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Signs point to area bountiful harvest
corn photo 4 3cc 11-03

Business is good for most area farmers as harvest time is here.
"We had a hot, dry summer, but the plants found moisture somewhere," said Dave Wiederholt, who owns Riverdale Ag Services in Muscoda. "Because we've got probably some of the best bean yields ever and corn is not quite that good, but pretty good, probably a little better than average. For the weather we're happy this summer we were really happy with the yield. I'm sure farmers and growers are all ecstatic; except the guys on the sand, the sand got fried. I think when they farm that kind of ground, they know there's going to be some tough years, but the heavy ground is doing really well."
Which could lead to all the crops being harvested a little earlier this year.
"Hopefully it'll be before Thanksgiving this year," Wiederholt said. "Normally its around December. A couple of hot summer months pushed the maturity. A cooperative harvest with the weather for the last couple of weeks has helped a bit."
Also helping the area farming scene in the grain department has been the high corn and soybean prices. Corn prices are currently $6.54 a bushel and soybeans are $11.92.
"The prices are at highs, historic," Wiederholt said. "We had a little bump there in 2008 and kind of drifted down and now we're back close to where we were there in 2008. It's good for the grain farmers, it's a little tough on the livestock producers and it's impacted our feed business. It's a little bit of a turn there negatively, because they make easier money growing corn than they can raising cattle and hogs, so that's what they're doing."
Wiederholt said the high grain prices are due to speculation and nationwide with droughts and floods.
"Some places planted late, some places got too much rain, other places didn't get enough rain," he said. "Nationwide it was kind of a tough year, we just happened to come out OK this year for yields. We got our crops in pretty reasonable this spring with good timing. Fortunately, we've got good crops. Some places weren't that lucky. Overall, the situation is tight, the world situation is tight."
The solid grain prices have meant good things for Riverdale Ag Services.
"We got diversified with the grain agronomy even though the feed's off a little," Wiederholt said. "The grain and agronomy are hanging in there."
Wiederholt, who has been at the same location for almost 28 years, said expansions have helped his business as well.
"We started expanding the grain business 12 years ago," he said. "Just a slow, steady expansion and it just keeps growing. We built the big bins six years ago I think and we probably will do some more some day. I don't have any firm plans at the moment."
With the harvest in full swing, Wiederholt has been working consistently on a daily basis for his company that offers several different services for farmers. Riverdale Ag Services has 700,000 bushels of corn in their capacity, which they are nearly full and also a drying capacity of around 1,000 bushels of corn an hour.
"We're full service," We said. "We have feed, grain and mixed feed. Just about anything that eats. We also have crop protection services. We have 25 rail carts, we're near the rail road. It helps us reach better markets and keeps things rolling."
And Wiederholt and his staff are always willing to help an area farmer with their harvest.
"What I enjoy if someone has a feeding problem with livestock or crop problem, if we can help them solve that problem and get them and make them happy with the results," he said. "The best thing is if you help people improve their operations."