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Excessive October rain concerning farmers in eastern Nebraska

Posted at 5:49 PM, Oct 10, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-10 20:42:15-04

The above-average rainfall in October seems unusual, but for farmers, it's a threat to their livelihood.

Many farmers in eastern Nebraska have been unable to get into their fields this harvest season. Harvest totals are below average for this time in years past.

Dan Wesley farms soybeans and corn in Saunders County. He says the weather is leaving him high and dry.

"If we want to be farming next year, we need this crop to pay our bills," Wesley said.

The ground is too muddy to support the weight of his combine. Large farming equipment can compact the ground and affect planting.

The president of the Nebraska Corn Growers Association has only been able to harvest around 20 acres.

"And I wouldn't have typically been out here, but with the stock quality starting to deteriorate, I felt I needed to get out here, because pretty soon it would be on the ground," Wesley said. "You've got all your expenses and your time and your labor into the plant, and then to lose it just by falling on the ground is very frustrating."

If the moisture-weakened crop topples over, it's no good to Wesley anymore.

The weather continues to be a threat. Even when it's not raining, cloud cover is keeping the crops and the fields from drying out.

Wesley said he and other farmers know Mother Nature can be unpredictable, but as it gets later into the harvest season, the situation becomes more alarming.

"Can you imagine a wet snow on here adding more weight? And then a 30- to 40-mile-an-hour wind? It's going to take it down," he said.