Winsted-Lester Prairie Journal, Sept. 27, 1999

Request made to declare McLeod County an economic disaster

By Gail Lipe

The McLeod County Board of Commissioners Tuesday approved a resolution to request Gov. Ventura to petition the United States Secretary of Agriculture to declare McLeod County an economic disaster area.

Joe Neubauer, McLeod County extension director, presented the resolution to the board. He said the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC) asked counties to declare an emergency in rural Minnesota.

Neubauer said the continued low crop prices and lower yields are affecting the farmers.

The resolution states the losses in McLeod County in 1999 for rented land are expected to average $36 per acre for corn and $42 per acre for beans. The projected losses would be $2.1 million for corn and $2.5 million for beans.

Commissioner Grant Knutson asked Neubauer what he based those figures on.

Neubauer said he figured the rent at an average of $90 an acre, and the yield to be 38 bushels an acre for corn and 150 bushels an acre for beans. He said approximately 65 percent of the farmed acreage in McLeod County is rented land.

The commissioners thought the figures might be low for the beans and high for the corn.

"In McLeod County, we do have better looking crops," Neubauer said.

The resolution says McLeod County is anticipating a negative economic impact, which extends well beyond the farming community to other segments of the county.

The resolution passed unanimously.

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