Hope for the Soy Bean Crop

By: Landon Cassman Email
By: Landon Cassman Email

The Winnebago County Farm Bureau has set up a booth at the county fair to let people know just how bad the drought is hurting farmers.

"We need more rain. We're still operating at the bare minimum right now," said Winnebago County Farm Bureau manager Roger Christin. "And so this would keep the plants growing until at what time they start to ripen and ready for harvest."

But it's not the corn crop that will get any better with the rain. The farm bureau reports most farmers won't have more than a 50 percent yield this year. However there is still some hope for the soy bean crop.

"They continue to add blossoms and pods. And we can almost have an average crop of soy beans this year," said Durand farmer Bernie Walsh.

The soy bean can handle severe weather better than corn.

"They're more adapted to dry weather," said Walsh. "And they can continue to add flowers and pods over a longer period of time, and survive through that hot, dry period."

But there is still no guarantee of a 100 percent yield.

"A little bit of rain won't hurt any, but we don't want it to get too much rain to where it gets difficult to harvest," said Winnebago County Farm Bureau manager Roger Christin.

Farmers will begin harvesting in September, and only mother nature can decide how well the soy bean will succeed.

The last time farmers experienced weather like this was back in 1988 during a severe drought. But today, the majority of farmers have crop insurance to help in years like this one.

Farmers say the wheat crop also did very well this year because it does better in dry conditions.

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