Still No Rain

1 decade 1 year 3 months ago Wednesday, March 28 2007 Mar 28, 2007 Wednesday, March 28, 2007 9:47:37 PM CDT March 28, 2007 in News

Terry Hilgedick is hoping for bumper crops.

"We grow corn and wheat and soybeans," he said.

Hilgedick said a dry April let farmers plant corn, but lack of rain also has its drawbacks.

"It's really dried out the top few inches of the soil," he added, "to the point where quite a few of the acres of the corn probably won't germinate without a rain."

When it doesn't rain, farmers irrigate, but that will cost more this year.

"Some of them are electric, but most of them are diesel engines," explained Dale Ludwig of the Missouri Soybean Association. "So, again, we're talking about additional energy, and additional energy costs if you have to pump water."

Ludwig said lower yields last year plus this year's higher energy costs highlight the need for rain.

"It's extremely critical for them to have a good year, you know," added Ludwig. "We're positioned where a poor crop could put a lot of people in a tough situation."

So, Hilgedick is crossing his fingers and looking to the sky.

"Oh gosh, if we could get an inch or two by the end of the month, I think everyone would be pleased," he admitted.

Hilgedick said wheat is drought-resistent, but can still use some rain because this year has been so dry. Ludwig said soybeans can become dormant in dry conditions then recover when it rains. But, he said corn needs rain throughout its growing cycle.

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