Mid-Missouri Farming Challenges

1 decade 11 months 3 weeks ago October 05, 2005 Oct 5, 2005 Wednesday, October 05 2005 Wednesday, October 05, 2005 5:58:02 PM CDT in News

Randy Ridgeway grows corn and soybeans in Centralia. This year is taking a toll on him.

"I may pick up an extra job, do some custom work on the combine to help make the payment on it, and just anything we can to get by," Ridgeway says.

Many of the farmers in the Centralia and Mexico areas of Missouri are having problems.

"I have heard more of the fellas this year doing custom work to try and supplement their income," MFA agriculture manager Jim Gesling says. "They will take their machinery, combines, trucks and go work on a neighbors for hire." [jim gesling/mfa agriculture manager]

There is some help. MFA is also doing its part. THe company is the middle man in Centralia. It's buying corn from farmers for $1.45 right now when the price in st. Louis is only $1.13, that means they are eating that cost in hopes that farmers will be doing better in the future.

The drought was the original problem for Mid-Missouri farmers. Then the hurricane added to the troubles. The hurricanes in the gulf damaged railways.  That means some farmers can't ship their product or get in more fertilizer.  It doesn't help that the rest of the country is enjoying a good year for corn and soybeans. So prices are low.

"It will have very significant impacts particularly those producers in Central and Northeast Missouri, that have very low yields and then have their crops sold at higher prices, it's going to be a very negative income year," agricultural economist Melvin Brees says.

He also says tThe problem won't get better next year and it may carry over for several years.

Corn is one of the more expensive crops to grow and maintain.

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