Rain reigns in Farm Country, Cook County in 2019
Farm fields across the Midwest, throughout Illinois and throughout Chicagoland have been overly saturated with water due to unrelenting rainy conditions. The rain has caused stress levels in farm country to rise as farmers face low commodity prices: a trade war with China: escalating prices in fuel, fertilizer, seed, equipment, and taxes. With the growing season shortening by the day, area farmers are evaluating the pros and cons of putting a corn or soybean crop in the ground, switching to another crop, or just leaving the ground fallow.
Area hay growers have had a difficult time finding weather windows to cut, dry and bale hay. Local consumers that plant flowers, vegetables and other green space have struggled to plant with wet conditions impacting local greenhouses and garden centers that market these plants to the consumer gardeners for resale.
(Photo by Catrina Rawson, IFB)
The Will/Cook Farm Service Agency, at press time, was considering submitting to the USDA data that would result in Cook and Will Counties being added to the growing list of counties in the state determined to be agricultural disaster areas.
Allen Motew, director of meteorology at QT Information Systems, said new long-range modeling shows that“we are in for a summer that we haven’t seen since possibly 1993.”
“This long-range pattern says July could actually even be wetter than the past two months with widespread above-normal precipitation all the way from the Rockies and even including the northern plains all the way down to Florida and out into New England,” Motew said. “That’s the new NMME (North American Multi-Model Ensemble) for July right across the Corn Belt -- almost the entire Corn Belt covered with above-normal precipitation.”
Motew said the precipitation could be coming from the Gulf of Mexico or the ground itself. As the wet soil warms up, more evaporation sucks the water out of the soil only to be returned when it rains.
“Right now, the pattern is looking also cooler than normal, not only in the near term here, the 6-10 and 8-14, but cooler than normal for July, August and September, and this year we’re going to have to look into September because of such late crops and uneven conditions.”