Here are some time lapse photos of one of my corn fields showing how we went from one of the best looking corn crops ever to a complete disaster in less than a month.

Heat index temps have been over 110 this last week and they predict another week of triple digit temps.  Soil surface temps are over 130 during the heat of the day.

This corn was planted on April 13.  Rain fall from April 16 to July 1 was 0.75 inches with 0.9 coming on the night of July 1.

Picture taken June 5, 2012

Pictures taken June 16, 2012



Pictures taken July 2, 2012


32 Responses to Death of a Corn Crop.

  • Ed Schloz says:

    Those pictures just leave me speechless! I can’t imagine how you and other farmers in the same position are feeling….

  • Lona says:

    I am sorry for your loss. People have no clue how devastating this is to farmers. We are watching the same thing happen (though we are not as far along) up here in Michigan.

  • Jeff H says:

    thank you for sharing these pix. I will never forget my grandfather telling me the crop was lost do to drought and how devastating it was to that very proud old farmer. Extremely hard to watch the crop burn up and absolutely nothing you can do about it, you did everything right, on time, fertilizers and chemicals and its all for naught.

    cash the crop insurance checks and move on!

  • Dietrich Kastens says:

    Sorry to see the corn Kelly. One of the guys that works for us grew up in Greyville and his dad still lives there. His dad was telling me that there was over a 20″ spread in rainfall totals between this year and last. That’s crazy weather. Hopefully the beans will finish correctly. Good luck!

  • Carolyn says:

    I remember going to MN in July of 1954 and my dad saying ,”Look at this fantastic corn crop we have.” Came home two weeks later to the corn burnt up. Three days of high heat temps and hot winds litertly cook the corn. People in our community said you could smell the corn cooking. But, being people of hardy farm families we survived. Not easy to do, but God will take care of you. My thoughts & prayers are with the farm families of all these conditions. Remember there is next year. Hope you all had crop insurance. Cash those checks and don’t look back.

  • Rodney Schmidt says:


    I am truly sorry to see this distruction with your corn crop. I am originally from St. Clair County in Illinois. I farmed until 1984, following the 1983 drought in that area. No….I didn’t go with PIK at that time due to the low corn base on the farm…should have though. Also, at that time the crop insurance wasn’t very good and interest rates were extremely high. In any case, I can relate to the pictures you show above as my crop looked very similar back then. As the other people state, hopefully your soybean crop will be better. Hang in there, things will be better in the future.

  • Hank Parks says:

    Having grown up on a family farm and being the son of six generations of farmers I get it. My heart goes out to you and all your neighbors. That is no way to truly understand how heartbreaking the loss of a whole years work.
    Just prayed for you, your family and the folks who work with and for you.

  • We suffered through this last summer here in Texas. We flush irrigated some corn twice and it still never got above 4 feet tall. Made 75 bpa which was in the top 10% for the county. We feel your pain. Hopefully its only a one year event. We now get drought insurance every year.

  • Dianne L says:

    This is what drought does. The farmers see it first, then the market feels it, then the consumers feel it. Is there a solution? Irrigation? Other than that, I have no idea. Does it cost more to irrigate a crop until it can be harvested? Of course, it does. Then if the farmer cannot afford to irrigate, then he/.she is back where the farmers were before the invention of irrigation. Technology cannot fix everything. We have not learned how to control the weather. About all there is to do about this is to pray: 1. that enough farmers have the funding to grow their next crop; 2. that God, Who already sees their plight, answers with what is needed…

  • Tom says:

    Who can tell me where are this pictures taken from?

  • Joseph says:

    hopefully some if not all of you have the wherewithall to afford an honest commodity, hedgeing broker and buy a few corn, wheat or soybean contracts , as prices rise, you will at least be offsetting some of your losses. I left the farm as a teenager after my father had suffered 9 crop failures after the other. I understand your angst and suffering, God bless.

  • Steven says:

    My god, how many dry days here? Hope there is a widespread rain ease the drought, bless

  • PAUL SWART says:


  • admin says:

    we are about 15-20 inches of rain behind normal right now.

  • admin says:

    Thank You to all who are praying for us here, there is a lot of stress in some operations and folks need prayer and the comfort it provides.

  • Ed Winkle says:

    Excellent pictoral explanation, Kelly, your pictures says it all. This is one of the simplest yet most dramatic pictoral reports on crop devastation due to drought I have seen. I have seen it all over the Internet so it is getting big press and I imagine the traders have seen it. Their question is going to be how big is it and our answer is we don’t know but if it is that bad in southern Illinois where the moisture feeds many states, it is bad.

  • Mary K Richter says:

    This scenario is being played out in many areas of the mid-west including our own (near St. Louis). While crop insurance helps, no farmer wants to see his crop wither in the heat and drought. This could be one year when consumers realize the importance of agribusiness as they will soon see the pinch in prices they pay for food. Anyone willing to bet on $7 a box cereal?

  • Bob R says:

    Just want to tell you how bad we feel for you and everyone. We’re at Paxton IL and just far enough behind you that we’re hanging on waiting for rain. But not much time left. Prayer prayer prayer…

  • Helio says:

    Not the U.S., this makes me very sad …
    This lack of rain is in all regions?

  • Peter Jung says:

    Yikes. I farm in Southern Wi. and it’s looking the same way here. Corn is starting to flower and we’re in dire need of rain. I would much rather pay for insurance than collect.

  • Bill O'Neil says:

    Had similar experience in 1988. I know the pain. Be careful about buying futures to make up loss. Markets had topped out by this time in 1988 even though crops continued to burn up!

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  • bruce says:

    We will hold you in our prayers . In 1974 one of our church elders said “son you have the best farm of corn I have ever seen” two weeks later there was nothing left. We had no insurance but , we had a very young family and our youth. I will never forget the hopelessness. God provided and he will for you too.

  • Tom & Phyllis Rabalais says:

    We will pray for you and the other farmers in your area. We are short on rain here after being too wet in the spring. We were unable to plant about two thirds of our intended corn crop so we rolled over to beans. Our corn is struggling now due to the severe heat and lack of rain but it did make. May God bless you and yours as you shake this off and plan for another year. We farmers are a tough breed. God will see you through.

  • Chris says:

    I live in southern ON (norfolk county) and I have a crop of corn that went through similar stages, it is not quite all as dry as your photo’s, however we have some spots that are not knee high and totally dead . You are not alone, I feel your pain, and pray for rain as well.

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  • Joe Gorski says:

    I live in southwestern Ontario. Last Sunday winds were clocked at over
    100mph and then it started hailing and 20 minutes when it was over I lost about 700 acres of some of the nicest corn. It is probably more painful to see it detiorate slowly than only take 20 minutes to see the corn be destroyed.

  • Pat says:

    Kelly – sorry for your loss. We are slightly more fortunate here in West Central Iowa. It’s starting to look grim now, but we caught tiny rainfalls
    previously. Our corn looks like pic #2. Now I can see what it will be like in
    2 weeks if we don’t get rain. Staring at radar maps doesn’t seem to be doing the trick. Everything wishbones around us and we are dry, dry, dry. Beautiful crops that are looking more and more stressed. Crop insurance doesn’t cover the whole loss, that’s for sure. Especially when you forward sell at $5/bu and you will have to find corn to deliver at $7/bu!

  • Pat says:

    Corn isn’t the only thing that is stressed out here in Western IA…….I think I should go on a vacation and deal with this when I get back. Maybe you should do the same.

  • Sandor Beda says:
  • Lynn White says:

    We had the same problem here in La. In 1995. Corn here is looks very good this year irrigated or not. Biggest problem is going to be able to handle so much at elevators as miss river is at record lows and barges not being able to load. There is already talk of alfatoxin and local elevators say it will be rejected if tests are positive. Soybeans are starting to suffer in some areas pretty bad. Very encouraging to see all of the faith shown in these comments on prayer. We serve a loving almighty God and He is in control of these situations. All we do is for His glory anyway.

  • Don & Kittie MacGregor says:

    we feel your pain and realize that people do not understand how quickly mother nature can leave us all hungry. She can move us from being a land of plenty to a land where hunger can show up any time. Our prayers and hopes go out to all who are in agriculture and feeling this pain. We are in Southwestern Ontario and as of now we have not felt this devistation but know full well that it could happen at any time here as well.

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