Rachel Duff, AgWeb Contributing Editor
With 2010 fresh on the calendar, now is a perfect time reflect on 2009's cropping season.
According farmer reports in AgWeb's Crop Comments, this past year marked unusual weather, a late harvest and a fairly good crop. Many farmers had to survive unpredictable weather, soybean struggles, low market prices and a harvest that just wouldn't end.
In Texas, drought, flood, fluctuating energy costs, high feed costs and low milk prices were all challenges in 2009. Nearly all of the state's agriculture was adversely affected by atypical weather during the year.
A farmer from Adams County, Wash., says the area had significant winter weather. "0 degrees to a wind chill of 20 below on bare wheat fields,” reports the farmer. "It is currently 25 degrees and the ground is frozen. Many cattle herds are on stubble and many are getting stored feed.”
In some ways, the weather affected how the crops turned out. For many people, the turn-out doesn't look great for their beans.
In Fayette County, Iowa, a farmer reports finishing harvest on Nov. 30 – the latest finish in decades. "Soybeans were poor,” says the farmer. "Two hail storms and white mold took one-third of the expected crop.”
Soybean harvest was also a struggle in 2009 for an eastern North Carolina farmer. "We finally got started on soybeans on Nov. 6. Quality is starting to decline.”
Surprising Crop Quality
Despite some farmers' struggles with soybeans, the overall crop quality didn't appear to greatly suffer.
Farmers Curt and Carol Raasch, of Odebolt, Iowa, give a late-season report from their farm. "This crop has been excellent as far as quality,” says Curt Raasch.