One year after a big drought devastated fields across South Dakota, area farmers are finding higher yields as soybean harvest begins to wrap up.
In Southeastern SD, farmers are seeing yields quite a bit higher than last year. With soybean harvest still underway, CHS Eastern Farmers Co-Op in Brandon says the company is already handling about 25 percent more soybeans this year than all of 2012. "we're roughly at a million and a half bushels of beans ahead of where we were last year at this time. Granted harvest started later this year but the yields are above and beyond what we had," said Randy Kringen, the location manager at CHS Eastern Farmers Co-op in Brandon.
The higher yields are thanks to a moisture filled spring and summer across many of the areas that suffered from severe drought in 2012.
Not all South Dakota farmers escaped dry conditions this year. In the Northeastern part of the state, farmers we're not severely hit by drought and saw very good yields in 2012. But this year those same fields saw a dry spell throughout most of August and September. Many feared yields could be down as much as 50 percent in that part of the state, but many farmers are finding this years yields aren't quite as bad as anticipated. "The numbers are down from last year, but over all, the numbers are
better than anticipated for not having rain for 6,7 weeks in a row so
its been better than what we're thinking," said Terry Brandt with North Central Farmers Elevator in Warner.
"Yield is better than everybody expected, going into it in august, early
September we were pretty warm and pretty dry...so we were kind of
pessimistic what they were going to look like when we got to the fields,
but we got out there and most of the farmers are pleasantly surprised
with the soybean results they're seeing," said Travis Antonsen, the Production Marketing Manager with SD Wheat Growers headquartered in Aberdeen.
Many farmers are just starting to get into the corn field, but they're already seeing some great corn yields as we'll.
"The crop was planted late, we were fairly cool throughout July, we pollinated well, I think we're going to see above average if not record corn yields in some places, especially in the southern part of the state," said Antonsen.
"From the guys I've talked to, they're saying the corn crop is looking pretty good. Nobody's quite got enough fields done yet to say what they're exactly yielding," said Kringen.
The higher yields are great news for farmers that took a big hit during last years drought, but a bigger crop across the state also means prices are down.
During the drought last year, corn prices rose to around $7.00 a bushel; this year they're down to about $4.00 a bushel.
Soybeans are also down about $3.00 a bushel from last year.
Even though prices are down, the higher yields should still mean a good year for farmers in most parts of South Dakota.
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