October 19, 2014

Worries rise among farmers as rain fails to fall in Nebraska (AUDIO)

Worries rise among agriculture leaders as the summer wears on with scorching heat and no significant rainfall.

Drought conditions have been spreading across Nebraska, affecting nearly all farming activities, from crops to livestock production. The USDA recently lowered the corn yield estimate. Beef producers worry about diminishing pasture and the possibility of a hay shortage this winter.

Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson calls the dry conditions throughout the state “very serious”.

Nelson has been in Washington, D.C. to speak with members of Congress about the Farm Bill. The time in the nation’s Capital gave him a chance to talk with Farm Bureau presidents from across the country.

“It’s just dry in almost every state and I could tell you story after story of areas where the production is significantly hurt or areas where it’s too late for rainfall to have a benefit,” Nelson tells Nebraska Radio Network.

Last year, Nebraska farmers came to the aid of livestock producers in the southwestern United States, in particular, Texas. Hay from Nebraska supplemented dwindling hay stocks there. Beef cattle from Texas were sold to finishing operations in Nebraska. Nelson says that has reduced Nebraska’s hay stock and could undermine the ability of producers here to make it through the drought.

AUDIO: Nebraska Farm Bureau President Steve Nelson talks with Brent Martin about the drought. [3 min.]