Dry August a struggle for crop farmers
The fall harvest is beginning in Hubbard County and it’s been a good year for potatoes, according to Mike Stevens, Farm Service Agency executive director.
“It will take a good two, three weeks to lift them all,” he said.
Other crops didn’t fair as well due to dry conditions in August.
The summer started out looking good until about the end of July, Stevens said.
“We had 5/10 of an inch Aug. 1 then it was dry,” he said. The next measurable rain was Aug. 25.
The area saw a spike in corn planted on dry acres (non-irrigated corn) because of higher than normal corn prices. The price was around $6 per bushel.
“Without the rain in August, most of those dry acres will be lost,” Stevens said.
Irrigated corn, on the other hand, looks fabulous, he said.
Soybeans are another big crop in Hubbard County. Many farmers have been seeing three beans in the pod but they have been fairly flat, Stevens said.
Farmers who rely on alfalfa to feed cattle have not been able to get as much crop as they had anticipated. Some farmers might have to reduce the size of their herds.
Stevens is continuously monitoring the Legislature and talk surrounding the Farm Bill.
“We’re operating off an extension right now,” he said.
He’s hoping that a new bill will be passed and be beneficial for farmers in the area.
“We really do hope for the best and prepare for the worst.
Stevens serves Wadena and Hubbard counties. He is available at the Hubbard County office in Park Rapids Wednesdays.