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Uncomfortable heat and rain to you, but perfect growing conditions for farmers

Published: Jul. 8, 2021 at 11:18 PM EDT
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TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - After some tough years, there is encouraging news for a lot of local farmers. Some of us have not enjoyed the recent heat, humidity and rain, but it’s been good for a lot of crops.

There aren’t many professions that rely on the weather as much as farming. And there have been some challenges this planting season, but things are on pretty solid ground right now.

We checked in on corn and soybean fields in Ottawa Lake, Michigan, that are thriving. It was a much different story in the last few years -- 2019 was so wet, the vast majority of crops could not even be planted, and many crops were late getting in the ground last year.

Randy Hill is a farmer who works at the Ottawa Lake Co-Op.

“Everything is ahead of schedule from where it’s been the last two years. It makes us feel a lot better looking at the crops right now than it has the last two or three years.”

But there have been challenges getting to this point. In fact, there were serious concerns for some crops a few short weeks ago.

“We had a dry spell, then it was wet. Then there was a cold spell. It’s been a roller coaster,” said Jason Heerdegen, manager at the Ottawa Lake Co-Op. “We’ve gotten some timely rains lately that have been perfect. We are at the point where it is out of our hands, and up to Mother Nature.”

Heerdegen says this year, Mother Nature’s timing was perfect when it comes to the heat, humidity, and rain we’ve seen recently.

“The corn crop is large enough now to take a fair amount of moisture, and the sun is a huge part of the success. The warm days and muggy nights have been almost tropical, and the corn is growing like crazy,” Heerdegen said. “The bean crop is off to a great start for July 8.”

But there’s a lot of time between now and the end of the growing season and a lot can happen. Hill says that’s why farmers don’t want to get ahead of themselves.

“Nothing is final until it’s harvested and put in the bin,” he said.

And since things can change quickly, Heerdegen says it all boils down to patience.

“There is an ebb and flow in farming,” he said. “It is often an emotional roller coaster, but farmers are resilient. We roll with the punches. We are optimistic every year. We don’t have a choice.”

Heerdegen says when it comes to the corn and soybean crops, it would be helpful if they get a healthy dose of rain on a regular basis in July and August.

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