Governor Whitmer Requests Farmer Assistance From USDA

Michigan is in a crop crisis right now as the weather still keeps most farmers out of the fields but some assistance may be on the way.

Wednesday, Governor Gretchen Whitmer requested assistance for the USDA to help our farmers.

The request will put Michigan with dozens of other states in line for more than $3 billion made available by Congress.

“As far as not being able to get the crop in the ground, I can’t remember one year ever like this,” says JC Colville or Colville Crop Insurance in Harrison.

Once we got through the first week of June and most of Michigan’s corn was yet to be planted, farmers were in trouble.

“One of the big problems we’ve got here in Michigan is thousands upon thousands of acres that aren’t planted that normally are,” says Colville, “There is some payment from the crop insurance but there’s a still big gap there.”

That gap may be filled by federal funding. The first time such a delayed planting season has hit Michigan.

“Financially, this is a disaster right now,” says Colville.

As more Michigan farms look barren as we cruise towards the month of July, the Michigan legislature is actually passing a bill that will open up $15 million for farmers in loan assistance. The fact that this is a nationwide issue is what triggered this $3.2 billion to be available and allow Michigan to tap into that.

“We wouldn’t have had the $3 billion available from Congress for all the stuff if it would’ve just been Michigan,” says Colville, “So from that aspect, the fact that it’s nationwide kind of does help Michigan.”

Farmers may get 50-60% of their crop value reimbursed by insurance. That might break them even but won’t help them survive to next year.

“For a farmer, that is his income,” says Colville, “He has a mortgage on his house, car payments, health insurance and all that other stuff that he has to pay for out of his income.”

For an industry already barely staying afloat, this may be more than just an early end to the season.

“Unfortunately it will,” says Colville, “for some guys this will be the death knell this year.”