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Farmers in multiple states dealing with drought

Farmers in multiple states dealing with drought

20 percent of Nebraska is in extreme drought

By Diego Flammini
Staff Writer

Farmers across the United States and their crops are experiencing some level of drought.

In Nebraska, for example, about 20 percent of the state is in an extreme drought, the latest Drought Monitor Report says.

“We’re in a world of hurt,” Dan Braesch, a livestock and cash crop producer from Herman, Neb., told the Omaha World-Herald. “Last year, our corn crop was about half the year prior. It wasn’t good. The way this is happening, it’s going to be (worse) yet.”

Growers in Minnesota are also in a drought.

In total, about 98 percent of the state is experiencing some kind of drought conditions.

And farmers are worried about the effects the dry weather will have on their crops.

Betsy Wentz, a farmer at Rotational Roots, a vegetable farm in Goodhue County, expects a 40 percent yield drop in some cases.

“We’ve already don’t some pretty substantial damage,” she told FOX 9. “Some crops are not going to come back or pick up.”

Wheat farms in Kansas are also showing signs of drought.

The crop may look good from afar but that story changes after stepping into the field.

“All of my wheat looks pretty bad, but this is by far the worst. Thin. Short. Dead sport,” John Thaemert, who farms near Sylvan Grove, told KOSU. “You could not justify taking this crop to harvest.”

One possible silver lining during this situation is the effect the drought conditions have had on crop prices.

September 2023 soybean prices, for example, are at $13.79 per bushel as of Wednesday afternoon.

And December 2023 wheat futures are at $7.54 per bushel.

This situation is likely to experience more changes, said Moe Agostino, chief commodity strategist with Risk Management.

“It’s not over yet,” he said. “It’s complicated and this is just the beginning.”

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