Heartland farmer talks weather change impact on crops

CARBONDALE, IL (KFVS) - With all the rain in the forecast this week, it could cause issues before it's over.

Kelly Robertson, a farmer in Benton, Illinois said the rain could help his crops in the long run, but it's more about the temperature changes that worries him.

"I'm worried about moisture extremes than rain right now," Robertson said.

The temperatures have fluctuated tremendously in the Heartland the last week.

"We've had a very dry fall, a very dry winter, very little snow, very little rain," Robertson said. "So you don't want to go in the spring with a moisture deficit, so it's good to get the rain now. It's not going to really cause any problems."

SIU Professor of Climate Sciences, Dr. Trent Ford, agreed that the long rain headed our way this week is necessary for the soil moisture.

"This time is a crucial time to recharge that because if you go into a summer season like April, May and into June, where you are already below normal  or maybe at a deficit for soil moisture or stream flow, it usually doesn't get any better."

Dr. Ford said if the rain is spread out four to seven inches of rain over five days, it's not so bad.

"As long as we don't get like I said the multiple inches of rain day after day after day, a good soaking rain for several days in a row is definitely a good thing," Ford said. "We can use that water as much as we can get."

Robertson said this is normal for this time of year.

"This week is just another week in southern Illinois," he said. "It's going to rain or it's going to snow or it's going to be 100-degrees or it's going to be 20- below. It's February, take what you get."

Wheat is the only thing growing right now, so this rain could possibly drown out spots in the wheat fields.

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