Farming is the most inclement occupation.At least that’s what Harry Thompson, 65, would say. He should know: He’s lived his entire life on a 400-acre farm outside Jefferson City that’s been in his family since the 1850s, and he works on another 1,000 acres of rented land.”It’s just so challenging and so complex,” Thompson said, “the amount of variables that we have little or no control over.”One variable in particular stood out in the past year: extreme weather.Thompson’s farm was affected by the drought of summer 2018 followed by freezing temperatures over winter, which led to a difficult season for him and many mid-Missouri farmers through 2018 and into early 2019.After the 2018 drought cost Missouri farmers some of their crops, they were left with less to sell and less hay to feed cattle. That lead to more crop insurance claims than ever before for MU research centers and increasing prices on hay, said Tim Reinbott, assistant director of the Missouri Agricultural Experiment Station. And an unusually intemperate winter hasn’t helped, instead often making it harder for farmers such as Thompson to feed their cattle while ice kept crops from receiving proper oxygen.All in all, the drought recovery was significantly weather-delayed in mid-Missouri…. Read full this story
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