Field variation obvious this year
FORREST – While rolling fields look tremendous after all of the recent rainfall, local farmer Matt Ifft reports plenty of crop damage or loss depending on field elevation.
Ifft, who farms near Forrest, Fairbury and Piper City, observed a cumulative rainfall total ranging anywhere from 6-10 inches during the past few weeks across his fields.
“Corn obviously can handle it much better than soybeans,” Ifft told The Central Illinois Farm Network. “One thing I am concerned about is the cloudy days here on the front end of pollination.”
While Ifft would like to see the sun shine more than anything, he and other farmers realize they can’t control the weather but they can help the crops along. Fungicide applications are starting throughout the area and Ifft feels it could be a good return on investment this year.
“I encourage guys to consider that option.”
Ifft operates Pleasant Ridge Seed Service, an area dealership for Beck’s Hybrids. They were still moving out a few replant soybeans in the past week but are transitioning now to the new seed marketing year. Beck’s is hosting field shows and Practical Farm Research tours this summer. The company has plots in El Paso which are open to the public to tour during the next couple of months.
Dirk Rice farms in southeast Champaign County and feels his crops look good at the moment, although beans are behind on development from a cool start to the spring.
“They haven’t really totally rebounded,” Rice said on Monday.
Moisture-wise, Rice has not been hurt where he is at but some fields not far away have received too much rain.
“We certainly don’t need another huge shot like we got the week before last,” Rice added. “I’ve seen areas where the corn development is definitely behind and you see a lot of wheel tracks that still show up in the corn where they had to put it in less than ideal conditions.”
In nearby Vermilion County, fields have received excess rainfall for about two weeks now. Rice serves as chairman of the Illinois Corn Marketing Board.