Recent snow and rain has helped improve soil moisture in McLean County farmland ahead of the spring planting. (Photo by Stephanie Pawlowski/WJBC)
By Eric Stock
COLFAX - The recent cold and snowy weather has delayed spring's arrival, but that's okay with Central Illinois farmers.
After a year in which many corn farmers lost most if not all of their crop in one of the worst Midwest droughts in decades, McLean County soil has mostly recovered ahead of this spring's planting.
Gerald Thomson, a third-generation farmer from rural Colfax, said steady waves of precipitation over the winter, including the recent snows, have help bring soil moisture to acceptable levels,
"So now we are at the point where the profile, where the root zone would be which is fairly moist. The field tiles are starting to run again, so from that standpoint, we are in a pretty good position at this point." Thompson said.
Thompson, who farms corn and soybeans, said the test is always during the summer months to determine whether the harvest will survive.
"You can't predict and it's all about what happens in June, July and August. If we have normal temperatures and we continue to get moisture, things will be good," Thompson said.
Thompson says last year's corn yield was less than half of what he typically gets at his third generation farm. He said the soybean harvest was close to average, aided by occasional rain later in the summer and into the fall.
Thompson noted the temperatures were already in the 70s this time last year which wasn't a good sign for farmers.
Eric Stock can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.