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USA - Farmers and grain buyers react to severe drought possibility

Despite some rain in the forecast for Thursday, Minnesota is experiencing drought conditions.

The beginning of June this year has been one of the hottest on record for Minnesota, but farmers and grain buyers, at least in southern Minnesota, are fortunate for the rain that came before the excessive heat.

“The heat and the dryness lately has been getting farmers thinking about what’s going to happen,” said Pete Courteau of Central Farm Service.

The growing season started off with some precipitation and then moved into weeks of hot summer days. Farming experts say this is actually an ideal situation. The heat now benefits crops by helping them move along in their growing process.

“The heat is really going to be more of a factor as we get into the pollination stage for corn,” said Courteau.

Although the state is only in a moderate drought at this point, according to the U.S. drought monitor, continued time without rainfall could cause it to become severe.

There are several risks grain buyers and farmers would then face.

“For me it would mean I would not be able to buy as many bushels as maybe I would like to. For farmers it would mean crop loss, potentially loss of income,” stated Courteau.

Other risks involving severe drought include fire danger, increase in price of feed and water supply concerns.

Farmers and buyers alike are preparing for the worst, but are hopeful for favorable weather in the coming weeks.

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