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Hot Weather Has Farmers Concerned About This Year's Yield

Weeks of temperatures being in the mid-90s is starting to put stress on farmers as they grow concerned about the impact it is having on their crops. (WRSP)

Weeks of temperatures being in the mid-90s is starting to put stress on farmers as they grow concerned about the impact it is having on their crops.

"Us as growers of the crop can only control about 20 percent of what's going on out in the field. Mother Nature has to make up for the rest of it," said Jordan Bartels of JorTy seeds.

Farmers are struggling to deal with the heat. With little rain and weeks of temperatures into the mid-90s, conditions become uncomfortable for farmers and dangerous for crops.

"When it gets into the upper 80s or lower 90s corn really slows down or even shuts down," said Bartels as he inspected a stalk of corn.

"I'm afraid that if we get into tasseling and pollination and we have this dry pattern then we're going to be really really hurting," said Tyler Sloan, a farmer who works on Sloan Farms in Sherman.

Corn and soy beans are the major crop in Illinois and high temperatures can cause the plants to die of dehydration.

"I'd say most of them are concerned that farm in this area," said Jim Birge with the Sangamon County Farm Bureau, which represents roughly 10,000 farmers across Sangamon County.

Birge says many of them are worried about how this weather could hurt their bottom line, and there isn't much farmers can do to control it.

One of the things farmers are able to do as a way to help control the quality of their product is called crop scouting. Farmers walk a portion of their field and look for things like weeds and bugs. Once they locate these things, it gives them an idea of where they need to conservatively spray with pesticides.

Sloan and Bartels say they have planted enough to help deal with a bad crop if this year's weather produces it. However, thinking about the worst case scenario all the time, they say, isn't healthy.

"You have to be optimistic to be a farmer. I think you'd drive yourself nuts if you weren't," said Bartels.

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