"This winter we have had some precipitation, but I would still say we are still 12 inches below normal," said Nebraska farmer Jason Kvols.
He had a terrible 2012. Kvols expected to yield 150 bushels per acre of corn, but because of last summer's historic drought, he ended up with half that. Crop insurance helped cover some of the losses, which is one reason he's buying more of it in 2013. "I'm a bit nervous."
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But, not everyone's worried.
"The corn crop right now as a whole looks excellent for this year," said Curt Mowery down in Texas. He's already planted a new crop. Unlike Jason Kvols in Nebraska, Mowery said 2012 was his best corn crop ever. "The rains were timely on it."
It's not only grain farmers hoping for a better 2013. The livestock industry is seeking relief from high feed costs. Bob McCan is President-Elect of the National Cattlemen's Beef Association, and he runs between 3,500 and 4,000 head of cattle in Victoria, Texas. That's down from 5,000.
Reuters reported the nation's cattle herd is smaller than it's been in decades, as ranchers got rid of animals because it cost to much to feed them.
"Until there's some really good relief in the drought situation it's going to be hard to rebuild the herd," said McCan.
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McCan is also concerned about the impact of the sequester. The USDA plans to start furloughing meat inspectors one day a week starting in July. Packing plants can't process beef without an inspector on hand, and the furloughs will slow down supply coming into the market. "We're worried the price of beef may go up substantially because of that."