The cool, wet spring has been a disaster for local farmers. The mud and the rain keeping them from planting their crops, many for the whole season.
The growing season for corn and soy beans is already a tight one in Northern Michigan. Any delay in the spring or early frost in the fall cuts it even tighter. This summer may be a lost cause.
“We just don’t see planting this late and being successful,” says MSU Extension Field Crops Educator Paul Gross, “So yeah, we’re kind of plowing new ground.”
Northern Michigan farmers have been ready to plant corn and soybeans for weeks now. They just have not gotten reprieve from the rain. And it doesn’t look to be getting better.
“To plant or not to plant?” says Gross, “Until things dry out, it just kind of standing at the end of the shed waiting.”
Now the wait may be over with the decision made for them.
“At this point, we’re in a situation where people are not probably going to plant corn,” says Gross.
It’s not going to catch up. The corn is not going to mature at this point so now the farmers have to decide what are they going to grow and how much can they get out of it.
“They’re still expected to manage that parcel to keep the weeds under control,” says Gross, “A lot of them will look to put some kind of cover crop on.”
Hay, oats, wheat or even corn, knowing it won’t mature, all can be used to feed livestock at the very least. They can turn their backs on their cash crops because of their insurance. It should be able to tide them over to try again next year.
“There is a silver lining in this a little bit where we will reduce some of our inventory so we strengthen our price,” says Gross, “So having a normal year next year, the pricing opportunities are going to be much better.”
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