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"It's all hands on deck": Minn. farmers expected to see increased soybean yields this fall

USDA forecasts record soybean yields
USDA forecasts record soybean yields 02:13

SIBLEY COUNTY, Minn. -- As Minnesota farmers get ready for fall harvest, the USDA is forecasting record soybean yields.

Despite a drought last summer and another dry summer, Minnesota is expected to increase soybean yields by 6% compared to last year.

That's also after farmers dealt with a cold, wet spring that delayed planting.

"When harvest picks up it's all hands on deck and it's go-go-go for three, four, five weeks," said Brett Pfarr, farmer.

For the Pfarr family in Sibley County, fall harvest is what it's all about. It's a chance to see if their months of optimism will be rewarded.

"It's exciting. We are all excited to get in the field and see how our yields are turning out," said Brett Pfarr.

According to the USDA, their excitement should be justified. They're predicting record soybean yields for Minnesota. An increase from 47 bushels per acre in 2021 to 50 bushels per acre this year.

The yield increases for Minnesota - and also the Dakotas - are promising considering the dry weather farmers saw this year. And that comes after the drought of 2021.

"I think the numbers for soybeans in Minnesota and in the corn belt nationwide, are a reflection of a pretty good growing environment," said Dave Pfarr.

Dave Pfarr is a farmer and an agronomist. Typically, he would like to be planting by early May but this year a cold, wet spring pushed him back until the end of May. Still, he said in most parts of the state, crops rebounded thanks to just enough sun and timely precipitation.

"We had just enough rain, just when we were starting to get critically dry," he said.

Dave Pfarr said combines in his part of the state will be in the field in the next week or two.

He also credits ever-changing technology and genetics for putting them in position for what could be a profitable harvest.

"I think pretty good optimism and that stems from not only a decent crop but also from the crop prices our farmers have an opportunity to take advantage of right now," Dave Pfarr said.

The USDA is also predicting corn yields to be up compared to 2021, but slightly lower than the trend.

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