Near-record rainfall sets Michiana farmers back during harvest season
“This is an exceptionally unnormal year. We’re pushing almost 8 inches of rain this month,” said Warren Libby, a Farmer in Michiana.
Michigan farmer and weather spotter Warren Libby is speaking for most farmers across Michiana when he says it’s been a rough October, especially if you farm on low ground.
“When it rains, the water runs downhill, this is the low end of it,” said Libby. “Normally we’re dry, we do harvest without much of a problem, maybe a few rain delays but everything goes on strong. With all this water we can’t cut the beans. They’re lost,” said Libby.
And Mother Nature is hitting them where it hurts.
“Example, say they’re 40 bushel beans, at nine dollars a bushel, that’s 360 bucks an acre, and then lets say we lose two bushels. So that’s 18 dollars we got to take off the original price. The cost to plant it is still there. And the cost to harvest it is still there,” said Libby.
But if you thought farmers were the only ones who could feel the wave from this month’s rain, think again. Libby says an impact like this follows all the way to the consumer.
“Less beans on the market, that means less bean mail going for chickens and hog feed, your soy bean oil for what you’re cooking with,” said Libby.
And in the mean time, Libby and other farmers may have to switch gears with tracked vehicles just to get on the fields.
“If we cut trenches in here, that’s compaction, that’s going to affect us for the next four or five years,” said Libby.
And hope for the best.
“All them beans that are under that water.. maybe we’ll get them past thanksgiving and maybe we won’t,” said Libby.
Libby says if the snow comes early this year and the fields don’t dry up before May, they could have to wait to plant which would set farmers back even more next year in 2018.