Harvest season underway in Minnesota, Iowa
(ABC 6 News) – The growing season started late for farmers this year due to colder temperatures sticking around through the end of May.
For those who planted soybeans too early, they had to replant since the cold weather ruined the crops.
Josh Pries, who operates at Pries Farms and owns his own cattle company, was one of the local farmers who had this issue.
“The beans when they start growing to form the leaves, they go up. But when planting hard crust, the beans will snap off underground and die,” he explained.
With temperatures expected to drop this weekend, farmers are scrambling to harvest their crops.
The lack of rain in recent months lowers the price of the crop because the moisture percentage isn’t high enough.
“They’re getting too dry now. We want them in between 10 to 13 percent, and these are 8 to 10 percent that we’re doing now,” Pries said.
Machines are vital to every farmer, and prices for fuel for all this machinery have skyrocketed in recent months.
Pries has also experienced the effects. “The gas tractors are not as efficient as the diesel. I had to recently refill the barrels, but when you’re looking at 4 or 5 bucks a gallon for diesel, it hurts.”
Several pieces of equipment on the farm require diesel fuel.
This adds to a problem that was already in place during the pandemic.
Pries had to wait 4 months for a part for one of his tractors to arrive, and this slowed down the farming process even further.
Pries and his father John, the latter who owns the farm, still have more than half their farm to harvest. They’re not alone.
Like all farmers – they have a job to do, and they will not stop until it’s done.
The job could become even harder down the road.
With parts still hard to find and prices for fertilizer and seeds as well as interest rates also on the rise, crop costs in 2023 are likely to rise even more before dropping.