An assessment of crops in the thumb region and throughout the Saginaw Valley was conducted Wednesday to determine losses due to the recent heavy rainfall and flooding. The Michigan Agri-Business Association (MABA) took a tour of affected areas, including the hardest hit areas of Isabella, Midland and Bay counties, plus the northern portions of Gratiot and Saginaw counties.
MABA president Jim Byrum said individual farms had different experiences during the flooding. He said the flood waters have drained away more quickly than they have during past flooding events, thanks to drain management and cooler temperatures. Farmers are deciding whether to replant affected crops. Byrum agrees with Michigan State Extension that there was about $21 million worth of damage to crops. Byrum says about 10 percent of the dry bean crop was lost and there’s concern about disease for other crops. He said there’s still a long way to go in the growing season, and they really won’t know until January the full extent of crop damage.
Preliminary assessments show flood damage to public and private property in Isabella County near $90 million. The damage to roads and homes appears to make Isabella County the hardest-hit among the four (also Bay, Midland and Gladwin) that have declared states of emergency.
Midland County officials said bridges and roads sustained about $13 million in damages. Bay and Gladwin counties also reported road damage.