A difficult year of weather plagued area farmers, dealing with late snow in April, an unusual dry period near the beginning of the summer, and strong winds disrupting the harvest.

Rick Anderson, the grain merchandiser for Ag Partners, said this year's yields "were good, not great." Anderson said they won't know the final numbers until the state releases them sometime next month, but says it won't be a record-setting year.

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"I think it was little surprising when we got into fall," Anderson said. "Especially the corn yields were a little more disappointing. We were hoping for better."

Ag Partners has Farm Stores in Cannon Falls, Lake City and Pine Island, as well as Ellsworth, Wis., among other areas in southern Minnesota and western Wisconsin.

Anderson said inclement weather put farmers at a disadvantage with wet conditions. Areas including southwestern Minnesota were affected more harshly, losing many acres to high water.

In the summer, Gov. Mark Dayton issued an executive order that allowed 36 counties hit with torrential rains and strong winds to state receive assistance in the form of a zero percent Disaster Loan, along with help from the state.

The USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service 2018 crop progress review found corn planting was two weeks behind 2017 and almost three weeks behind the five-year average. Corn harvesting was 58 percent complete by Oct. 28, with 96 percent being finished less than a month later.

For soybeans, the crop progress review found they were slightly behind the previous year and over a week behind the average, while 37 percent of soybeans were planted, finishing near the end of June. Harvesting was at 87 percent on Oct. 28, going as far as 99 percent by Nov. 25.

Anderson also said the harvest isn't over, with some places in the area still trying to finish up.

The harvest was a more drawn-out process than expected, according to Anderson.

Minnesota has seen strong yields from corn and soybeans, with Anderson saying they should be able to get close to previous numbers.

In 2017, Minnesota produced just over 380.2 million bushels of soybeans, according NASS. This number is not far off from the 2016 and 2015 totals, with farmers collecting 389.5 million and 377.5 million bushels of soybeans respectively during those years.

In Goodhue County, many farmers were able to exceed 55 bushels of soybeans per acre.

Similarly, corn has cultivated high yields. The NASS reported in 2017 alone farmers around the state harvested 1.48 billion bushels of corn. Last year was the third consecutive year the state had record years. In Goodhue County, farmers exceeded 205 bushels per acre.

While farmers have harvested record bushels in some cases, prices haven't necessarily reflected those trends.

At one point this year, soybean prices dropped as much as $2 per bushel. Corn prices continued to stay low, fluctuating like soybeans throughout the summer.

Anderson said ongoing trade discussions with China, a country that purchased 825 million bushels of soybeans, equaling around 70 percent of the total soybeans sold, from the United States, according to the USDA.

From farmers' standpoint, Anderson said they try to get the best prices they can, although the prices before dropping weren't going to make farmers highly profitable either.

Anderson reiterated that until they learn the final yields from the state in 2019, it's difficult to pinpoint a final result. You also have to factor in that some farmers might tell you it was their best harvest, and others will say it's their worst ever.