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Warren County represents challenges facing corn crop

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Torrential rain is taking a toll on the region's corn crop. That's the case in southeast Iowa and west central Illinois, where saturated soil could wind up costing all of us.

Farmers say that rain makes grain, but this is way too much of a good thing.

"You can almost wring the water out of it," said Eric Adee, a senior research specialist with the University of Illinois, with his hands full of saturated soil.

Warren County rainfall is running about 4" above normal. It's even worse in places like Macomb and Conesville, Iowa. Adee just doesn't like what he sees.

"If we keep getting rain, and it never dries out, the roots never get the oxygen that they need," he said.

Standing water is causing crop stress in corn fields across the region. These are areas being pounded by waves of thunderstorms with heavy rain that keep redeveloping over the same land.

"It makes farmers uncertain how much they'll be able to sell," said Warren County Farmer Russ Mason. "That's one of the things on the marketing."

While wet crops lead to lower harvests, higher prices hit companies that depend on corn right in the wallet.

More expensive feed hikes cost for companies like Farmland Foods. There's a similar situation for nearby ethanol plants. The entire situation could wind up costing all of us more money in the long run.

"Any issues like this has a very big trickle down effect to the consumers of the crops we're producing," Adee said.

Too late to replant corn now, coming days will be crucial in some fields. Farmers will be watching and waiting for better weather.

"Ideally, we would like 85 for a high and 70 for a low, and sunshine for the next two weeks," Adee concluded.

Better weather to help revive what's turning out to be a soggy corn crop in these parts.