Repeated rain causing anxiety and delays for farmers

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TUSCOLA COUNTY (WJRT) (6/10/2019) - Farmers are getting concerned -- both those waiting to get crops in the field and those who have already planted.

Many fields in Tuscola County resemble lakes or mud bogs after repeated rains this spring and summer.

Repeated rain this spring and summer have left some fields looking more like lakes or mud bogs. Drainage ditches are almost full in some rain-soaked parts of Tuscola County.

"When you wake up and see this, it's very discouraging," said Michigan State University crop researcher Paul Horny while looking at a flooded field in western Tuscola County.

He said the farmers he talks with are getting worried.

"I would be panicking," Horny said. "There are some guys that are going to have some difficult times, who are not going to get crops in this year."

Farmer Wayne Hecht said weather for farming hasn't been great since last fall. He has everything planted except dry beans.

Hecht was concerned about how his sugar beats, corn and other crops would far but so far, so good.

"Our greatest fears have been diminished," he said. "We were surprised how well a lot of these things survived."

But then it rained again.

"If it doesn't stay longer than a couple of days, we are probably good," Hecht said.

He is worried about root diseases and the ability to get in the fields for weeding.

"We've had to measure our opportunities, our small windows to actually get on the soil," Hecht said.

The forecast to do that more this week is not great.

"It looks like rain the entire week, so we are hoping the end of this week or next week, we will be able to get back in fields and do something," Horny said.

Despite all the rain, he said Mid-Michigan is faring a little better than others. But for farmers who haven't planted, the window is closing.

"We still have a few weeks to get some crops in the field, but after July 1, you are pretty much done for the year," Horny said.


Many fields in Tuscola County resemble lakes or mud bogs after repeated rains this spring and summer.