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Farmers growing nervous with continued rain

Posted at 9:49 PM, May 07, 2019

BYRON CENTER, Mich. — Farmers are always at the will of the weather. With continued rain this spring, some farmers are growing nervous as wet fields are delaying their plans to get seeds into the ground.

"It's not like we're super late yet," said Wendell Loew, who is a fourth-generation dairy farmer in Byron Center. "It makes us nervous when we're already at May 7 and we're not farther ahead than what we are."

Loew plants more than 700 acres of corn every year, which will turn into feed for his dairy cows. He also plants alfalfa.

Ideally, Loew would have liked to be working in the fields by the second week in May. The rain, however, has left them waiting for drier days.

"It's just been cold and drizzly and raining," said Loew. "When we're ready to go, it just seems like every little thing like this goes against you."

Loew says if he and other farmers aren't able to get into their fields within the next two weeks, the situation in the agriculture community could become more dire. Farmers may have to explore the possibility of using more mature seeds.

If continued rains push back their start date in the field, it could also drive up prices at the grocery store. Although, it may be too early to tell just how it will affect commodity prices or other impacts it may have.