As a child of family that owned the local grain elevator in the 1988, the memories of the stress drought placed on the farm families and the businesses of the agriculture community came flooding back. I now know the true stress my parents endured during that time period. Until the final grain is harvested, our family or the world will not truly know the financial impact the drought of 2012 will have on our livelihood. Will the farmer be able to put food on his table and everyone else’s?
As a farmer, we take great care in utilizing the latest technology to increase yield on the same acreage without depleting the natural resources we were blessed with on our farm. We are the biggest gamblers because farmers bet the house on the hand Mother Nature deals us. However the world’s best soil, supreme genetic seed package, and newest equipment cannot raise a record crop demanded by a growing population without rain. Every year the growing season presents challenges some years are just larger obstacles than others.
Our family is luckier than some parts of Illinois, we actually have corn and soybeans to harvest. The actual yield is yet to be determined. In the field trials, the estimates have ranged from 100 to 170 bu per acre compared to our normal 180 to 250bu per acre. Farmers of the 1988 will tell you that 80 bu was a gold. Only thing the has change is utilization of sound science. Biotechnology has changed the genetic package of the seed allowing it to endure extreme environmental factors.
2012 will go down as the widest spread drought throughout the corn belt since the 1980s. The world will feel the impact from grocery items derived from our commodity to the meat counter.
Farming is a business and science. Our commodities are used in variety of ways from feed to livestock to plastic.
Cheryl was the 2010 Midwest Region Farm Mom of the Year. She farms in Cerro Gordo, IL and grows corn, soybeans and raises cattle on her family farm.