Predictions for 2021 harvest season in Minnesota
(ABC 6 News) – With a change in seasons comes harvest time for farmers across the state. A dry spell and hot weather added to farmers’ worries this past growing season, but according to the latest Minnesota Crop Progress and Condition Report, all may not be lost.
Soybeans are starting to come out and are over a week ahead of the 5-year average with 38% rated good to excellent. Corn shares some of those same numbers.
Ben storm, a farmer in Dover, is a fourth generation farmer.
"My grandpa actually bought this farm that we’re are on right now, and dad bought it from him, and since, I’ve bought it from him," storm said.
Storm farms 1,500 acres of corn and soybeans every year.
Right now, Storm is harvesting the soybeans. He said the corn still has a few weeks. Even though we had a dry summer, he said his crops are doing alright.
"We got very timely rains that I think really made our crop what it is. We got done combining a field yesterday that was probably the best bean I’ve raised on it," Storm said.
His hopes were not always high this year.
"There are some sleepless nights this summer especially when it’s 90 degrees in June and the corn was all shriveled up," Storm said.
He said it’s getting harder and harder to support a family in farming, especially since equipment like his combine can cost up to half a million dollars.
"It takes a lot more acres today to support a family than it did when my dad started farming," Storm said.
This means many farmers only work in the fields part-time and we’re seeing fewer family farms.
"Between my dad and his brothers, there’s four of them that farmed, and out of all those grandkids, I’m the only one that farms," Storm said.
On top of these challenges, pandemic-related supply shortages make it difficult for farmers to get the parts they need for their equipment.
Storm’s wife Natalie owns a massage business to help support their family of six.
So a good yield means fewer worries for storm and his family.