Farmers brace for a hot week on their crops - WGEM.com: Quincy News, Weather, Sports, and Radio

Farmers brace for a hot week on their crops

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Koeller going into his crop. Koeller going into his crop.
Corn at Mill Creek Farm. Corn at Mill Creek Farm.
Corn in Koeller's Field. Corn in Koeller's Field.
Irrigation at Koeller's Farm. Irrigation at Koeller's Farm.
(WGEM) -

We're about to enter a long heat wave in the Tri-States and farmers are keeping a close eye on how this will affect their crops. 

Farmers said corn can handle the high temperatures, but it also needs to cool down and without rain, farmers say the corn will be impacted. 

High heat and no rain for an extended period of time can affect crops. Farmers are now on alert for any damage. 

"Now we are starting to worry about dry weather a little bit, plus the heat," Pike County farmer Jim Koeller said. "It all takes a toll on the corn and soybean crop." 

"The crop will suffer a little bit but I don't think it will be an extreme problem," Mill Creek Farmer Mike Roegge said. "Hopefully we get rain by the end of the week." 

Mike Roegge with Mill Creek Farm said corn has to cool down, and if it doesn't, it loses its efficiency. 

"It has to respire or use more energy to stay cooler," Roegge said. "So it takes energy that the plant could be devoting to extending kernels and increasing yields and devoted to cooling down the plant.

Pike County, Illinois, farmer Jim Koeller said the corn has pollinated already, which is a good thing, because it wouldn't happen in this heat. The dryness doesn't help its productivity either. 

"Without any rain, the ear development won't be good," Koeller said.  

Both farmers say irrigation, if available, can help, but besides that, there isn't much they can do. 

"We are kind of in the time of year when it's out of the farmers hands and you have done with what you can and you are leaving it to Mother Nature now," Koeller said.  

"We know what it's like to farm in July and August," Roegge said. "You can't do much about it unless you have a switch to turn on the center pivot." 

Crops planted in late May have not pollinated yet and this heat could have a big issue. 

Adding to the weather concerns, farmers are also fighting Japanese beetles that are eating the crops.

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