(07/12/12) - ABC12 has been following closely how the dry weather is affecting Mid-Michigan Farmers.
Thursday, we headed to the Flint Farmers Market to see if the lack of rain and crops is driving up prices.
After farming for 60 years, Bruce Penzien knows mother nature can be friend or foe.
This summer, it's pretty clear she's not on his side.
"Quite rough. Things are burning up right in the field," he said.
With hot, dry weather baking much of the country, Mid-Michigan farmers are working in dangerous territory.
A walk around the Flint Farmers Market makes it clear - these folks are desperate for rain.
"A lot of people are at the breaking point and if we don't get some rain, they'll lose what they got planted," said Sandy Coyandall of Coyandall Produce.
"We've had carrots that were up maybe 2 inches tall and now they're burning right off because they can't take the heat," Penzien said.
Right now, most customers aren't seeing the loss reflected in their grocery bill. But, if the crop loss continues, they tell us they'll have no choice but to increase prices.
Everything from corn to potatoes to chicken and beef could go up.
Reiner Wedel of Corunna raises his own cattle and depends on corn for feed.
"What it's going to effect is the meat product because prices are going up to pay more for product," Wedel said.
Some farmers can get relief through crop insurance - depending on how their policy is written.
Rain, and lots of it, would be a much more reliable form of help.
ABC12 Main Station