Crop Failures Are Now On The Horizon And This Will Be Inflationary

Posted By on November 10, 2009

Much of the middle of the nation — from the Great Lakes to the Mississippi Delta — received at least twice the normal amount of rainfall in October. That, combined with unusually cool temperatures, slowed crop development and made fields too wet for farmers to navigate with harvesting equipment.

By Sunday, farmers in the major corn states had managed to harvest just 37% of that crop compared with 82% on average by that point over the past five years. This harvest is the slowest since at least the mid-1970s, when the federal government began tracking harvest progress.

In addition to lower-than-expected yields, the rainy fall is stinging recession-weary farmers who now are spending more on propane to dry their crops than they had planned. The rain delay also means some farmers won’t be able to clear their fields of corn and soybeans in time to plant wheat this fall.

Dave Koons, a 61-year-old farmer in Tower Hill, Ill., said Tuesday that he was able to plant only 100 acres of wheat this fall, half of what he had planned. “A lot of farmers around here have never seen anything like this,” said Mr. Koons, who also grows 800 acres of corn and soybeans.


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