Without rain, soybean farmers could lose thousands of dollars

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - If it rains Friday night, Marty Richardson will only lose 30 percent of his crop. If it doesn't rain in ten days, he says it's over.

Soybeans feed the world. Farmers in the United States are one of the biggest providers. Kansas and Missouri alone produced 290 million metric tons of soybeans in 2011.

Richardson walks his soybean fields almost daily. Plants normally have 70 to 80 bean pods each. But in the drought, Richardson found one that only had one bean on the entire plant.

He stands to lose thousands of dollars that he says will affect everyday consumers. Soybeans are used in everything from mayonnaise to wood polish, motor oil, ink, livestock feed and fuel.

Marty Richardson's farm gives a historic sense of this drought because four generations of his family have farmed those same fields.

"I think we're gonna go back to the thirties," he said. "All I can do is remember stories from my dad ... this is gonna be the worst one I've ever seen."

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