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WNIJ's summary of news items around our state.

IL Farm Bureau Calls For Statewide Disaster Declaration

Creative Commons
Credit Creative Commons

Illinois farmers have planted less than half of their corn crop this year because of frequent spring rain. Usually they are done by now.

Illinois Farm Bureau Issue Management Director Adam Nielsen says today is just about the last day it’s possible to plant.

“Farmers are making decisions right now. They’re trying to find any data point they can hang their hat on to decide whether they are going to go ahead and plant a crop or not," says Nielsen.

The United States Department of Agriculture says only 45% of the state’s anticipated corn crop was planted by June 2. Last year, that figure was 100%.  Nielsen says the Illinois Farm Bureau is urging a statewide disaster declaration because of soggy fields.

“It’s not a good situation. There’s not going to be much to produce here in the state to sell. There are a lot of input suppliers who are struggling. Farmers are not buying seed and fertilizer and crop protectants when they are not planting a crop. There is a lot of economic harm,” says Nielsen.

Nielsen says many farmers may make crop insurance claims this year. That hurts their profitability. If they don’t plant, he says, that also hurts equipment, seed, fertilizer, and other crop input suppliers. 

Copyright 2019 WCBU

GLT Assistant News Director Charlie Schlenker grew up in Rock Island, Illinois and graduated from Augustana College. He has spent more than three decades in radio and has won numerous state and national awards for journalism. He lives in Normal with his family.