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U.S., Minnesota crop condition declines due to drought

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opinion Brainerd, 56401
Brainerd Dispatch
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Brainerd MN 506 James St. / PO Box 974 56401

Up here, in lakes country, it’s difficult to comprehend the drought that our farming neighbors are experiencing in the state. Heavy rains in June have filled area lakes to capacity. However, farmers are facing a much different picture in most of the nation’s grain belt.

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“As of July 15, the U.S. corn crop was rated 31 percent good to excellent, 31 percent fair, and 38 percent poor to very poor,” according to the Minnesota Farm Guide.

Minnesota’s corn crop declined from 72 percent on July 8 to 67 percent good to excellent on July 15. Only 24 percent of farmers were reporting fair corn conditions and 9 percent were saying their corn crop was poor to very poor.

As of July 15, the U.S. corn crop was rated 31 percent good to excellent, 31 percent fair, and 38 percent poor to very poor

That’s a far cry from the rest of the nation’s farmers, who are facing some of the driest conditions since the dust bowl days.

“The U.S. is currently suffering its widest drought since 1956, according to data released by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA),” the BBC reported.

On Monday, (July 16) NOAA reported that by the end of June 55 percent of the continental U.S. was in a moderate to extreme drought.

Just how dry is it? About 80 percent of the U.S. is “abnormally dry,” according to NOAA. The grip of the drought expanded in the West, the Great Plains and Midwest. More than 1,000 counties in 26 states have been declared disaster areas because of severe drought conditions, according the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With many farmers either abandoning their field crops or chopping them to feed their cattle, the outlook for the 2012 crop report is a disaster. How will this impact the rest of the nation? Expect higher food prices. Ethanol-based fuels should spike. It could be a blow to an economy that is trying to dig out from the greatest financial downturn since the Great Depression.

Keith Hansen

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Denton (Denny) Newman Jr.
I've worked at the Brainerd Dispatch with various duties since Dec. 7, 1983. Starting off as an Ad Designer and currently Director of Audience Development. The Dispatch has been an interesting and challenging place to work. I'm fortunate to have made many friends, both co-workers and customers.
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