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Standing Out in the Field
Corn that is just waist-high by the Fourth of July and tasseling is the last thing a farmer wants to see. But that was the reality last week for many, including Richard Mathis, who measures a drought-stressed, tasseling corn plant at just above 3 feet tall in this field north of Bone Gap in Edwards County. (Photo courtesy of Edwards County Farm Bureau)
The tenant on a farm near Carmi owned by White County Farm Bureau president Don Duvall mows down drought-ravaged corn last week just prior to the arrival of triple-digit heat that engulfed much of the state. Duvall said corn in the 80-acre field tasseled but there was no ear development on the small, parched stalks. Test strips were left in the field for insurance purposes. (Photo by Don Duvall)
Cracks 12 inches deep run through this field near Murphysboro in Jackson County. Farmer Gary Tretter reported the cracks had been deeper before he travelled over them while planting double-crop soybeans. (Photo by Ken Kashian)
A Fayette County soybean field shows damage from Japanese beetle feeding last week. On average, Japanese beetle activity is about two weeks earlier than normal. (Photo by Ken Kashian)
Pictured in the field are Ryan Williams (left) and his father Jason. They farm with Jason’s brother, Jerry, and Ryan’s brother Travis when he is home from college. This 40 acre field is near Carmi in White County. (Photo by Ken Kashian)
Latest 3-month drought forecast from the National Weather Service.
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Crop insurance claims could escalate
We have a photo montage of crop conditions from across southern Illinois by photographer Ken Kashian and local farmers.
Published: Jul 1, 2012
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
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.”
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