Crops declining

Crops are picking up after a slow start, but officials are still expecting smaller yields.
Krystle Wagner
Jul 12, 2014

Across the state, lasting impacts from the winter’s frigid temperatures are being felt as blueberry and wheat crops were damaged. The season’s rocky start with cool temperatures also caused some angst among farmers, said Martin Nagelkirk, a Michigan State University agriculture extension educator.

Nagelkirk said farmers are looking for temperatures to heat up for corn and soybeans over the next six weeks.

Overall, the state’s field crops generate an estimated $5.72 billion a year, while fruits bring in roughly $758 million and vegetables bring in $673 million, according to a Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development 2012 report.

Throughout the state, there are about 54,900 farms and 10 million acres of farmland.

Cindy Visser, owner of Visser Farms in Zeeland Township, said certain crops are doing well while others are struggling through the rain. While one cornfield is wet and cold looking, a field less than a mile down the road has corn that’s tall and “gorgeous,” Visser said.

Last year, the state harvested about 2.25 million acres of corn and grain to bring in about $1.5 billion.

Although planting started a little later than normal for the 250-acre vegetable farm, strawberries are four days behind and potatoes are right on time.

Read the complete story in Saturday’s print or e-edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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