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Minnesota grain harvest outlook: Record crops, meager prices for farmers

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Minnesota's grain harvest is just around the corner – in fact, the USDA says the earliest soybeans are already coming in.

So, how's it looking this year?

In a nutshell: huge crops, puny prices.

AgriNews notes that the most recent federal forecast predicts the per acre yields and the total crop harvested will break state records for both corn and soybeans.

And that's good for farmers because at today's prices, they'll need to bring a whole lot of bushels to market to break even.

WCCO says corn and soybeans are currently selling for half of their 2012 prices.

Those grains are already stockpiled in U.S bins and prospects for selling the bumper crops overseas are dampened by the strong dollar.

An official with the Minnesota Corn Growers Association tells the station the higher yields may help make up for the low prices farmers will get.

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On the other hand, there is an upside to the low grain prices, WCCO notes: livestock farmers are benefiting from the affordable feed and the cost of ethanol is low – both of which could help consumers.

Minnesota is not alone in having a good year for crops. Farm Futures reports two-thirds of the nation's corn is rated in good to excellent condition, along with 61 percent of the soybeans.

But Corn and Soybean Digest says crop experts consider Minnesota the "sweet spot" for yields, particularly corn.

Unlike in other recent growing seasons, Minnesota's soil is neither too dry nor too wet this year, with 85 percent of the topsoil and 84 percent of the subsoil rated as adequate.

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