Goodhue County crops are faring OK despite drought
GOODHUE - Farming is like a game of chance -- much of its success lies in Mother Nature's hands.
Fortunately, local farmers have had luck on their side this year.
"The Goodhue County area has been very fortunate," explained Chuck Schwartau, a regional educator for the University of Minnesota Extension in Rochester. "There are bound to be little pockets here and there, but for the most part the crop in Goodhue County is in great shape."
While nearby states including Nebraska, Illinois and Kansas have been suffering serious drought conditions, Goodhue County has had exactly the kind of weather it takes to produce quality crops.
"It got excellent rainfall when it was needed," Schwartau said.
Not only is the local land faring better than surrounding states, but it's also seeing better crops than some surrounding regions of Minnesota.
"If you look into parts of southwestern Minnesota, and even right along the southern border farther east, there are some tough spots," Schwartau said.
With the price of corn hovering between $7 and $8 per bushel, the county's crop farmers should be in an excellent position -- especially compared to those in other counties who have had a little less luck with cooperative weather.
"Not only is there a good crop price out there right now but they've actually got crops to sell," Schwartau said.
Still, not everybody in Goodhue County is reaping the benefits.
While the high price of corn will be favorable for crop farmers, it may put livestock farmers in a tight position when it comes time to buy feed. Corn makes up the livestock's primary feed, while soybeans are the main source of protein supplement.
And the price of soybeans has been climbing right alongside corn. Soybeans now sit at about $17 per bushel.
"That translates into some pretty expensive feed for livestock," Schwartau said. "The livestock price is decent, but not enough to cover these high feed prices."
Droughts throughout the Midwest are what caused the price of corn to soar and, if conditions don't improve, the price likely will remain high. This means that as long as a prolonged wet spell doesn't trounce the area during harvest, Goodhue County crop farmers should be able to look forward to a profitable autumn.