'It's been horrible this year': Heavy rains affecting farmers

LANSING, MI (WILX) -- It has not been an easy spring season for Michigan farmers. Rain and flooding have sounded alarms.

Flooding in Michigan

At Michigan Wheat Program’s annual summer field day farmers from across the state were able to ask questions about their crops and get tips on how to navigate the weather.

Bill Spike, a farmer in Owosso, says this year he’s swamped.

“We have a crop farm about a thousand acres, corn soybeans, and wheat,” Spike said.

He says his thousand-acre farm has seen its share of rough patches.

“There are two things that are really bad in terms of planting a crop. First one is planting in cold soil, and the only thing worse than that is planting in cold mud,” Spike said.

He has had both in what he says has been one of the wettest years on record.

“It’s been horrible this year,” Spike said. “ Every time you turn around it rains.”

It’s a problem the Theresa Sisung from the Michigan Farm Bureau says is affecting farmers across Michigan.

“Here in the state, we only have 63% of our corn crop planted and typically we’d be wrapping up corn planting if not completely done at this point,” Sisung said. “We have about 45% of our soybeans planted and we’d usually be double that. We’d be about 90% of our soybeans planted by now.”

She says while farmers are impacted now, consumers might be later.

“This is gonna have a huge ripple effect,” Sisung said. “We have the farmer obviously is at the center of it but then it goes out to the agribusiness people, the retailers, to the custom applicators. It's going to affect just the local businesses, the local grocery store. It’s gonna affect even the local restaurant.”

Even though Michigan has seen less rain than other Midwest states, Sisung says it’s the number of days it rains that makes it so tough.

“Today’s a beautiful day the soil dries out but we’re supposed to get rain again later this week,” Sisung said. “So stuff’s just starting to dry out and then they can’t get back in the field again because it starts to rain.”

But Spike says, like a farmer, he’ll stay positive.

“Always hopeful, if I wasn’t hopeful I wouldn’t be farming,” Spike said.

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