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Despite spring flooding farmers say they now need rain

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Many farmers across the state couldn’t plant their crops at the beginning of summer due to heavy rainfall and oversaturated fields. Now, farmers say they could use a little bit of rain. 



Field crop educator in Isabella County, Paul Gross said fields got four-tenths of an inch of rain in July. He said crops like corn and soybeans are experiencing drought-like symptoms. 

“Many of our crops were late planted but are now starting to show a lot of moisture stress because of lack of rain,” Gross said. “We went from too wet and now we are approaching a situation where it’s too dry.”

Gross said the wheat crop was planted late last fall. WCMU News previously reported his concerns over the success of the crop in May. 

“With the wet, cool conditions in spring, some of the stands are just deteriorating more or more with these wet conditions,” Gross said at that time. 

Now, he said the wheat crop has surprised farmers and they are happy with the quality of grain. 

“The crop is still going to be below average as far as yield wise, but they weren’t expecting much of a yield,” Gross said. “Farmers were pretty concerned about what the wheat harvest might be, but it’s much better than they anticipated.”

Gross said a short-term solution for the crops would be about an inch of rain a week from now until mid-September. 

Gross said if the first frost comes in late September like it usually does, crops could be in trouble. He said Michigan needs a warm fall to give crops time to mature.

Tess DeGayner is a student reporter for WCMU News. She is a senior at Central Michigan University studying Journalism and Broadcasting. Her hometown is Fenton, Michigan.
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