With the lack of rain recently, Michigan farmers are paying closer attention to their crops.
According to the Michigan Farm Bureau, fruit trees and wine grapes are at one of their most vulnerable stages. “Apples, cherries, both of those are being impacted now because they’re in that fruit set and fruit sizing phase,” said Theresa Sisung, field crop specialist with the Michigan Farm Bureau. “So, we need the trees not to be stressed so we can get nice big fruit on those trees.”
Owner of Mackinaw Trails Winery, Laurie Stabile said they’ve been praying for rain everyday. “My older vines have no problem with it,” she said. “They have very long root stems so they get to the water. It’s the baby vines that you worry about.”
The drought isn’t just affecting northern Michigan, but all over the state. “We did see a part of northwest Michigan get added to that severe drought category, especially up around that Traverse City area,” said Sisung. “Whether abnormally dry, all the way to that severe drought category.”
While rain would be welcomed, it’s a balancing act making sure crops are being properly cared for. “Everyday, As a farmer you always pray for rain, and then you pray you don’t get too much rain,” said Stabile. “There’s always a give in both sides of it.”