Cover Crops Won’t Help the Corn Today. But They Will for Next Year.

The summer of 2012 has already shown up as a total bust for some corn and soybean acres in the Midwest. Some counties have already been declared a disaster; some acres have been mowed or plowed under. To read a recent New York Times article about the severe drought and its impact click here:

Yesterday, an email from Mike Plumer, about the dire straits in Illinois.

My part of Illinois will be lucky to get 20 bu/a corn and right now soybeans are 4 leaves and blooming so there is little yield expected.   It is 107 again today.  Many double crop acres were not planted so that is a possible site for early cover crops.

The big issue is how RMA will address yield losses and what they will pay—and when they will release the farmer to destroy the crop.   Some areas have been “zeroed” out and farmers have already mowed the corn.   I have been north to south in the state and there are very few areas that will be normal yield, and [accepting a] 50 bu/a loss would be nice [as an alternative to a total loss].   Field at Springfield I estimated Tuesday at 45bu/a. corn.

Our moisture here came as a 60mph hail storm, quarter-sized hail off and on for an hour,,, about 1-2” deep plus 3-5” of rain in 20 minutes—it was 111 degrees when the hail started.   All soybeans gone, broken off at the ground and corn is very damaged.  At least there is some soil moisture.   I will replant plots tomorrow and start on some cover crops on my farm.


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