Sunday, November 01, 2009

Harvest Woes

The Wall Street Journal has posted an article about the harvest. It's pretty bad:

The combination of a late planting season and an unusually cool, wet fall is causing one of the latest harvests in recent memory. On Monday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said just 20% of the corn crop had been harvested in the major corn-producing states, compared with 58% on average by this point in 2004 through 2008. Farmers also had brought in just 44% of the soybean crop, versus 88% on average over the past five seasons.

The slowdown complicates life for farmers and threatens to take a bite out of their earnings in a year when net farm income already was expected to be 38% below last year's near-record high.

"Most of the farmers' income is still out there in the field," said Loyd Brown, president of Hertz Farm Management, a Nevada, Iowa, company that manages more than 1,800 farms with some 430,000 acres across the Midwest. "They're anxious to get it harvested and anxious to know where they stand for the year."

For more of a first hand view see this discussion thread at The Oil Drum. It could be worse of course. But I wonder what the fallout will be going forward. Airdale lives in Kentucky and has spoken before about the missing insects and wildlife. Is this a one-off event or an indicator of a forming trend?

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