Farmers across Illinois are still feeling the effects of historic spring rains that caused severe delays in planting.
According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, only 23% of Illinois corn had been harvested as of last week — compared to 70% this time last year.
Rodney Weinzierl is the executive director of the Illinois Corn Growers Association and a farmer in McLean County.
Weinzierl said many central Illinois farmers will still be harvesting come November — or not at all.
“Go north of I-80, and that’s where you had even more rain, caused a lot of farmers to not plant corn, and in some cases soybeans,” he said. “In Illinois, we have about 10% of the corn acreage, so over 1.1 million acres of corn were not planted due to the heavy rains this spring.”
Weinzierl said another problem with delayed planting is that the corn has higher moisture levels come fall.
This means it cannot be safely stored in grain bins over the winter unless it’s subjected to an energy-intensive — and costly — drying process.
Weinzierl made his remarks on The 21st show. You can hear the full interview here.