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Missouri farmers harvest early due to drought

Assistant Manager Ben Steinman waits for Bob Frank to position his truck as they prepare to load the truck with soybeans from the silos on Friday at the Jefferson City MFA.

Assistant Manager Ben Steinman waits for Bob Frank to position his truck as they prepare to load the truck with soybeans from the silos on Friday at the Jefferson City MFA.

Drought damages forced Missouri farmers to harvest their corn crops a month early this year, and livestock farmers are struggling for winter stores to feed their herds.

“The fall harvest is down considerably this year in the Midwest,” said Kelly Smith, marketing director for the Missouri Farm Bureau. “At one point, 80 percent of the United States was in some kind of drought.”

As a result of the lack of moisture, 80 percent of the corn crop has already been harvested, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Only half of the crop survived.

“Our corn is probably about half of a normal crop — between 30 to 100 bushels an acre,” local farmer Jay Fischer said.

Fischer and his wife grow corn and soybeans and own a pumpkin patch. Fischer said he has more hope for the late soybean crop because of the rain from Hurricane Isaac even though it came too late for the corn.

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