MONROE COUNTY, Mich. — Jason Heerdegen, a farmer in Monroe County will need two weeks to get the fertilizer down, the corn planted, then the herbicide for weed prevention. He’s close.
This is something farmers are used to.
For the past three years, the Monroe County area has received five inches of rain between April 15 and May 15.
Nationally? Just 30 percent of the crops have gotten planted.
“Since Sunday we’ve had some nice temps. 75 to 80 degrees. Sun and wind is huge for us to help dry the soil out. The top is loosing better but what we go by to know if we’re getting close is you take a handful of dirt, it looks dry you go down two inches. If you can squeeze it in a ball in your hand it’s too wet. To get equipment, it’s very heavy. Tractors, field cultivators, the planter. So we’re easily four to five days away," said Jason Heedegen, a Monroe County farmer.
Farmers in the area are used to planting around Memorial Day.
But starting this late, they run the risk of growing into first frost, or if it’s a wet Fall, a complicated harvest.