THOMASBORO, Ill. (WCIA) — Farmers are relieved to no longer deal with the extreme drought conditions of last month. Recent rain lessened Central Illinois’ drought from severe to moderate, and it is showing in farmers’ crops.
Kenneth Ehler has been farming in Thomasboro since the 1970s. He said his corn was looking okay before the rain, but it was the soybeans that really needed it.
“Beans, we definitely needed,” Ehler said. “That could be a million-dollar rain right there for the beans, but I think the corn has done all pollinating.”
He said a downpour last weekend gave his soybeans the extra push that they needed. Before, he was seeing only one bean per pod, and his brother-in-law was seeing the same thing.
“After that big rain, a couple of days later, he got out there, they had three or four beans in each pod, which is normal,” Ehler said. “That’s where it should be. Yeah, so it certainly helped.”
Ehler added that the rain got his corn crops back on the right track. Now, he’s just waiting to see if the crops can get any better.
“Hopefully it will help fill the kernels out,” Ehler said. “Obviously, bigger ears, I’m hoping. That’s what we need.”
While he’s thankful for the rain, Ehler is now hoping for some dry days, at least while harvesting is underway.
“Now I’m hoping for Mother Nature to say, ‘Let’s cool it,'” he added. “So the farmers can get their harvest done without mudding.”
But as for right now, Ehler said his farm is in a much better place than it was a month or two ago.
“So everything is good comfort level now,” he said. “The stress is off., just wait and see now.”
Ehler grows everything from onions and tomatoes to sunflowers, all of which are looking good. In fact, he said one of his watermelons grew to the size of a football in about a week after the downpours.