Drought Hits Keep Coming

My Generation

Drought hitting hard in southeastern Illinois: farmer hits 60 days without rain, and one wind storm takes out what would've been his best corn crop.

Published on: July 5, 2012

It's been a week of high temperatures, no rain and sad corn. This being the digital age, photos are coming in from all corners of the state. The drought paints a sad picture.

Allen and Chad Broster have graced our cover before in happier times on their Wabash County farm. They farm between West Salem and Allendale, not far from where I grew up, and to top off a sorry corn crop riddled by drought, a July 2 wind storm laid flat 62 acres of what Allen says would've been the best corn on their farm. Allen says they've been 60 days without a single rain at their home farm.

"Corn here is a total loss," he adds. "I have one neighbor who sold his corn for silage, leaving strips for crop insurance.

"I believe we will disk under more corn than the combine will see."

Last week, I pondered whether '12 would be worse than '88; Allen says yes, and this drought is worse than '83…"and it was terrible."

"This last week, with this heat, has actually turned the corn white," he adds. He and Chad drove their Ranger through a field last weekend and never saw an ear of corn.

"Countless people have bought their contracts back from the elevators, realizing they have no corn, and most have bought the beans they sold back also. We're in that camp.

"It's very sad, but this is my fourth drought in 37 years of farming. Crop insurance is what is letting me sleep," he says.