According to a recent report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, North Dakota’s crop harvest is down significantly from recent years. The last several months have been difficult for North Dakota farmers. Severe weather struck hard last spring, exposing crops to early frost, extreme cold, heavy rain, and powerful wind.
While the string of bad weather has ended, North Dakotan farmers are still struggling to recover from the damage done last season. In particular, the weather disrupted and delayed planting, which translates into a significantly lower harvest than in previous years.
The lowered harvest is consistent across the board with North Dakota crops. Some farmers report that their wheat harvest is at 50 percent of last year’s yield. The USDA has reported that canola production is down 43 percent from last year and dry, edible bean production is down 50 percent.
These major losses will most likely be reflected in the North Dakota economy. Agricultural officials are currently predicting at least tens of millions of dollars in lost revenue, possibly reaching the hundreds of millions. These losses mean lowered sales for non-agricultural businesses as farmers spend less. Ultimately, these dismal harvests could also result in increased unemployment.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer