Minnesota farmers seeing smaller returns on corn harvest due to drought

As the summer comes to an end, it’s time for farmers around Minnesota to harvest their crop. But after a tough drought, farmers aren’t seeing much life in their livelihood.

Dan Glessing’s corn in Wright County is chopped, but after all of his work he’s only getting about half of his typical return.

"It’s disappointing, but we kind of know it’s a risk you run when you’re up against Mother Nature," Wright County Farmer Dan Glessing told FOX 9 on Wednesday.

Mother Nature hasn’t been kind this growing season, bringing less than two inches of rain to the 800-acre Wright County farm between May and August.

"These stocks have all but basically ate themselves out trying to produce a crop," Glessing said. The lack of rains stunted the growth of the corn for Glessing’s cattle, but thankfully he was able to grow enough to feed his herd.

"As you can see it’s not much not much of a crop," Glessing said.

Even with some rain in August, it was too little, too late, and now that it’s harvest time, that means far less of a return on investment.

"We have crop insurance to help pay back some of the inputs we put into that crop and that helps," Glessing said. "But it’s still disappointing." A disappointment that has been growing in fields across the state, as only about 2% of Minnesota’s farmland has irrigation.

"We have something, some places in the state don’t. So we can be fortunate and appreciate that we actually do have something, even though it’s a disappointing yield," Glessing said.

Rain that did fall in August came too late to save Glessing’s corn, but it may help his hay and some recently planted beans. More importantly, the hope is that it will recharge his soil, for a better yield next year.