Michigan Farm Bureau Expects Record Lows for Crops

Published online: Oct 17, 2019 News
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Source: WKZO

The Michigan Farm Bureau is warning that farmers may see record lows for crops this harvest season, based on data from the USDA.

According to an official press release, conditions as of October 1st indicate that farmers should expect a rough harvest due to variable weather conditions, muddy fields, and wide-ranging crop maturity.

The data comes by way of the USDA October Crop Production Report.

As an example, the press release notes that Michigan corn production, forecast at 270 million bushels, is down 9 percent from last year — the lowest production for the state since 2004 if realized.

The Michigan Farm Bureau adds that average corn yields to actually increase by 2 bushels from 2018 levels to 155 bushels per acre this year, there were 250,000 less acres actually planted due to rain delays in May and June.

Soybean production has also taken a hit this year. The Michigan Farm Bureau lists 2019 soybean production at 75.7 million bushels, which has seen a 31 percent decrease from 2018, making it the lowest since 2008. 

“Unfortunately, Mother Nature can still make matters worse – much worse,” Michigan Farm Bureau Field Crops Specialist Theresa Sisung said in the press release. “Virtually every farmer in the state is watching weather forecasts 24/7, hoping for relief from above normal rainfall and a very late killing frost to allow many of these delayed crops to mature as much as possible.”

Other important findings of the October data are as follows:

  • Michigan sugarbeet growers anticipate a yield of 27.5 tons per acre, down 1.6 tons from last year. Total production is forecast at 3.99 million tons – a reduction of nearly 7 percent from 2018.
  • Michigan dry bean growers expected their crop to yield 2,100 pounds per acre, a 300 pound per acre decrease from last year. Total production, at 3.93 million hundredweight, is down 15 percent from last year.

Weather conditions were so adverse for farmers this year that the Michigan government allocated $15 million in emergency funding to compensate for financial losses.