Fall harvest a big disappointment to area farmers

Reported by Dick Berry email
Posted by Kate Oatis email

PEMBERVILLE (WTOL) - Area farmers are wrapping up the fall harvest, and many are disappointed by what they're finding.

It's the best time of the year for Pemberville farmer Roger Burtchin: the fall harvest. He's cutting 350 acres of corn, beans and wheat. But this will be neither a bountiful nor profitable harvest for Burtchin.

This year's challenge can be found at the grain elevator. At the Countyline Co-op in Pemberville, grain prices are half what they should be because of lower yields.

Several factors have contributed to the situation, including dry weather. Farmers have also been hit this year by higher fuel prices, the economic downturn and even last week's congressional bailout bill.

Burtchin says all this has caused confusion in the money market.

"The money market managers that had money invested in commodities have pulled out. When they did that on the stock market, corn and beans have gone down to the limit two to three days this week," he said.

Prices have gone so low that Countyline Co-op didn't post prices because none of the folks buying grain wanted to provide a sound market for them.

But Burtchin says farmers are not panicking. He says they're eternal optimists, and that if they don't get something right this year, they will next year, as long as the weather cooperates.