Why do farmers destroy their crops when weather conditions are bad? Why bother going through the trouble? Why not just let them grow and get at least some harvest?

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Why do farmers destroy their crops when weather conditions are bad? Why bother going through the trouble? Why not just let them grow and get at least some harvest?

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Harvesting large amounts of crops takes a lot of energy and money, but leaving it to rot is going to attract an unmanageable number of pests such as mice and rats.

Harvesting takes time and money, the fuel to run the equipment might cost more than the harvest is worth if it’s bad.

But leaving it out to rot breeds pests and disease/fungus

Whether spending time and fuel on harvesting a very marginal crop or spending it turning over the ground to bury the poor yield, it’s more cost effective to just prep the ground for next year. Especially given that major farmers have insurance and if they are paid out, they wouldn’t be able to pick any of it. Rather get a full payout instead of putting in work and getting a partial payment.

Im a farmer: Disease thrives in weak crops, and many diseases live in the soil and will come back the next year if you’ve let it proliferate. Also it’s not as easy as just “letting them grow”. It’s all day every day hard work, and not worth wasting that much time and money on something that won’t pay off. And depending on the type of operation, you may be able to replace it with something that has a quick growing time that’s better suited for the conditions, so you could salvage the season somewhat. Also “at least some harvest” isn’t really a thing. You’re not just getting less produce, you’re getting lower quality produce that isn’t saleable and may or may not even be usable depending on what you’re growing.

because the crop will be of so low quality that not only can it not be sold, it will cause disease and injury if used.