Some of 2012 corn crop total loss, to be mowed over

By Audrey Williams

July 16, 2012 Updated Jul 16, 2012 at 10:27 PM CDT

HENRY, Ill -- As Illinois' corn crop continues to deteriorate, 33 counties in Illinois have now been declared federal disaster areas due to the drought.

This spring farmers headed out to the fields with high hopes for a good growing season. "

We were set out to raise, what we thought was probably largest corn crop in the history of American agriculture. And yet now, we're in a challenge of looking in some cases at no crop in this state to a half a crop," said Philip Nelson, President of the Illinois Farm Bureau.

Monday Governor Pat Quinn met with farmers in southern Illinois to survey the damage and urge lawmakers to pass the federal farms bill to help farmers.

"We've got to be on the front line with all of our farmers across Illinois. This is their hour of need and we will not forget them," said Quinn.

Now farmers across the state are saying some fields are a total loss. Several areas have been given the OK to mow over crops, and others like Jerry Read in Henry are just waiting for approval.

Read said by now the corn should be about 10-12 inches long. But since the drought has taken its toll it is only a an inch to a couple inches. Read said there is nothing left mother nature can do to fix it.

"I want to knock it down so that the corn that's out here that's still green isn't pulling nutrients out of the soil. I want to shut that off," said Read.

Read's father and retired farmer Francis Read says this year is bad as he reflects on the droughts of 1988 and even 1936.

"The livestock suffered, the people suffered, but we got by, were tough," said Francis Read.

And farmers hope to tough it out again in another record-breaking drought.

For information on the state and federal programs available for farmers in need visit www.drought.illinois.gov

How are the crops looking where you live? Head to https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Audrey-Williams-WEEK-WHOI/464581573557475 and tell her what you are seeing where you live.

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