OTTAWA LAKE, Mich. — Historic rainfall and cool weather have made it a difficult year for area farmers.
Some of them took the insurance payout and others rolled the dice and planted late anyway, and that leap of faith might just pay off.
Jason Heerdegan farms in Ottawa Lake, Michigan. He plants mostly corn and soybeans. Heerdegan planted the corn June 8 — about a month late. But, a warm June and July, with timely rain, have helped make up for lost time.
"The crop was probably 30 days behind in planting. But, with this nice weather and growing conditions we might have closed the gap, maybe, two weeks, you know, so we didn't gain it all back by weather, but we're heading in the right direction. But, we still got a ways to go on this crop," Heerdegan said. "Four instance on this ear, Dan, when we peel this husk back, you see on the development it looks like it has really good pollination. It looks like we lost this part of the ear a little bit, but you can see it looks like sweet corn so that tells us it's really soft yet. So, it still has ways to go. "
With the late planting season, farmers need a really late frost, maybe in the middle October or so.
But, here's one thing that's really alarming: the Farmers' Almanac is saying we are going to have a really cold winter.
"Well, what do you do with this occupation? We deal with adversity all the time. But, we will get through it and, well, it's out of our hands at this point," Heerdegan said. "We've done all that we could do and we cut the weeds out and we sprayed for disease and we cut the bugs out... it's all up to Mother Nature this next month to bring the crop home."
The soybeans are looking great. But, for a productive crop as pods gradually grow at the top of the stalk, that late frost would really help.