Illinois has experienced extreme rain and flooding that’s greatly affecting farmers. I’m an Illinois family farmer growing corn, soybeans and wheat in Monroe County. I also serve as chairman of the Illinois Soybean Association (ISA), representing our state’s 43,000 soybean farmers.
Iroquois County, in east central Illinois, is one of the hardest hit areas. According to The Pantograph, the Iroquois River and Sugar Creek crested above 24 feet – more than 4 feet above flood stage. Several local and state officials, including ISA directors, toured the county and estimate nearly 40 percent of the county’s crops were underwater at one point. The extreme weather in my area has left about 10 to 15 percent of soybean acres unplanted. Another 20 percent was lost to river and seep water.
Illinois soybean farmers work hard to keep our family farms operational, sustainable and profitable, just like any business. Financially, it will be a very difficult year for most Illinois farmers, especially with lower commodity prices. While we plan for the worst, sometimes the worst is overwhelming and our farmers need help to stay afloat – so we can continue to produce food for our families and yours. We are thankful for Governor Rauner’s federal disaster assistance request. Illinois is the No. 1 soybean-producing state in the nation and we want to continue contributing to Illinois’s economy and the global food supply. We are grateful to those who support family farming and Illinois soybeans.