Michigan Farmers Brace for Rough Harvest

Published online: Oct 16, 2019 News
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Source: WZZM

According to the Michigan Farm Bureau and the USDA's National Agriculture Statistics Service (NASS), Michigan farmers will be bracing for a rough harvest.

Due to extremely variable crop conditions, wide-ranging stages of crop maturity and muddy fields, Michigan corn production is forecast at 270 million bushels, which is down 9 percent from last year.

If realized, it would be the lowest production for the state since 2004.

Michigan Farm Bureau crops specialist Theresa Sisung said the USDA expects average corn yields per acre to increase by two bushels from 2018 levels this year, but there were 250,000 fewer acres planted in 2019 due to rain delays in May and June.

Soybean production was pegged at 75.7 million bushels, a 31 percent decrease from 2018 and the lowest since 2008. Yields are expected to average 44 bushels per acre—down 3.5 bushels from a year ago.

The reduction in planted and harvested soybean acres was even more staggering than the reduction of corn acres, according to Sisung.

“Planted soybean acres for Michigan in 2019, was down 580,000 acres, while harvested acres are expected to be down by 590,000 acres — that’s a 25.5 percent reduction from 2018,” she said.

According to Sisung, the weather-related challenges in 2019 are reflected in all major Michigan row-crops and forages with reduced yields, reduced acres and overall reductions in total production.

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.