Farmers concerned that drought will continue

Published online: Feb 07, 2013
Viewed 945 time(s)

With memories still fresh of the 2012 drought, Midwestern farmers are fearful of a repeat. On a recent rainy day, Carroll County, Missouri farmer Rob Korff was not about to let his guard down.

"At this point in time I'm very concerned about it," Korff said, during an interview with Brownfield Ag News. "It can get wet fast, but our drought pattern from last year has not changed; we haven't had much moisture this winter." Some of the signs that Korff is reading make him doubtful that the drought is finished.

"There are areas of our farm and ditches I've never seen dry that are still dry," he said. "I'd sure like to see some moisture, especially in the subsoil and we need a lot of rain and less heat going in through July and August."

Korff, from Norbern, Missouri, acknowledges that among farmers close to him, "most came out OK" because of having crops adequately insured.

"They were all made whole and they'll all survive and come back for 2013," said Korff. "We can only hope that the weather is a lot more friendly in 2013. We need a good crop this year."

On the other hand, Missouri Corn Growers CEO Gary Marshall says chances are good that a record amount of corn will be planted. With decent weather, he says the volume of corn at harvest time will put pressure on the price.

"We've lost some ethanol markets, we've lost some foreign markets, so we're not exporting as much. We don't have as many cattle on feed as we've had before," Marshall told Brownfield Ag News. "I'm really worried, if we do raise a big corn crop, we could see prices go down dramatically."

Because of his position with the corn growers, his world view is different than those who grow the corn.

"My look out is always a little bit farther than the growers," he said. "They're always optimistic and looking; I'm always fretting about the future."

Marshall says the prevalent speculation is that 100 million acres of corn will be planted this season.