Droughts and heat across the United States have led to one of the worse harvesting seasons in recent memory, with some suggesting it could be as bad as the dust bowl of the Great Depression.
At AgWeb, an online community for farmers and those in the farming industry, the majority of commentators suggest that this year’s season is nothing short of Farmageddon:
- 7/10 – Lyon County, Iowa: Boy, did things change around here. After a wet May the rains shut off. Total of 8 tenths in June and none so far In July.
- 7/10 – Cass County, Mich.: The fields are dry and in need of rain like everywhere else. Fields being watered are running 24/7 and will be expensive at years end. Feels like the summer of 1988, all dry land corn will be considered a loss and the beans are not far behind the corn, but can hold up a little better at times, WE STILL NEED RAIN.
- 7/10 – Lincoln County, S.D.: Corn on corn or old alfalfa ground will be zero to 5 bushel. Corn-on-soybean ground maybe 50-80 BPA if it rains soon (at least it tasseled). Soybeans look ok, may still yield above crop insurance if it can rain. We lifted the KP out of the way and put in the grass chutes to start cutting corn silage!
- 7/10 – Wayne County, Ill.: I am a small farmer, but my crops in Wayne County, Ill., are the worst I have had sine 1952-53. Corn will be lucky to make 10 bu. and beans are going downhill. It’s been over 100 degrees for 11 straight days. Bad crop.
- 7/10 – Nobles County, Minn.: Our crops may look good from the road but are falling apart fast. No real rain to speak of since May. Last Thurs some in our county were lucky enough to catch a rain but very spotty. I got nothing. The USDA Good to Excellent is severely over rated in Minnesota. We will be the next state to have our conditions plummet. Don’t depend on Minnesota saving the day with their corn crop. It will be short here also.
- 7/10 – St. Francois County, Mo.: It has been very dry here since this time last year with very little snow or moisture during the winter. Everything was planted early and highs the last two weeks over 100 with little rain and dry to begin with, the corn is pretty much done. Gonna chop a lot for silage the rest will be less than 50 bu/acre if we are lucky. Beans may yield more than corn I’d we get some rain soon.
- 7/10 – Adams County, Neb.: Irrigated corn a bin buster. Dryland corn a bust. Irrigated beans look great
- 7/10 – Tama County, Iowa: In ’88 crop was maybe 20% below normal. Probably won’t have to harvest this one. No rain.
- 7/10 – Dodge County, Wis.: Worst corn that I have ever seen, 88 was excellent compared to this year. Wondering if I will even need combine this year.
- 7/10 – Boone County, Iowa: Our crops are under stress. This year compares to 1977.
- 7/10 – Harvey County, Kan.: Corn is almost burnt up!
- 7/10 – Stanton County, Neb.: Dryland corn is done! Some people in denial need to walk in field. Later corn tasseled and pollinating with no silks! No rain in seven days or low humidity 90 degrees and warmer by weekend. Yield range for corn on our farms…0 to 0 bpa. Soybeans…if it rains which is a big if may have some hope, not holding my breath!!
- 7/10 – Washington County, Ill.: This is my 50th year of grain farming, so I think that I can say that I’ve seen it all. This is worse than 1988-Much worse for corn. Beans could still be fair if it starts to rain soon. Sat.-Sun. rains totaled only 1/4 inch.
- 7/10 – Montgomery County, Ill.: This is worse than 1983 and 1988. Corn yield will be 30 to 40% of last year’s yield. The jury is still out on the beans. $10 corn is likely, because there will be so little of it relative to demand. Very sad…
- 7/9 – Evansville, Ind.: Planted corn on March 26th. No significant rain since 1st week of May. It has never been this dry this early. Pollen shed occurred prior to silk emergence due to excessive heat and dryness. As you can see in the pictures, some ears only have four or five kernels on them. Corn looks good from the road but some areas did not pollenate. If you are dry and hot, you should walk in your fields to verify what your yield will be and change your marketing plan accordingly. There is a good chance that later planted corn will have the same pollination issues in southwest Indiana!!!
(Corn from Evansville, IN; image uploaded by farmer)
Michael Snyder writes that the corn is dying all over America:
All over America the corn is dying. If drought conditions persist in the middle part of the country, wheat and soybeans will be next. Weeks of intense heat combined with extraordinarily dry conditions have brought many U.S. corn farmers to the brink of total disaster. If there is not significant rainfall soon, many farmers will be financially ruined. This period of time is particularly important for corn because this is when pollination is supposed to happen. But the unprecedented heat and the extremely dry conditions are playing havoc with that process. With each passing day things get even worse. We have seen the price of a bushel of corn soar 41 percent since June 14th. That is an astounding rise. You may not eat much corn directly, but it is important to realize that corn or corn syrup is just about in everything these days. Just look at your food labels. In the United States today, approximately 75 percent of all processed foods contain corn. So a huge rise in the price of corn is going to be felt all over the supermarket. Corn is also widely used to feed livestock, and if this crisis continues we are going to see a significant rise in meat and dairy prices as well. Food prices in America have already been rising at a steady pace, and so this is definitely not welcome news.
Analysts suggest that the yields will be so low this year that the affect on grocery store food prices will be significant and will likely include rises for food products containing corn, soy and wheat. Cattle prices are likely to skyrocket as well because of rising feed prices.
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