This year’s corn crop has been absolutely decimated by nonstop rain and unseasonably cool weather, according to a new report from Bloomberg. And while those caveats are widely known, farmers believe that already adjusted estimates for June are still going to be too optimistic.
The report checked in with corn farmer James McCune, who, when looking at the size of his diminutive corn crop this year simply said: “Corn’s not supposed to be this tall.”
In fact, conditions and morale are so poor in Northwestern Illinois, that McCune organized a happy hour for about 125 farmers and others tied to the industry. They’re calling it the "Prevent Plant Part", a nod in jest to the unplanted acreage this season.
“It’s going to be a train wreck,” McCune said.
Corn farmers face unprecedented headwinds this year, including record rain that has flooded the midwest and stalled corn plantings. This has forced the US Department of Agriculture to cut its harvest estimates in its June report. This is only the fourth time since 2000 that the government has taken such action in the month of June.
McCune says that the USDA's report won't even capture how bad this year‘s crop will be. Another farmer, Bryan Snetcher, said even though he was able to get his crop planted, it has been a huge battle.
"You spend a week on the land and then it rains three days and a week later you’re doing it all over again. Just tired of dealing with the mud this year."
In addition to the rain, corn farmers are feeling the effects of President Trump's trade war with China. Even though these two farmers support Trump's moves, costs have risen for farmers and the administration is in the midst of preparing additional tariff-aid payments as a result.
Mark Wetzell, a farmer from Tampico, Illinois concluded about the situation:
"It's going to take people a couple years to get it right."