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Jefferson County farmer hoping for ‘million dollar’ rain

CORN

SCHELLER (WSIL) -- The upcoming chance for rain has one local farmer feeling better about his crops this season.

Jefferson County farmer John Kabat spent much of his Wednesday spraying herbicide on his soybean fields.

"To kill the seeds in this soil for maybe 15-20 days until this crop will canopy over and grow a little bit taller, and then the weeds won't be able to compete with the soybeans."

He says he's hoping for rain soon, as it would help him apply the herbicide more effectively.

"Water will take it into the soil, and they won't germinate for the next couple of weeks."

He says rainfall will take the chemical deeper into the soil than his sprayer alone.

"I want that residual, that anthem, to go into the soil to protect a layer of those seeds trying to pop their heads through the soil, and germinate, and try to kill those weeds, before they come up."

Even if he ended up being the only one spraying his fields Wednesday, he said farmers would welcome the rain on their corn.

"We really need it for the corn crop. Our corn is going like 15 days without rain, and we could've used it last week, and we've lost some yield. This is the million dollar rain. We need it right now."

He said, while it's just a saying, it may very well hold some truth when you consider the crop land throughout the county.

"Even if it produces, like corn produces maybe 150 bushels instead of 120 bushels, 30 bushel times $3 a bushel, which is isn't very... a hundred dollars more per acre, multiply that out, and it's gonna come out to a lot of money that could be made if we could have a rain and nourish this crop."

While the hot and steamy days might make us feel miserable, Kabat says the high humidity keeps crops from drying out, helping with the final yield.

John Ross

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