Grand Rapids, Mich. (WOOD) – Farmers across West Michigan are experiencing a lack of rain, and those with irrigation are relying more on systems to get them through.
The Michigan Farm Bureau says wheat, corn and soybeans are the most affected crops. Most farmers in West Michigan do not irrigate those crops. Theresa Sisung, industry relations specialist at Farm Brew, says wheat is the biggest concern now that the crop is at its growth stage.
“Right now, they’re just starting to flower, and during that period, you don’t really need a drought because when that yield comes in, that’s when you get that corn full,” Sisung said.
Jeff Sandborn grows corn, soybeans and wheat on his family farm near Portland and is looking forward to the prospect of a tough year ahead.
“The last time we had rain was in early April, so it’s been two months. “We’ve had a couple of tenths of an inch shots, but it’s not enough to do much more than settle the dust,” Sandborn said.
The planting season is off to a strong start, but the latest dry spell will have a lasting effect.
“Planting was very good because we had no rain. It never slowed you down. “You didn’t get a day off like we normally do, but that’s not a good thing either,” Sandborn said.
Robinette’s Apple House and Winery near Grand Rapids is working on its irrigation systems to work through the dry weather. Orchard manager Alan Robinette said the farm has placed wood chips under newly planted apple trees to help retain moisture from the underground irrigation system.
His biggest concern is the 6.5-acre corn maze.
“We don’t have the capacity to irrigate, so we may need to — if we’re very dry, The weather we forecast It’s not coming this weekend – we’ll look at planting again when we get more rain,” Robinette said.
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