Abnormally dry after low rainfall totals in central IL - WEEK.com: Peoria-area News, Weather, Sports

Abnormally dry after low rainfall totals in central IL

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Farmers are on alert because of rainfall totals.

Summer showers have been few and far between for some central Illinois corn and soybean growers.

Patrick Kirchhofer is the Peoria County Farm Bureau manager.

"I talked to one farmer" Kirchhofer said, who "farms around the Glasford area and he's only had nine-tenths of an inch in the last seven weeks. So he needs significantly more rainfall on his land."

The latest drought monitor data has areas south of I-74 in an "abnormally dry" situation.

Abnormally dry does not mean extreme conditions, but there are a lot of variations involved.

Summertime thunderstorms can dump inches of rain on one field and leave a neighboring field completely dry.

That variation can sometimes even be seen in one field alone.

Local farmer David Menold said he saw that in a corn field earlier this year.

Menold said, "there had been this shower and part of the dirt looked gray and part black. You could see where this shower had ended." He said he had never seen a variation from recent rainfall look so evident in his entire life.

Menold knows that situations like that are typical for summer thunderstorms; but, he's not just worried about showers missing his farm.

He's also worried about hot temperatures taking a toll on his crops.

"We're feeling a lot of heat. It wouldn't take a lot of heat or more than a weak to see some stress on the crops -- especially because it's at a critical state," said Menold.

The Storm Team HOI team will continue following the dry pattern in central Illinois.

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