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Health, Science and Environment

Summer crops are feeling the heat

Half way through a Michigan summer and farmers are saying the recent weather is not good for crops.


Farmers said they planted late this year because of a wet spring, and recent scorching temperatures have made it harder for plants to grow.


Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
Recker holds the crop to explain the difference between how the plant should feel when it's getting the correct amount of moisture compared to the yellowing stalk struggling in dry weather.


Paul Gross is an extension educator for the MSU Extension Service..

He said corn crops are taking a beating from the weather.


“Some of the corn has been hurt by the dry conditions,” he said. “I just don’t think it’ll recover to have an average yield.”


Gross said on a brighter note, wheat did well this year.


Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
The view from Recker's farm after the wheat was harvested. The brown stalks will be collected later to create bales of straw.


Farmers also said corn and soybeans are hurting more than other crops.


Randy Recker is a farm owner and operator in Mount Pleasant. He said he’s grateful that crops have adapted to survive in warm weather.


Credit Xavier Mendoza | WCMU
Corn is just beginning to tassel on Recker's farm


“If we had the genetics of plants we had 20 years ago, we’d probably have crop failure,” he said. “But with these new genetics, they can take more stress and drought.”


Recker said even though genetics helps, the corn and soybeans still need significant rainfall through the rest of the season for normal growth.


Credit Summer crops, Drought, dry conditions, wheat, corn, soybeans, randy recker, recker's farm, mount pleasant, michigan, xavier mendoza, xmendoza
Recker holds the part of the corn that the pollen lands on to fertilize the plant and develop the kernels.