Heat threatens crops, Ill. farmers concerned

June 18, 2012 (CHANNAHON, Ill.)

Sunset View Farm in Channahon, Ill., is a 1000-acre crop and cattle farm that produces wheat, alfalfa, soybean and corn. Farmers Bob Bleur and his wife Pat are concerned because the corn is not as high as it should be; they have put everything that they have into the farm and the heat is affecting their bottom line.

"The plants themselves have been suffering from probably almost three weeks with no rain at all," said Bleur. "We can move along for a while without the rain, but this high 90-degree temperature, that combined with it, it really affects the crops terribly."

Bleur says that high temperatures and lack of rainfall can be very damaging.

"It's too early to tell. We could have a bumper crop or we could have a total crop failure yet," he said.

The family says farming is very hard and unpredictable, but it is their life. It has been in Pat Bleur's family since 1862 and is also known as the Lewis Farm. Their grandsons will be the 7th generation owning and operating the farm.

"It's a legacy. You are born with it and you feel you have to carry on for your ancestors," said Pat Bleur.

Pat Bleur's mom, Mary Lewis, has lived on the farm her entire life. She says the rain on Sunday was not nearly enough to help.

"I have to be concerned. I know that we need more moisture," said Lewis

The lack of rain also negatively impacts the farm's cattle.

"When they're out in the pasture, they're still hungry so the round bales … which we planned to feed them this winter, we may have to start feeding them a whole lot earlier," said pat Bleur.

"I'm gambling every day on a crop to come in," said Bob Bleur.

Steve Arnold from the Kane County Farmers Bureau says it's dry but that the next weather element can totally change the concern and change the situation.

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