Dry conditions and drought threaten some Illinois and Iowa crops

ABINGDON, Illinois -

Abnormally dry conditions are starting to stress the corn crop at a farm near Abingdon, Illinois.

"A little bit of stress, here and there, that keeps adding up," said Knox County farmer and Munson Hybrids owner John Hennenfent on Thursday, August 10.

Drought conditions are spreading from Northwest to Southern Iowa and into Central Illinois.  That's the finding from the most recent U.S. Drought Monitor.

Near Abingdon,  dry conditions are continuing through the first third of August after below normal rainfall earlier this summer.

"Here, we were probably drier in June than we were in July," Hennenfent continued.

Munson Hybrids will start harvesting seed corn in about two weeks. Their crops are holding up under challenging conditions.  Better seeds and slightly cooler temperatures are keeping the situation from worsening.

While this Galesburg farm expects to top projections, other farms in Southern Iowa may be forced to cut losses.

"They're going to be making a tough decision, whether of not they can carry that crop clear through to harvest or salvage it as silage," Hennenfent said.

After recent bumper crops, farmers don't expect grain shortages.  And as prices continue to struggle, it may prompt an upward adjustment.

"It can have a positive effect on our prices," Hennenfent said.  "But that doesn't mean it's good for those individuals because they don't have the bushels to sell."

At this stage of the growing season, more rain can still add volume to bushels.  But in this year of contrasts, expect a wide range of harvest totals.