• Audrey Helfrich

It’s Raining, It’s Pouring, the Crops Are Dying


An empty eld in Charlotte, Michigan on Sept. 5, 2019. The eld that once grew corn is now surronded by weeds instead. Duane Smuts, a Michigan farmer, said “Basically any annual plant in central Michigan grows was negatively impacted”. According to a Lansing State Journal article, by June 2 only 42 percent of Michigan’s corn was planted, and 31 percent of the soybeans were planted.

If you’ve recently taken a drive through the Michigan countryside, you might have noticed that fields that are usually bursting with either corn or soybeans were bare in a lot of places. Farmers all over Michigan have been hit hard with one of the wettest farming seasons ever recorded in Michigan.

Because the soil was so wet farmers weren’t able to plant their crops before the planting deadline or the insurance deadline. Some farmers took a risk and still planted, and others are depending on their crop insurance or the new bill Governor Gretchen Whitmer passed.

“The wet climate period we went through in central Michigan actually started in Oct. of 2018” said Duane Smuts, the owner of Smuts Farms in Charlotte, his farm has been in his family for 30 years now. Smuts’ Farms was one of many farms effected by all the rain this season.

“The amount of precipitation over that time from Oct. 18 through June of 19 was record breaking” continued Smuts, “Along with the rain nearly every day in May and June had a thick cloud cover not allowing the sun to dry the soil. The weather event caused some crops to not be planted at all and the crops that were planted all got planted in less than ideal conditions which will result with an significantly reduced yield.”

The typical time for planting to be done is around mid- to late May, depending on if it’s warm enough. According to a Lansing State Journal article, by June 2 only 42 percent of Michigan’s corn was planted, and 31 percent of the soybeans were planted.

Because farmers weren’t able to plant their crops it started a chain reaction to livestock owners who need feed for their animals, and grocery stores who are in high demand for what