Essex County farmers could cash in on Midwest drought
Drought conditions affecting farmland across much of the Midwest could prove to be a financial windfall for farmers in Windsor-Essex.
While farms in Illinois and Indiana are hot and dry, farms in Essex County were treated to much-needed rainfall in early July. That's raised the spirits and perhaps the bottom line for many farmers.
Leo Guilbeault is a farmer in Lakeshore, Ont., just east of Windsor. He grows corn, wheat and soybeans.
"One man’s sorrow is another man’s gain. We’re seeing commodity prices like we’ve never seen before," said Guilbeault.
Guilbeault said the drought in the Midwest "devastating" and that’s what has caused prices to rise.
The price for a bushel of soya beans has doubled since 2010, up from $8 to $15 now.
"We’re seeing prices we’ve never seen before in our farming careers. I’ve been farming for 30 years and I’ve never seen prices soar they are soaring now," he said.
Guilbeault said he would love a weekly shower from now until just about harvest in September but said that roots are now well established and that crops should be safe.
"It was a tough start but things are shaping up nice," he said.
A year ago, Windsor-Essex suffered through one of the wettest springs on record. This year, it's been dry. But that rain in early July may have saved the crops.
Guilbeault said that after a brutal start to the millennium, some farmers are reinvesting their profits.
"A lot of guys are taking the opportunity to upgrade equipment," he said. "It’s great as far as the revenue side."
However, Guilbeault said everyone wants a piece of high-priced pie. He said the price of equipment and herbicides have also risen locally.