Farmer Reflects on Rough Year

By: Cole Miller

Record heat and the lack of rain certainly left a mark on the land this summer. Many farmers have already finished up their harvest well ahead of schedule.

As the large garage door opens, most of David Grimes farm equipment is sitting idle in the shed. In his nearly 40 years of farming, Grimes says this is a little unusual.

“We've been done harvesting since the 4th of October which is a record on the Grimes farm,” David Grimes said. “We've never finished that early before.”

Looking over his 1,400 acres of land, Grimes says there is usually corn and soybeans in these empty fields. But many farmers were forced to harvest almost one month earlier than normal.

That's the case across most of Nebraska.

“A farmer always feels he's racing against time and the weather with harvest because you want to get your crops out before some bad weather comes, like a real bad wind storm that might break the corn over or a blizzard,” Grimes said.

We visited his farm back in July, where the crops were brown and beaten. The brutal summer took a hit on his yield. Grimes says he harvested about 2/3 of a normal crop.

He says it could've been much worse. Some of his neighbors saw their yields cut in half.

“This harvest is one for us to certainly be thankful that we were able to be as fortunate as we were with such a dry, hot year,” Grimes said. “We just really feel blessed and feel fortunate.”

And while Grimes and other farmers take a breather after a long year, he says it's the crop insurers who are now putting in the hours.

Like many of his fellow farmers, Grimes says a wet winter and spring would make a big difference when it comes to next year's outlook.