This is what broken dreams look like in Minnesota these days.
It's from Kathryn Draeger's excellent blog, "A View From Here: Resettling Big Stone County Minnesota."
She compares it to June, when she wrote the corn was growing "head spinningly fast." Now, thanks to the drought, it's all been cut down.
Whatever yield won't pay the bills, she said, but the loss will not be enough to trigger crop insurance payments.
Her husband was injured earlier in the year and couldn't get more planting done, and the neighbors have been dropping off vegetables for canning to carry them through the winter.
Tough business, this farming.
It always has been a tough business. You're at the mercy of the weather. Too wet. Too dry. It seems like it's always one or the other. That's why my Dad and Granddad sold out and walked away from it about 65 years ago.
While pictures can tell the story, they sometimes don't tell the whole story.
While there are pockets of extreme drought in Minnesota, compared to other Midwest states Minnesota was largely spared the worst of the dry, hot summer.
Many of our grain farmers should do well this year, if corn and soybean prices remain high. Those high prices are pressuring dairy, poultry and livestock operations, though.
Tough business, indeed.
Am I the only city slicker who doesn't understand the logic of a system wherein the crop yield is insufficient to break even financially, yet too much to justify insurance payments?
Weather and yield are only 2 of the variables. The other big one is price. Because grains like corn, wheat and soybeans are globally traded commodities, prices can fluxuate greatly on factors that have nothing to do with your local market, weather or growing conditions.
Imagine looking at a new car for sale for $17,000. You ponder the purchase for a couple months, then came back to find the price is now $24,000. Or $9,000. It's a heck of a way to make a living.