"Iowa farmers are paying about 50 percent more for diesel fuel than they did during last year's harvest season," he said. "If weight limits were increased, farmers would make fewer trips to the grain elevators, saving fuel dollars. And, with the depressed prices for corn and beans, every little bit helps."
Dale Arends, who farms in the Newell area, said diesel prices for himself are 40 cents a gallon higher than last year.
"It's a pretty big chunk," Arends said. "The positive thing, though, is that the corn is coming out pretty dry, so there's not a lot of drier gas used."
Despite fuel costs, this year's harvest continues to move ahead, with some elevators piling last year's grain outside to make room for the 2000 crop, according to the USDA.
Earlier this week the USDA announced that this year's soybean harvest was past the half-way mark and five days ahead of last year's harvest. However, with Thursday's rain, the harvest will slow down a bit.
"It will definitely make the bean harvest slower," Arends said. "With the additional moisture, the plant will be too tough to take out. However, it will put moisture back into the seed - that will help."
Read the rest of this article in the 10/07 Pilot Tribune.