Farm Horizons, August 2014

The wettest month in Minnesota’s history

By Starrla Cray

Record-setting precipitation gave ag broadcaster Lynn Ketelsen and his guests plenty to chat about during a live radio show at Midwest Machinery in Glencoe July 16.

“June was the wettest month in Minnesota’s history,” commented assistant state climatologist Pete Boulay with the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).

The state average rainfall total for June 2014 was 7.75 inches – well over the previous record of 7.32 inches set in July 1897, and again in June 1914.

At 14.24 inches, Glencoe’s June total was higher than most locations in the state.

“This is one of the toughest areas,” Ketelsen said.

The DNR reports that the state record for the highest June total for an individual location remains unbroken, however – 15.63 inches at Delano in 2002.

“The good news is that the drought has basically been eliminated; there’s very little left in the entire Midwest,” Boulay said.

Greg Peton, senior vice president of sales at United Farmers Coop (UFC), said many of his clients have had crops drown out, and a significant percentage of farmers in the northern part of UFC’s region were not even able to plant.

Marc “Pete” Peterson, director of UFC’s risk management department, said a helicopter view of the fields showed 70 percent losses in some areas.

In other parts of the country, however, crops appear to be doing well. A July 11 report from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) predicts a nationwide average corn yield of 165.3 bushels per acre this year.

For farmers who have been storing corn in bins, Peterson recommends watching the markets closely for a good time to sell.

“Sell on the rallies,” he advised.

Other guests on Ketelsen’s Mid-Day Farm Review show included Wick Buildings, Eric Gabrielson of Steffes Auctioneers, and Blake Kaping and Paul Seipel of Midwest Machinery.

The special broadcast was part of KGLB radio’s Glencoe Farm & Ag Day. Before Ketelsen’s show, local agri-business officials were on the air to discuss local trends in the marketplace.

About Ketelsen

Ketelsen has traveled throughout the US and around the world as a farm broadcaster. He has been named Ag Communicator of the Year by several national farm and commodity groups, and was named National Broadcaster of the Year in 2005. Ketelsen is the only Minnesota ag communicator to have a day proclaimed in his honor by the governor.

In an interview for Herald Journal’s Farm Horizons magazine in 2009, Ketelsen stated that traveling to other countries has given him an appreciation for the freedoms in America.

In the article, he stated, “Capitalism works, and socialism, as we’ve seen in other countries, doesn’t work, and it doesn’t work at all in agriculture.

“As I’ve traveled, the countries that have the free enterprise system are the ones that always do the best . . . I think the other thing I’ve seen is that, far and away, the United States has the safest food supply in the world. We’re the cleanest in terms of pollution, by far, of any country in the world. Nobody is even close to us on that. We do a terrific job of producing. We do a great job with the environment, and I don’t think our country gets enough credit for it.”

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