Rain slows farmers bringing in fall harvest
A soggy spring and wet fall have left Indiana farmers scrambling to harvest their soybeans so they can replant the fields with winter crops.
Myron Wittkamper of Ag-One Co-Op in Dundee estimated that the harvest is 30 days behind because of recent rain. The soggy season also has left some crops with higher moisture contents, which will cut profit margins as farmers spend more money to dry them out.
Tipton County farmer Kip Bergman said the rains came at the wrong time this year, delaying planting in the spring and leaving soggy conditions now.
"There was a lot of rain and a cool summer," he said.
Howard County farmer Dick Miller said there's a domino effect. The delayed harvest is keeping him from planting winter wheat that will be harvested next summer.
Miller said the winter wheat needs a good growth before the cold hits. Despite the delays, some farmers are getting good news.
Miller's brother has seen yields close to 60 bushels per acre -- well above the 50 they'd hoped for.
The National Agricultural Statistics Service forecasts soybean production will increase 10 percent to 3.25 billion bushels.
Greg Bohlander of the Indiana Farm Bureau said crop prices will hinge on domestic demand and what happens in the early growing season in the Southern hemisphere.
"I read some reports last week or so predicting down pressure because of yields," Bohlander said. "But we've also seen an increase in consumption. It just depends what the market is willing to bear."