Weather Brings Farming Hardships During Harvest Season

LENNOX, S.D – Harvest season in the Sioux Empire is a little late, and what was hard work to begin with is becoming even more taxing for farmers in the area.

It’s no secret that the weather has not been up to par and many farmers are already going bankrupted.

The whole year’s been slow, according to Dave Poppens, co-owner of OK Corral Incorporated.

“Didn’t get started planting until June. Got about a third of our corn, a third of our beans, and a third we didn’t get planted,” he says.

The flooding’s been extreme, making it hard to get anything done.

“Especially hard to get anything bailed. You have to wait for it to dry out and it’s hard to get those dry days in there. It’s just the amount of moisture we’ve had, and then it just keeps coming all the time, so we get two or three days where we get work done. Then we’ll have to wait maybe more than a week for it to dry up again where we can do something,” Poppens says.

And for new farmers, beginner’s luck has been tough to come by.

“If you’re gonna start out this would be a tough years to try and get started just because of the economics of it’s hard to cash flow everything the way things are right now with the lower prices and lower yields that we’re having,” Poppens says.

Farmers need to have funds to run their businesses, and…

“It would be hard if you had some higher capital expenditures for your machinery or land or purchases like that to make those payments, and if you don’t have the cash flow to cover it, yeah that would be tough,” Poppens continues.

But, Poppens says preparation is a game changer.

It’s important for anybody that you have a good understanding with your banker where you’re at and how the year looks and what you foresee going into the future,” he adds.

According to AGWeek the harvest around the Midwest is usually in full swing by early to mid-Cctober, but only 1 percent of Minnesota corn was harvested at the start of the month.

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