Some good news for farmers despite harsh winter - ABC 12 – WJRT – Flint, MI

Some good news for farmers despite harsh winter

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GENESEE COUNTY (WJRT) -

(04/08/14) - Now that our weather has warmed up some, farmers are getting ready to work their fields. Growers must face the backlash from our record-setting winter. It was long and hard, but it's not all bad news for farmers, as the time to plant crops draws closer.
    
Some effects of record cold and unusually high amounts of snow this winter still linger in fields across Mid-Michigan, as farmers prepare for another growing season. "My wheat is still dormant, because it's been so cold for so long. As far as the corn and soybeans, we're not really considered late until the second week in May," says Davison farmer Bill Hunt.

Heavy snow this winter actually provided some benefits, like protecting the soil from a deep frost layer in the ground. "And so, it acts like a big blanket. So, when the snow started melting, it didn't run, it went down into the ground like it should, just like normally when it rains. So, it was a good thing. The soil took the water. We needed the water," Hunt said.

What expectations do growers like Hunt have going forward?

"So far, the ground is absorbing the water well. And if it continues like this and we don't get any heavy rain, I feel very comfortable we should be pretty well on time," he said.

  
For non-farmers, winter's long, icy grip has caused other issues. On many trees,  buds are not as far along as they normally are this time of year. And a lot of homeowners might have to replace shrubs damaged by a combination of cold, snow, ice and wind.

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