Farmers concerned but optimistic crops will weather this drought until more rain arrives

Updated: Jun. 11, 2021 at 9:03 PM EDT
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FLINT, Mich. (WJRT) - (6/11/2021) - Drought conditions are expected to get worse before they get better.

However, all is not lost for many mid-Michigan crops.

Some have received rain.

And others can withstand this early combination of heat and dry weather.

Montrose Orchards owner Dan Hill explains.

“The apples are a deep-rooted crop. They’re doing reasonably well. The size is coming along. They got an early start this year. They’re in less danger at this point.

Another fruit crop is ok for now, but could use some water.

“The blueberries are a little less deep-rooted. They’re wider-rooted. They’re a little later blooming,” commented Hill.

While a fall favorite - pumpkins - is just going into the ground.

“They’re a warm-season crop. There’s adequate moisture now to get that seed out and get it going,” added Hill.

Hill says the next few weeks will be very important, based on our current rainfall deficit.

“You go two solid weeks without rain, it gets pretty tough in this weather when it’s 85 or 90 degrees regularly.”

Another “sweet” top crop has yet to see any widespread problems, according to Michigan Sugar Director of Research & Agronomy Corey Guza.

“When you look at sugar beets, they do have a nice long tap root. If the soil moisture is there they can access it.”

Recent spotty rain and an early planting season gives Michigan Soybean Office CEO Janna Fritz some hope.

“We’re optimistic still, that it’s going to be a favorable season. We got to get those rains at some point. But, we have a little bit of flexibility to get those in the next week or so.”

Farmers are hopeful our extreme weather conditions will return to normal, which will be beneficial to all crops.

About 30 % of the state and most of mid-Michigan is currently in a severe drought.

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