Weathering the Storm
Sep 26, 2012
As a child of family that owned the local Gran Elevator in the late 1980s, the memories of the stress drought placed on the farm families and the businesses of the agriculture community came flooding back. I now know the true anxiety my parents endured during that time period. Until the final grain is harvested, our family or the world will not truly know the financial impact the drought of 2012 will have on our livelihood or the world's economy. Will the farmer be able to put food on his table and everyone else’s?
As a farmer, we take great care in utilizing the latest technology to increase yield on the same acreage without depleting the natural resources we were blessed with on our farm. We are the biggest gamblers because farmers bet the house on the hand Mother Nature deals us. However the world’s best soil, supreme genetic seed package, and newest equipment cannot raise a record crop demanded by a growing population without rain. Every year the growing season presents challenges some years are just larger obstacles than others.
Our family is luckier than some parts of Illinois, we actually have corn and soybeans to harvest. The corn yields for the area have ranged 90 to 170bu per acre compared to our normal 180 to 250bu per acre. Farmers of the 1988 will tell you that 80bu Corn was golden. Only thing that has change is utilization of sound science. Biotechnology has changed the genetic package of the seed allowing it to endure extreme environmental factors.
2012 will go down as the widest spread drought throughout the Corn Belt since the 1980s. The world will feel the impact from grocery items derived from our commodity to the meat counter to corn plastic. As a livestock producer, the long-hot summer still taunts my goals at raising outstanding breeding animals to serve as foundation genetics for the beef industry. Similar to all farmers and ranchers, our family is facing hard decisions and exercising our strategic planning that will hopefully help us to weather the storm.