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Mt. Pleasant Farmers Feeling Impact of Warmer Weather

And the unseasonably warm temperatures in Michigan are having mixed effects on some crops already.

 Many fields around Mt. Pleasant don’t have any snow cover.

That can be good and bad for crops like corn and wheat.

But, maple syrup in the area is getting ready to flow.

“It’s just part of what farmers go through is the variability in weather,” said Paul Gross of MSUE in Isabella County.  

That variability could make for an interesting start to the growing season for farmers in Mt. Pleasant, because many fields are not covered in snow.

“You know we like the snow cover to recharge the water table in July and August from a corn and soybean production stand point. On the other side of it the wheat farmers probably are a little more concerned about having an open winter because you always like to have a snow cover on the wheat crop it kind of protects it,” said Gross.

But the chance for an early planting is looking more likely if the weather stays like this.

“Our best opportunities for the highest yields always starts with early planting and as we have a quicker warm up our soils dry out, they warm up, and we can get in the fields, and plant quicker and that’s always something farmers look to try to do to maximize their yield,” said Gross.

Farmers like Joe Bryant say they’ll be watching the weather and their wheat crops closely.

“The wheat crop probably is as much, you wonder how that’s going to come through an open winter. You’d rather not see it that way, but ultimately wheat will tell you what it will do when it decides to green up in the spring,” Bryant.

Just down the road Arnie Hammel has already started tapping maple trees, hoping to see sap flow this weekend

“Generally it’s the first of March and so we’re doing it early so we were prepared. We kind of knew what the weather would be like this weekend, so earlier the better if we can, as long as we’re out and doing it and the weathers been fairly decent to do that,” said Hammel.

Farmers say if things stay above average they could start planting some crops and boiling down sap in to syrup within the next few weeks.