Michigan has been hit with one of the worst droughts in recent history. Jackson County farmer and vice president of the county’s farm bureau, Jim Spink, has seen the damage first hand.
“Everybody is extremely nervous and concerned. The corn crop that is already hurt is pretty well hurt and it’s not going to recover,” said Spink.
Due to the extreme drought, USDA listed four counties in Southwest Michigan, including Hillsdale County, as primary natural disaster areas. Jackson County was named as one of the six contiguous natural disaster areas, which means farmers there may also qualify for low-interest federal loans.
“For many of our farmers, these kind of loan programs will be crucial to making it into the next year,” said Bradley Deacon, emergency management coordinator for Michigan Department of Agriculture.
Jim Spink says in a season like the current one, some farmers could be losing about two thirds of their annual profit. However, he’s in better shape because he has an irrigation system.
“Where there’s water this year with the heat units that we’ve had, corn looks very good as do soybeans, but where water isn’t available, things are quite challenged,” Spink said.
For more information on how to apply for emergency loans, please visit USDA Farm Service Agency’s website http://www.fsa.usda.gov.