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Farmers battle a summer heat wave as crops start to wilt

Excessive heat and dry weather begins to hurt summer crops
Published: Jul. 7, 2020 at 12:16 AM EDT
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GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. (WJRT) - (07/06/2020) - It’s a problem more and more mid-Michigan farmers are dealing with --

A heat wave and lack of rain for their crops.

Last spring, farmers had to deal with soggy fields from too much rain that delayed planting.

This season is quite different.

“(It) was so mellow and so nice this spring, crops come up looking so good, it’s like a gift,” said Hunt Farms owner Bill Hunt.

Despite the fast start, hot and dry weather is beginning to take it’s toll on Bill Hunt’s 6200 acres of corn and 5000 acres of soybeans.

“We’ve got the corn that is showing stress by looking like pineapples, or it’s rolling up. And soybeans that are lush green. And in spots, you see in the field where they’re pale, the leaves flip upside down. That’s starting to become a serious problem,” added Hunt.

Since June 1, Flint and Saginaw are down by as much as an inch and a half of rain.

Combine that with six straight days of 90 degrees plus weather and you get crops like corn, $1 billion dollar industry for the state, could be in trouble. So, how long can farmers who don’t irrigate hold out?

“I’m not a weather person, it’s hard for me to judge, but if it stays hot like this, I’d say by Saturday, Sunday, we’re starting to see some, you’ll start hearing some talk about crop losses, yield loss, those types of things,” Hunt commented.

If there is any good news, winter wheat is doing well despite a cold May.

Harvest is expected to begin in the next two weeks with average to better than average production.

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