Congressmen Need a Little Mud on Their Boots
May 28, 2013
I live in West Central Illinois, a place that like most of the country experienced a devastating drought last year. What a difference a year makes! Last year we couldn’t get a rain and this year we can’t miss one it seems. A year ago a 30% chance of rain meant very little. This year a 30% chance mean a half inch or more. Most farmers I’ve talked to during this saturated spring were surprisingly calm. Perhaps knowing that no one else was in the fields helped. I guess misery does love company. Maybe the memories of last year’s drought were still fresh in their minds so moisture couldn’t be thought of as a negative. However we now have too much of a good thing. While a lot of acres in my area are still not planted (especially beans) fortunately a recent break in the rain allowed the majority of corn planting to be completed. That brief moment of relief however has now given way to more concern over steady and sometimes heavy rains. Good looking stands of emerged corn are now underwater and streams are cutting through fields doing even more damage. Tiling projects in recent years are certainly helping but ditches are full and it’s hard to find anywhere for the water to go. The forecast in my area calls for more rain the rest of the week so there will be no drying out anytime soon. As the calendar is about to turn to June, patience is quickly turning to frustration. Some big decisions are looming. Not to mention a hay crop that needs attention too. Meanwhile in Washington the farm bill debate continues with some suggesting farmers no longer need assistance. Really? Those people should spend some time standing in Midwest mud or Western dust to help them see things more clearly.