Nearly two months of no rain and counting

Michigan farmers say this season is one of the driest they’ve ever experienced. 

Bill Hunt farms 11,000 acres across four counties in eastern Michigan and tells Brownfield this has been the driest growing season he’s seen in 50 years of farming.

“I was surprised how many spots in certain fields have just burnt right up and those are on really sandy soils—there’s no yield there now,” he shares.  “There might be something, but virtually nothing. This is probably the longest early growth period I remember where the crops have suffered.”

Michigan Wheat Program Chair Jeff Krohn has been counting the days since the last rainfall.

“We actually had a record-looking crop going into production until we had 37 days so far of no rain on the lighter soil,” he says.  “Some of it did not even make a head because it just burned up and it was so dry.”

During the Michigan Wheat Program Summer Field Day, Michigan State University researchers estimated at least 40 percent yield losses across their trials with the growing season since April experiencing the driest period in Michigan ever reported.

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