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Farmers Welcome 2013
Ron Davis is looking forward to hauling in the 2013 crop, and hoping the truckloads aren't as light as in 2012.
"Terrible, yields were way off," Davis said. "Mostly about half of what you'd normally get."
But for agronomists like Ed Corrigan, everything looked a lot better this spring, and the crop went in weeks ahead of schedule.
"We had an unseasonably warm March and April," Corrigan said. "The corn and beans were both off to excellent starts, best crop we had ever seen, and then the rains just quit, and at the same time that set off a bunch of insect work."
The folks at the National Weather Service tracked what would go down as a historic drought.
"We had a La Nina that was going on at the beginning of the year," NWS Meteorologist Chris Geelhart said. "That helped fuel some of the excessive warmth and dry weather that we had at the beginning of the year."
That lack of rain helped keep things dry through the summer.
"You didn't have as much moisture in the ground and in the plants to help fuel some of the thunderstorms that would normally pop up around that time of year," Geelhart said.
Farmers that hadn't sold their crops in advance were able to take advantage of record corn and bean prices, thanks partly to continued ethanol demand and poor crops in South America.
"That was the big huge thing that got it going," Don Ludwig of Elkhart Grain said. "And then you have a little weather situation here and there, and all of the sudden we were off to the races."
The markets saw increased pressure from investors, longer trading hours, and major volatility in pricing.
"It's extremely frustrating for the farmers," Ludwig said. "It's extremely frustrating for us in our business, because it simply just exacerbates the risk that we already have. Today we started with soybeans up 20 cents and now we're down 18. I mean, that just didn't used to happen."
But what's in store for 2013?
"More volatility ahead I would say," Ludwig said.
"Right now we're looking for a warmer-than-normal spring," Geelhart said. "But after that, there's no real clear trend."
"We're set very well, but we do have to have rainfall," Corrigan said.
"We're hoping for more snow, more rain, more anything to replenish this water supply," Davis said. "The groundwater is really low."
In Logan and Sangamon counties, Mike Brooks, ABC NewsChannel 20.