* Washington Post…
Through all of April and all of May, wave after wave of rain hit the nation right in the breadbasket, with April capping the wettest 12 months on record for the continental United States. The past 60 days, in particular, have coincided with planting season in much of the country. […]
Recent measurements show most of Illinois’s famous topsoils are more waterlogged than they have ever been, University of Illinois economist Scott Irwin said.
Farmers cannot plant in that muck. It fouls their equipment and strangles their seeds. It is not enough for the rain to stop. The soil has to dry for as much as a week before they can plant again. According to the latest forecasts from the National Atmospheric and Oceanic Administration, that does not look likely. […]
This is not like most years. As the calendar ticks toward the point of no return, new data released Monday shows farmers have planted 67 percent of the acres they had planned to put in corn. In key states such as Illinois (45 percent) and Indiana (31 percent), it is even lower. […]
Irwin estimates that about 85 percent of the corn acres in Illinois were covered by such insurance, often as part of enormous operations that can afford coverage. The remaining 15 percent includes many small, family farms that are left with little protection against this unprecedented weather.
* Wall St. Journal…
Along the Illinois River—which meets the Mississippi in Grafton, Ill.—a levee was breached Monday night, the Calhoun County Sheriff’s Office said, forcing the closure of the Joe Page Bridge that is the main way in and out of the county. They agency was notified of the breach around 8:30 p.m. local time. The breach threatened homes in Nutwood, a community in nearby Jersey County.
The record wet weather over the last 12 months across the U.S. caused several crests along the Mississippi River and record flooding along the Missouri and Arkansas Rivers. May generated 549 tornadoes for the month, according to preliminary reports, the most for that month ever and second to April 2011 for the most tornadoes in any month.
In some areas over the next several days, the Mississippi River will crest within a foot of the 1993 record, Mr. Fuchs said. That flood killed 50 people, caused $15 billion in damage and forced the evacuation of thousands of people.
Governor JB Pritzker has deployed an additional 200 National Guard troops to southern Illinois to monitor rising water in the region.
The additional troops bring the number to 400 patrolling the region threatened by the rising Mississippi and Illinois rivers. […]
According to the governor’s office, state agencies have provided more than three million sandbags, more than 2,700 rolls of plastic, 27 pumps and five dozen Department of Corrections detainees to help hold back rising rivers.