Record-low yield for soybean farmers

FRANKENMUTH, Mich. (WJRT) - Many mid-Michigan farmers struggled through the wet spring months, with dozens of farms being destroyed.

A new United States Department of Agriculture report says many crops will take a big hit during the fall harvest.

The harvest is just getting started and already mid-Michigan soy bean farmers are already feeling the effects from a wet spring and a dry summer.

"Exactly the opposite of what we would have liked to of seen and now were seeing those results in poor yields," said Mark Seamon, with the Michigan soybean promotion committee.

Seamon says hes seen low crop years, but nothing like this years record low.

"We're talking about missing about 25% of the crop that would have normally been planted, and then the yields are down about 10%, so were looking at a 30% or more loss of bushels of soybeans produced this year compared to a year ago," said Seamon.

A recent study by the USDA predicts at least a 31% decrease in Michigan Soy bean production, and Seaman says that drop will be felt economically.

"Normally across the state of Michigan we can produce about a billion dollars worth of economic value to soy bean growers," he said. "This year we'll look at about 30% less than that, so maybe about $700 million."

For farmers, it was the perfect storm with this years spring and summer conditions-- many farmers weren't even able to plant the soybeans.

"In talking to some other older growers, they haven't seen conditions like this either, this dramatic and drastic for both late planting season and loss of yield throughout the year," said Seamon.

The USDA predicts a nearly 20% yield decrease nationwide.
STAND UP Now according to the report, corn, dry beans, and sugar beets will also see a lower yield this year due to the weather.