Flooding Means Late Planting Season For Some Local Farmers

By: Alyssa Fenske Email
By: Alyssa Fenske Email

LANSING (WILX)-- A break in the wet weather is allowing farmers to get a good look at their fields, and start thinking about planting for the season.

News Tens Alyssa Fenske spoke with a local corn farmer that said he's a week behind from last year. But no farmer can plant when they have a pond in their field, and after a few weeks of heavy rain that's what's left behind.

The ground is too saturated and cold to grow anything, so instead some farmers are trying to take advantage of this break in the wet weather to try to dry up their fields.

"Every day we get an inch of rain that's going to put us back another week," said Co-Owner of Shady Lodge Farm Scott Lonier.

Lonier has a lot of work to do before he can think about planting. Right now he's just trying to fix the drainage in his corn fields.

"We're out here with a back hoe and some tile trying to fix it so we can get rid of some of the standing water," said Lonier.

Once that's been fixed he has replace what erosion took away. Mid-Michigan has very little top soil and any bit washed away can cause problems. Right now Lonier's fields are too hilly to be dragging his expensive equipment over.

It's going to be a later planting season than usual, but if the weather cooperates from here on out it shouldn't be a problem.

"It's probably going to be May 1st before you see a lot of planting here in the mid-Michigan area. If we had two weeks of weather like today. Sunny, 60, and windy we'll think about getting out there and planting something," said Lonier.

Fruit farms weren't as affected by the rainy weather. They can stand high amounts of flooding to a point.

"If the orchards are flooded for extended periods of time you can start to deprive the roots of oxygen," said Uncle Johns Cider Mill President Michael Beck.

With the sun out Beck is taking advantage of the good weather to prepare his crops.

"Everyday spring is later it decreases our chances for something bad to happen during blossom time," said Beck.

Some crops like asparagus have already been planted, but because they haven't germinated yet they shouldn't be too affected by the rains.

Even though planting season is going to be later than normal industry experts don't expect to see any changes to food prices.

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