Nebraska’s bumper corn and soybean harvest is being held hostage in the fields by rain and cool temperatures — and the crops are diminishing in value. Many growers are several weeks behind schedule with the harvest.
Last week’s rain, snow and cloudy skies kept combines out of the fields. Agronomist Pella Peterson says the added moisture is bottlenecking grain dryers.
“The fall and winter came in so early…we don’t have the wind or heat now. With the big crop of corn sitting out there, the farmers are not running full speed. They don’t have drying capacity to dry down every day,” Peterson said.
“You have these huge combines, but you can’t dry the crop fast enough. It’s a huge issue and I don’t think people outside of agriculture understand what kind of impact it can have.” That impact could amount to millions of dollars.
The USDA says rain and snow have put Nebraska’s corn harvest four weeks behind the average. It’s about 18-percent complete now and it’ll be the latest harvest since 1967. The soybean harvest is more than two-thirds complete and is more than two weeks behind.