LONDON MILLS, Ill. — Lance Tarochione, who operates a crop and livestock farm with his wife, Roberta, and their family in Fulton County, is waiting for drier weather like everyone else.
The wait went from days to weeks for the Western Illinois farmer.
“Nothing has happened around here in about eight days,” he said May 6. “But prior to that there was a lot of activity and those who had well-drained ground or did not mind planting in marginal soil conditions have a lot planted.”
His surrounding counties are probably 30-40% planted, he said — significantly above the 10% the USDA reported planted for all of Illinois.
“Heavy rains and flooding as May started brought everything to a screeching halt, and time will tell how good stands of planted fields will be,” said Tarochione.
A drive through the area shows water still on many fields; low land near the Spoon River glistens with wetness.
“If this week’s forecast is correct, it will be next week or later before any planting resumes,” Tarochione said.
Chris Van Holten has been close to planting a few times on his farm near Walnut in Bureau County, but then it rains again.
He was able to get some strip till acres ready before Easter, but that was about it before six-tenths of rain fell with hail, followed with another half inch.
“We haven’t gotten back in,” he said May 8. In one week, 5 inches of rain fell.
“The cover crops like this weather,” he said of the cereal rye that he planted in fall, which is about 5 to 6 inches tall now. Because of timing, Van Holten said corn will be planted into it green this year.
In his area, no one is talking about not planting corn yet — they are still looking forward to getting in the fields and getting planting rolling.