems to agree we could see combines out in the field by the middle of September, depending on the weather over the next few weeks.

“I don’t think there will be too many beans able to be cut until probably the last part of September.”

Even though crops appear to be decent, Roth says storm damage which occurred north of Gridley could pose a few harvest challenges.

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