Recent Warm Weather Impacts Some Northern Michigan Crops

The warmer weather this fall is making for an interesting harvest for some local farms.

“When I woke up and it was 72 degrees for the 18th of October I go it’s awfully warm.”

 That’s not a bad thing for Wagner Farms in Grand Traverse County and Cherry Bay Orchards in Leelanau County.

Paul Wagner from Wagner Farms says, “The heat allows the corn to dry out in the field and mature faster in the field for us so it just saves us costs in the long run. The dryer the corn is the easier it moves through the machinery, less cost we have associated with it.”

Francis Otto, Orchard Manager at Cherry Bay Orchards says, “The hot weather during the summer slowed the trees a little bit, the warm weather is actually helping progress the trees in their ripening up so actually on schedule to ripen up right.”

But recent rainfall has put a damper on some of their harvesting days.

Wagner says, “The rain is a little bit of an inconvenience because it hinders us from getting into the field. It was an issue to get our wheat in timely this year because it was so wet and it rained so often throughout the last six weeks.”

Cherry Bay Orchards says now that the apples are ripe the rain could cause the fruit to crack. They’re also hoping for dry weather so crews can pick with no delays before they leave by the end of the month. “We should be done by then, I figure I’ve got seven actual picking days left so by the middle of next week we should be able to finish up.”

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