The University of Illinois’ Todd Gleason did a crop tour last weekend to see the status of the Illinois corn crop for himself. In case you haven’t been following, the drought situation in Illinois and in most of the U.S. has effected the corn crop, as well as many other crops, and has speculators speculating about how much corn will actually be harvested this fall and whether that yield will be enough to go around.
Corn prices are spiking as a result. Livestock farmers are calling for a waiver of our country’s ethanol mandate to eliminate competition for corn. Foreign nations are checking in with Illinois farmers to make sure there will corn for them to purchase. Media outlets are preying on misinformation and scaring the American public about federal crop insurance programs.
It’s getting ugly.
But when Gleason drove through corn country, some of the best corn producing counties in the state, what he found wasn’t quite as scary as what we all thought.
After watching his video, you might want to view the following photos in more depth. The points on the map coorespond to the photos in the collage.
The moral of the story here is that no one is going to know what yields look like until we actually get the combines out and harvest. Yes, the drought will have an effect. Yes, the GMO varieties that farmers plant most of will help the plants weather the storm so to speak. Yes, farmers are typically a little pessimistic about crop yields in bad seasons, but who wouldn’t be? They have hours of labor, thousands and thousands of dollars, and their entire livelihood waiting on this crop.
I look forward to the fall months when we can finally put this year behind us and when, I hope, we will all be pleasantly surprised with what we find.