The corn stalks are no more than 3 feet tall. Most never produced ears at all. The husks are dry and empty. The few ears that did grow have just a few kernels on them.
Crop insurance adjusters declared the field a total loss.
Across the Midwest, corn growers have been hit hardest by the drought of 2012.
"We knew in June that we were going to be in trouble," says Green, 59, who has farmed here with his wife, Debbie, since 1974. They grow corn and soybeans on 800 acres.
Things turned out even worse than he feared in June. In normal years, he harvests an average of 135 bushels of corn per acre. This year's yield, he says, "goes from 70 (bushels an acre) down to zero."
That's the story across Lawrence County, says Tyler Harvey, manager of the local Farm Bureau.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimated last week that U.S. farmers will harvest 10.7 billion bushels of corn this year, the smallest crop in six years and down 13% from 2011.
Forty-one percent of the Illinois corn crop is rated very poor, and 34 percent is in poor condition. Iowa, Illinois, Nebraska, Minnesota and Indiana are the top-producing corn states.
Paul Bertels of the National Corn Growers Association says farmers are at a crucial moment.
"They are going to start making planting decisions (for next year) when they step off the combine," he says, and they could face seed shortages.
Rain from Hurricane Isaac last month "was about a month to six weeks late for us," Harvey says. The corn crop was already too far gone to be helped. But Irene's moisture and rain that has fallen since then did help the soybean crop, which hasn't been harvested here yet.
The rain revived the green in pastures, ditches and yards, Harvey says, but looks can be deceiving.
"The scary thing with this drought is the implications are in the future," he says. Everyone hopes for a wet winter.
Like most farmers, Green knows his land well and monitors weather closely. He finished planting early this year, finishing corn on April 16 and soybeans on May 3.
Green says he felt good about his crops when it rained the first week in May.
"That was before I knew that was going to be the last rain we received," he says. The next significant rain - 1.7 inches - came in July.
Corn pollinates 55 to 70 days after it's planted, so the drought and temperatures in the 100s prevented much of it from pollinating. That means few or no kernels formed, and the heat burned some of the rest. Green doesn't irrigate his crops.
He says he's lucky he has crop insurance and he hopes for a better season next year.
"Farming," he says, "is quite a gamble most of the time."
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(Copyright © 2012 USA TODAY)