Farmers Push Through Changing Weather

“Every year you gotta put up with the weather. It’s good, bad and in between,” said farmer Bob Morlock.

And this spring — Northern Michigan farmers have dealt with a wide range of conditions.

After a dry and warm stretch, now many are slammed with snow and rain.

April is always unpredictable for farmers.

Although the moisture is necessary… Too much can cause problems

Farmers say it’s a double edged sword.

There can be too much of a good thing, and hopefully, this spring doesn’t wash them out.

“We haven’t been able to get out and do anything in the past couple of days because it’s too wet,” said Morlock, a owner of Good View Farms in Reed City.

This is what some of Morlock’s flooded fields look like now.

And instead of getting out to work, his equipment is parked.

The ground is just too soggy.

“Well I don’t really like it. You gotta put up with it and it’s slowing down the planting for this year. We’re not behind by any means yet, but you know, (with) warm weather now and sunshine we’ll probably turn out to be alright.”

Not all farmers feel this way about the rain.

The MSU Extension says that many in Northern Michigan have been worried about the dry spring, and now see these wet days as a godsend.

“These are the April showers … that we really need to stimulate the planting season coming up in May and June so we’ll take moisture in April. We’re happy to receive it,” said MSU Extension Agricultural Educator Jerry Lindquist.

He says this goes both ways — they need to moisture to grow, but want it dry to plant.

Farmers hope this wet weather lets up soon and they can begin planting on time in May.

“In Northern Michigan we have a shorter growing season just because we’re farther north, so its very critical that we plant on time because then come fall we have to harvest a little bit earlier than most other areas in the southern states. So our growing season is shorter, so weather is even more critical up here,” Lindquist said.

Even though it snowed today, warm days could be right around the corner.

Working with the elements is part of their job.

“You gotta be able to work around the weather to get your things harvested, planted and it’s kind of a challenge but we get through it,” Morlock said.

Most farmers are on time for planting.

But mother nature has the final say, and farmers know there is never a perfect season.