Fried corn sounds like something that could be on the menu at a county fair.
Unfortunately, it’s all that’s left standing in many farmers’ cornfields, particularly in Southern Illinois where drought conditions last week were rated extreme by the U.S. Drought Monitor.
Editor's note: For the latest crop conditions, check out Cropwatchers.
Now, the only question for some farmers is how long the fields of drought-ravaged corn will remain standing?
An estimated 30-40 crop insurance claims were filed last week with Country Financial and company spokesman Chris Anderson anticipates the number of claims will escalate in coming weeks.
“One option for farmers is to leave it out there until harvest,” Anderson told FarmWeek. “That’s how we can get the most accurate assessment of what their loss is.”
But that option could change in coming weeks, particularly if there is no significant rainfall.
“If there’s no rain by mid-July, then it will be clear there will be nothing, or very, very low yields,” said Anderson, who believes this week could be pivotal for crop insurance claims due to extreme heat and no rain in the forecast.
Once a claim is filed, a crop adjuster will visit each drought-damaged field to appraise the acreage and explain the options.
Anderson encouraged farmers who decide to destroy cornfields to contact their adjuster for instructions on leaving test strips so the crop damage can be assessed through the reproductive stage. The adjuster must inspect the crop prior to its destruction.
Don Duvall, president of the White County Farm Bureau and a farm owner near Carmi, last week had a tenant opt to mow some of his drought-stressed corn.
“The corn should have been shooting and tasseling,” Duvall said. “But there was nothing there.”
Duvall’s tenant left test strips for insurance purposes. He believes much more corn in his area will go down soon.
“There’s probably more than 1,000 acres in my area scheduled to be mowed down now,” Duvall said last week. “And that’s before the coming week with triple digits and no rain in the forecast. Our prospects only will get worse after that.”