Severe drought impacts farmers as harvest season looms

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(ABC 6 News) – Farmers are dealing with a lot of challenges this year. But the main one and the one that gets worse by the day is the ongoing severe drought.

As harvest season approaches soon, many farmers are wondering what to do next.

The people who run a family farm in Goodhue County are sharing why they are not giving.

"We plan for the worst and hope for the best," farmer Keith Allen said.

Keith and his family have been in Goodhue county for 18 years milking dairy goats. But this year, Keith wanted to take a risk, to get involved in grain corn to add to his business.

"We’ve planned for this to a certain extent. The consumers have nothing to worry about. They’re still going to be food on the table to supply every American with what they need to eat," Allen said.

But, this family farm, like many others in Southeastern Minnesota is in a severe drought.

Keith even showed me what some of the warning signs are on the corn stalk.

"The plant is not happy. It’s stressed, it almost has that pineapple top and we’re starting to see leaves die off at the bottom of the stalks," Allen said.

And with harvest season around the corner, Keith is hoping for the best outcome He has insurance, but the money needs to talk.

"We want to make as much money as we can possible to be able to pay for next year’s inputs. The chemical, the fertilizer, the land rent, that kind of stuff," Allen said.

Gary Wertish agrees. He’s the president of the Minnesota Farmers Union. He says a relief package could come from the state to help farmers.

"Any type of assistance we can do to keep family farmers on the farm is greatly appreciated," Wertish said.

As for Keith, he’s not giving up.

"It’s in my blood. We’ve done this for generations. My great-grandfather figured out how to do it, my grandfather figured out how to do it, my dad figured out how to do it, and by George, I’m going to figure out how to do it too," Allen said.