Drought Impacts in Illinois

I took some photos on my way back from a Drought Response Task Force meeting in Springfield on August 9. Here are two of the most interesting. The first photo is a farm pond near the Interstate between Decatur and Champaign. Obviously, it is in bad shape.

The second photo shows the “firing” of corn on August 9. This usually indicates a nitrogen deficiency in corn and is common during dry weather. I saw a range of conditions in the corn crop between Springfield and Champaign. Some fields were completely brown while others were relatively tall and green.

What you can’t see from staring out the car window is the condition of the ears on the stalks. However, the August 10 report from USDA predicts that the average corn yield in Illinois this year will be 116 bu/acre, compared to 157 bu/acre in 2011. That’s a 41 bu/acre reduction or a 26 percent drop in yield.

They predict the soybean yield in Illinois will be 37 bu/acre, compared to 47 bu/acre in 2011. That’s a 10 bu/acre reduction or a 21 percent drop in yield.

Farm pond in east-central Illinois (author’s photo). Click to enlarge.
Corn field in Champaign County, Illinois, on August 9. Click to enlarge.
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