South Dakota crop yields doing better than expected - KSFY News - Sioux Falls, SD News, Weather, Sports

South Dakota crop yields doing better than expected

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Sever drought conditions brought harvest more than two weeks early this year.  After months in such severe drought conditions, South Dakota farmers were prepared for the worst; however, many are finding things are not quite as bad as they expected.   

Sixty-five year veteran farmer Leo Heggen said he was pleasantly surprised that harvest is as good as it is.

"I think it's a little better than what most guys expected.  It's sure nothing to brag about, but we're pretty fortunate right here compared to some areas," Heggen said. 

Randy Kringen with the Eastern Farmers Co-Op Grain Elevator said many farmers near Brandon are actually seeing high-quality yields that are selling at high prices.

"Quality on the corn is surprisingly well.  A lot of us expected it to be low test weight, but we're finding it to be the exact opposite," Kringen said.

Kringen said he does expect prices to drop as more farmers find they are bringing in larger harvests than they once thought.

Those quality yields are location-dependent.  Kringen said many farmers south of I-90 are seeing yields down 75 percent or more from previous years.

Dry crops do mean one good thing during harvest—less time and less money.  Crops are so dry, most farmers and grain elevators haven't even turned on their energy-consuming dryers.

"That's a big factor now a days, It costs a lot to dry this corn," Leo Heggen said.

Kringen said the energy savings alone could mean farmers will get an extra 10-15 cents per bushel.

Kringen does expect to handle a third less grain than last year.  But many farmers are just happy their worst fears are behind them.

"We've got a lot to be thankful for.  We're blessed here pretty well compared to some areas," Leo Heggen said.

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