Farmers’ growing concerns for upcoming harvest


SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) – Wednesday, farmers were thanked for their endless hard work by volunteers and members of the community through Ag Appreciation Day, but all that hard work is never done as now they’re looking ahead to harvest.

Harvest season is still a ways off for most, but harsh conditions from Spring will still have an effect on farmers’ livelihood and there’s even some that lie above the surface.

Farmers enjoyed a free lunch at the Sioux Empire Fair’s Ag Appreciation day, a way of saying ‘thank you’ to the Ag industry after the harsh season.

“It’s in a tough spot. That’s something to be aware of. I don’t think it’s anything to necessarily fear on a large scale particularly just because we’re farmers; we’re a tough breed,” Farmer Adam Krause said.

While the food does help, farmers like Krause are trying to digest the current state of the agricultural industry.

“Are they going to take a prevent plant, take a loss for that year? Or try to plant corn in June? I mean, there’s a lot of different swings and decisions that had to be made,” Krause said.

“Some of them even lost their whole livelihood; building sites you hear about in Nebraska and stuff. That’s really, really devastating,” Farmer Philip Lerseth said.

With Fall approaching fast, there’s also worry about keeping their implements above ground and getting their tilling done.

“But you’ve also got situations like commodity prices, dealing with that too. A lot of the prevented plant rules kind of changing and adjusting as the planting season was going on too and a lot of farmers had trouble making those decisions,” Krause said.

And the trade war between the U.S. and China just adds more to the struggle.

“‘Farmers don’t want aid. We want trade.’ Don’t get me wrong, the NFP payments from President Trump and the government, they help, but at the end of the day we want this issue solved and we want trade and opportunity for our commodity,” Krause said.

Despite their concerns, Krause and Lerseth remain optimistic about the upcoming harvest.

“There’s probably two seasons farmers like the best: planting and harvesting,” Lerseth said.

“It’s going to be tough. It’s going to be interesting that’s for sure. It’s going to be a little later than we planned but that’s part of being a farmer: you roll with the punches and… you just do your best to keep up,” Krasue said.

“It’s a good way of life and it’s the way I grew up for – I’ve been on the farm for… about all my life; I’m over 70, so I’ve been there all of my life. I think it’s a great life,” Lerseth said.

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