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WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 20, 2009, 08:04 AM

Wet weather slows harvest to a crawl

Breckenridge, Minn. (WDAY TV) - One of the worst years in decades, that's what some farmers are calling this year's corn and bean harvest. Last year's late harvest, the wet spring, the late summer, and the wet fall are hampering the harvest.

By: Stephanie Goetz, WDAY

Breckenridge, Minn. (WDAY TV) - One of the worst years in decades, that's what some farmers are calling this year's corn and bean harvest. Last year's late harvest, the wet spring, the late summer, and the wet fall are hampering the harvest.

Just to give you an idea of how far farmers are this year, on a normal harvest season about 300 trucks come through this elevator each day, but this last week only 15 have come through every day.

Doug Nordick has been doing a lot of watching, waiting, staring at the soaked soil, wondering when the rain will let up. Wondering when he'll be able to get back in the field. This corn and bean farmer has only been able to harvest one full day this year.

"This is about the worst case scenario."

"Mentally it gets a little tough."

"With the weather the way it is now, I don't know how we're going to do."

Minn-kota Ag Products manager Brian Arnhalt says the numbers so far are staggering: less than 20 percent of the fields around Breckenridge are harvested. Last year at this time, more than 75 percent were in. Arnhalt says the 2008 delayed harvest is taking its toll, now.

"Because they were late getting the crop off last year because it was so wet, which made it late this spring. It's just been late for over a year."

And this year's troubles could be costing frustrated farmers like Nordick lots of cash.

"The moisture of the corn is fairly high to very high, so that's going to cost us more to dry it down."

"We got a long ways to go."

Leaving many, like Nordick, to simply be at the whim of the elements. So what's the future of this year's crop? Ag. officials say the worst scenario is if they get a bunch of snow. So right now the farmers are hoping the rain with hold off and the skies will clear so they can get the crop out of the field.

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