SPARTA, Mich. – The cold temperatures right now are giving farmers a reason to celebrate. Last March, the warm temperatures had buds on fruit trees already blooming. This year, farmers say they aren’t even close to a bloom.
Last year, farmers across the state were devastated by an early thaw followed by many cold nights. It destroyed more than 90 percent of Michigan’s apple, cherry and peach crops and took a toll on the agriculture economy.
Seventy two counties throughout the state had severe weather last spring including flooding, tornadoes and blizzards. The economic loss to just fruit and asparagus crops is estimated at more than $220 million.
Farmers say it really can’t get worse than last year and it’s not just the colder temperatures that have them optimistic. The snowy weather after a season of drought has them looking forward to getting over the hump to a great year for agriculture in west Michigan.