Corn

Farming During The COVID-19 Pandemic

Apr 6, 2020
Pixabay.com

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Prospective Plantings report was released last week. One northern Illinois farmer said the COVID-19 pandemic is impacting what will happen despite the forecasts.

Mark Tuttle is a Somonauk farmer, the director for District 1 of the Illinois Farm Bureau and the president of the DeKalb County Farm Bureau.

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

Slideshow: Rain And Heat Part Of DeKalb Corn Fest Backdrop

Aug 27, 2018
Victoria Lunacek

DeKalb's annual Corn Fest packed downtown with patrons, vendors, musicians and rides this past weekend. The fest went from Friday Aug. 24 through Sunday Aug. 26. 

Video: Carl Nelson - WNIJ

Guy Stephens/WNIJ

Forget “knee high by the 4th of July.” Thanks to a combination of rain and high temperatures, corn is tasseling, or silking, much earlier than usual in parts of Illinois. Some people are already eating sweet corn. Soybeans are blooming early, too.  

Mark Tuttle farms in DeKalb County. He described his land as being in something of a “sweet spot” this year. Everything – both corn and soybeans – is developing fast. He said he’s not alone.

Scott Schirmer / Illinois Department of Agriculture

Corn may be ubiquitous in DeKalb County, but it isn't immune to external threats.

A sample from a corn field recently tested positive for bacterial leaf streak. DeKalb is the first county in Illinois to have a USDA-verified case of the disease.

It’s similar to symptoms of gray leaf spots – which farmers come across frequently – except bacterial leaf streak cannot be treated with fungicides.

"Corn" by Flickr User Miroslav Vajdic / (CC X 2.0)

Crop experts say the recent heat and humidity that has hit Illinois is ideal for the state's soybean and corn crops.

Nikki Keltner is a program coordinator for the University of Illinois Extension, which covers Jo Daviess, Stephenson and Winnebago counties.

She says early ear counts indicate above-average corn production in the area unless there is severe weather or other issues.

Premier Cooperative recently completed a survey of local cornfields in Champaign County as well as parts of Vermilion, Piatt and Douglas counties.

Jonathan Haas / for NIU Today

A report led by two northern Illinois anthropologists sheds new light on a South American civilization’s origins…and its dependence on corn.