WOODHULL, Ill. — Randy DeSutter, a fourth-generation Northwest Illinois farmer, finished planting corn a little earlier than usual this year, and one-quarter of his soybeans were planted before the rains came at the end of April.
DeSutter, who farms with his two brothers and nephew in Knox and Henry counties, said they started planting corn on April 12. Then they got about 3.5 inches of rain during the last week of April.
“We’ll be out at least 10 days,” he predicted.
Every year is different, DeSutter said, but most years it takes the family between two and three weeks to get the crops planted.
It’s too early to tell if some replanting will be needed.
In addition to the rain, temperatures are cooler as well.
“The lawn was frosty this morning. That’s not going to make corn grow,” DeSutter said May 3.
Like DeSutter, Aron Carlson started the 2017 season thinking he was way ahead as he got anhydrous started on fields early in fine weather. But that has changed.
Carlson farms in five counties in the northern-most part of Illinois and in Wisconsin.
He said he started planting corn at 9 p.m. on a Sunday night, April 23, and ended on Tuesday night before the April 26 rains came. He estimates they got about 20 percent of their crop in. Because of the cold weather, none of that corn is up yet.
Some fields where he planned to plant corn didn’t get anhydrous and may end up being soybean fields.
Most of the farmers in his area of Northwest Illinois are in about the same spot — some are 50 percent done, some haven’t started, and a little bit of corn has emerged.
Carlson’s next step — spraying corn — depended on more rain in the forecast, making it wiser to stay out of the field until it gets drier.