Hundreds of Farmers Attend Northern Corn and Soybean Expo
The expo gave them a place to collaborate on industry challenges
FARGO, N.D. — Hundreds of farmers gathered at the Fargodome for the Northern Corn and Soybean Expo. It gave them a place to collaborate and get tips on industry challenges, such as maximizing profit.
“Money talks when it comes to commodities and that’s the bottom line— it’s their bottom line,” said Matt Gast, a soybean farmer.
Farmers say it’s the drought and anything that disrupts supply that brings down farm income. They say market growth peaked after the 2012 drought.
“Since then we’ve had a 50 percent drop in net farm income so that means the average farmer is making half today of what they were making just four years ago,” said Mike Pearson, the expo emcee.
Some in agriculture have used niche markets and organic goods to grow their profit.
Corn and soybeans are currently at a surplus with not as much demand.
“It is a price level that’s disappointing,” Pearson said.
Farming techniques for corn and soybeans are actually very similar. This was the first time the corn and soybean farmers came together after having separate expos for years.
Farmers say this year’s drought wasn’t the worst, but they still anticipate what’s to come.
“The moisture level going into this year in our area is a concern just because we don’t have as much subsoil moisture. And I think it could affect us if we don’t get a fair amount of spring rain. I’m a farmer so I’m an internal optimist,” said Ryan Wanzek, a corn grower.
That optimism motivates farmers to keep moving forward.