Michigan Farmers Say Crops Need A Drink

July 26, 2016 09:38 AM
 
 

Farmers hope recent heat advisories won’t cut yield. That’s especially on the minds of Michigan farmers as their state spends another week colored on the drought monitor. The U.S. Drought Monitor shows nearly 68% of the state is abnormally dry, with another 17% percent suffering in a moderate drought.

Farmers just south of Lansing, Mich., say at the beginning of July, the drought situation was dire. Since then, conditions have improved – but the crop is still in need of a big drink of water.

“That has the potential to be a good ear, but it has to get through the next two-and-a-half weeks,” says Gary Haynes, who farms near Mason, Mich.

It’s a timeline so critical for the corn crop, a crop that’s parched in Michigan.

“Michigan is dry – we’re very, very dry,” Haynes says.

Farmers in Mason, Mich., say the season started with a cool, wet spring but has since delivered just enough precipitation for the crops to get by in July.

“I wouldn’t say [the crops] are bad, says farmer Don Oesterle. “Our feeling is they’re on the edge. We went over three weeks in June without any rain at all.”

Meanwhile, Haynes says the weather setup hasn’t been ideal, but it could’ve been so much worse.

“I’m very optimistic we can get some timely rains, but I don’t see us catching up with what we lost in June and July,” he says.

Some crop perked up with sparse July rains, but the farmers say conditions are variable. That’s due to a stretched out growing season, minimal rain and very little top or subsoil moisture.

While the crop continues to hold some promise, Oesterle says he may not get enough silage for his livestock because of this year’s conditions.

“We already figure we’ll take a loss in tonnage,” he says.

A lot of soybean yield potential is still on the table through August, but farmers say current conditions vary for now.

“We have an uneven stand in the early stuff because of cold weather,” Oesterle says. “We also see an uneven stand in the late stuff because it didn’t have the moisture to germinate.”

Moving forward, farmers have fingers crossed for timely rains and putting current heat advisories in the past.

Michigan Mid-Season Crop Report

 

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