Illinois corn growers hope for rain

Monday, July 29, 2002

OMAHA, Ill. -- Some Illinois corn growers are worried that a dry July -- coming at a critical time in plants' growing cycles -- could leave crops severely damaged.

This summer, farmers in the southeastern part of the state have been plagued by scorching heat and little rain. Despite reports the region was to see some rain Friday, there were only sparse showers.

"We could get two inches of rain today and it wouldn't do much good," said Bricem Cox, who farms about 3,800 acres in Gallatin County. "We needed it two weeks ago, and we didn't get it then, either."

Now, much of the corn throughout southern Illinois starts out green at the top and blends into brown at the bottom, burned by the weather, Cox said.

On the year, the area including Edwards, Gallatin, Hamilton, Saline, White, Wabash and Wayne counties actually has had more precipitation than normal. But it's down about 1.62 inches for July.

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