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Local farmers could be facing a loss of crops

Hubbard County leads the state in dry, edible bean production with over 12,000 acres planted, according to Hubbard County Farm Service Agency Executive Director Mike Stevens.

However, this year with the current soggy conditions, Stevens says between 500 and 1,000 acres have yet to be harvested, which could be a potential loss for local farmers if the weather conditions do not improve.

"The last two to three years we've been having such wet falls," he said. "It makes things difficult for the farmers."

Stevens added the farmers were able to harvest the majority of their bean crop while the conditions were still favorable.

Farmers are potentially covered under the Emergency Loan Program, which provides loans to help producers recover from production losses due to natural disasters, if the FSA Secretary declares a natural disaster. According to Stevens, in order for that to happen, there would need to be a threshold of 4,000 acres of crop lost.

With the beans being as wet as they are, in some areas they have already begun to sprout and some will begin to swell, making them unmarketable.

Stevens says the farmers are relying on the sunshine to reappear within the next couple of days in order to give the beans time to dry out before they can be harvested, otherwise it could mean a significant financial loss for some producers.

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