Even though there has not been snow in a while, farmers are just beginning to see the effects of this year’s brutal winter.
State officials said farmers are facing decisions on whether or not to tear up fields that may have been too frozen for crops to survive.
Bob Boehm, with the Michigan Farm Bureau, said soil in central and northern Michigan, especially, is too cold to begin planting field crops.
“The real thing that’s holding us back right now is just getting the soil temperatures warmed up,” he said. “We need some warm and dry days, sunshine and some wind, and then I think we will see things get rolling.”
Boehm said there is a large amount of work that will have to be done in a short period of time, as soon as the weather allows.
Ideally, he says crop seeds should be planted by May 15th.
“It’s going to be tough, it looks like, to get crop planted by mid-May because of the weather conditions we are having,” Boehm said. “I don’t think you’re going to see a lot of real angst in the part of agriculture until we get to June 1.”
Boehm said further delays may begin to impact the tunnage, or yield, of crops this season.
If farmers plant into June, he says that could impact total yield in the fall.
Boehm said farmers remain optimistic, though, because of this week’s forecast of warmer temperatures.