Weather Woes for Farmers

By: Lori Jane Gliha
By: Lori Jane Gliha

Alan Garner's corn sprouts would be about three times the size they are now if the weather would warm up and the rain would stop.

Now, the sprouts, only a few inches high, are fighting to grow properly despite being drenched with constant moisture and subjected to cool temperatures.

Garner's corn leaves have turned purple and yellow, indicating the plants are stressed and too wet.

That makes sense to state agricultural statistician Dave Kleweno. He says the Lansing area is experiencing about an extra inch of moisture and temperatures between two and six degrees below normal this year.

The abnormal conditions may determine how many corn ears a plant will grow and how many kernels each plant will produce. The profitability of the plants - which will be shipped out to become poultry and cattle feed or turned into whiskey or plastic- could be reduced if weather conditions don't improve soon.

Ideal conditions include sun and about a week without rain. That will give the soil and the plants enough time to dry out and start growing properly.

Anyone interested in following the crop weather statistics and updates can log on to:

www.nass.usda.gov/mi


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