The drought has already claimed a victim in the corn crops but now the hot, dry weather has put soybeans in its sights.

“The corn crop’s toast,” Franklin County Farm Bureau Manager Larry Miller said. “It’s done and beans are close to it.”

Miller said corn crops are looking to be a total loss and soybeans could be at a 60 percent loss or more. Soybeans are generally harvested in September and October and Miller said there are several factors causing peril to the beans, including the heat.

“This heat is just unbelievable,” Miller said.

In addition to the lack of rain, he said soybeans generally canopy, blocking sunlight from the soil around the plants but the leaves have become so dry that they are pointing upward and it’s causing termination to blooms.

“I’ve never seen anything like that where soybeans just die,” Miller said.

According to an AccuWeather news release, soybeans are slow to mature compared to corn and has more time to get moisture.

In times of severe drought, the plants can go into a “survival mode” and reduce the amount of pods produced or drop more pods over time. Plants that survive a drought do not produce many pods.

Miller said some farmers plant double crops in which they plant soybeans early after harvesting wheat. He said those plants look to have no yield potential.

He said even if rain starts coming in more often, the land is so dry he can’t see it helping much.

“I think from what I’ve seen, the situation in Southern Illinois is about as dire as anywhere in the country right now,” Miller said.


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