Charles Dickens said it first: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. The drought-dusted bust that’s followed some boom years in agriculture is positively Dickensian, as far as Illinois Farm Bureau president Philip Nelson is concerned. Nelson, who farms corn and soybeans in La Salle County, says the ripple effect is tremendous:
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“I think the seed supply next year is going to be extremely tight. I think producers are shrewd businessmen, and they’re going to shut down buying pickup trucks or combines or tractors when things get tight.” The Illinois Department of Agriculture estimates 23 percent of the jobs in Illinois depend, in one form or another, on agriculture.