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October 08, 2012 09:53 PM

Some Crops Good Despite Drought

Claremont, SD

Farmers in many parts of the country had little to harvest this year thanks to the drought. But some KELOLAND farmers are taking in a pretty good crop.

With combines rolling in northern Brown County, many farmers are thankful for what they're taking off the fields.

"We're very fortunate we had as good a crop as we did. It's even better than we all thought it was going to be," Ricky Vander Vorst said.

Somewhere around 170 and 180 bushels an acre for corn is what Vander Vorst is seeing. He’s pleased with that yield. Beans came in at a strong 50 bushels an acre.

Vander Vorst credits subsoil moisture after years of flooding and timely rains in July for those numbers.

"I think we had some six weeks without any before that. So yeah, it was getting to the point where it was getting pretty serious," Vander Vorst said.

The elevator in Claremont is seeing more grain this year than it has in a while. Beans are piled outside. It's piling corn in bunkers and expects those to reach capacity.

"If these two bunkers get full, we'll just start piling on the ground somewhere, probably just to the north of here," Sara Frey said.

As trucks pull into the elevator, Frey says the capacity is an issue, but a good one to deal with especially after the past few years.

Flooding had prevented farmers from planting much of their ground and tough roads had prevented some trucks from reaching the elevator.

"This year, they've been good. We've been pretty fortunate," Vander Vorst said.

Spring had farmers in much of northern Brown County off to a better start this year to begin with. Vander Vorst planted all but 75 of his acres this year. Last year, he couldn't plant 500 acres.

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