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August Heat Welcomed by Farmers

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On average, the warmest temperatures during the summer are during the middle of July.  This year, it seems as though Mother Nature decided to do things a bit different.  The forecast is for heat, and lots of it.  

Kurt Stiefvater, a farmer from Salem, says the warmth is a welcome sight, “It takes so many sunlight hours and warm degrees to keep the plant growing and finish it out."

Farmers are well versed in the economic theory of supply and demand, this August they find themselves in need of sunshine and hot temperatures, and it looks as though that's just what they will get.  “We got dried out in June and July a little bit, but now we've caught some August rains which keep the crop growing good, but were going to need lots of sunlight and warmer evenings to keep the crops growing good to reach maturity." said the Salem native.

Stiefvater, who farms on 1,500 acres of family owned land, sat perched in the air conditioned combine, his GPS keeping track of his progress.  They know that this steamy weather is the best thing they could have at this point in the season.  They would like a bit more rainfall, but they'll take what they can get, especially after last season, “Last year we were probably three weeks ahead.  This year we're probably ten days behind our normal timeframe for crops maturing.”

For now, farmers will tie up loose ends, deal with the oats and hay, and prepare the machinery.  The corn and the soybeans are not quite there yet, but the height of the corn stalks is already impressive.  The temperatures are important this year because it can make a big difference in the price of everyday items, from gasoline to cereal.
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