Nebraska farmer says finding motivation to harvest is difficult amid drought, wildfires

A Southwest Nebraska farmer says this has been one of the most challenging harvests ever.

“It’s a real tough go. It’s hard to get motivated to go out in the cold mornings to get anything done.”

Jan TenBensel tells Brownfield that yields are 80 percent below trend line, which has been caused by a year-long drought. “There were a lot of fields that were totaled out insurance wise because there was nothing there.”

A large wildfire destroyed parts of his cropland in the spring, and he says the risk has persisted all year long. “We decided not to harvest yesterday afternoon because of the wind. The possibility of a fire in the field is on your mind all the time in these conditions. You have to really think about yourself and the neighbors.  When it’s a really bad fire day, you just have to stay out of the fields.”

On Sunday, several wildfires started in the southern and northeastern parts of the state.  Three large blazes were reported in Southern Lancaster, Webster and Cuming Counties.

A tornado was also reported southwest of Norfolk.  

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