More Rain Needed for Area Crops

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We may have broken out our umbrellas for a short time, but we probably won't need them for much longer.

While we did see some showers, we're not expected to see too many more in the days ahead, and many farmers are starting to worry.

The pitter patter of raindrops is music to Tom Leick's ears, literally. His corn crop yield depends on it this time of year.

"It did bring a smile to my face to see it raining."

But Leick estimates we're still 7-8 inches behind on rainfall for the growing season, and since corn plants are beginning to tassel, "The fear is that the silks will be late emerging and we won't have good pollination and we'll have cobs with very few kernels," says Leick.

The Illinois Agriculture Statistic Service says 52 percent of the state's corn crop is rated poor or very poor. Leick says Tuesday's rain certainly helped, but more is needed.

"We'll need an inch or two a week to catch up."

The rain would also help area greenhouse employees. Tuesday’s rainfall was a breadth of fresh air. Instead of heading out to the fields to water plants manually, mother nature lent them a hand.

"Yeah, we all got excited. We have about 10,000 hardy mums we didn't have to water today," says Didier Greenhouse manager Kevin Green.

The majority of Didier’s plants do grow indoors, but Green says droughts tend to discourage gardeners, so even though flowers are still blooming, sales are not.

"It definitely slowed down some in June and the first part of July we're off," says Green.

To be back on, rain is the answer, so both gardeners and farmers are asking mother nature and Aaron, Dennis and Mark for more.