Rainy Day Farming Blues

Published: May. 29, 2019 at 1:20 PM EDT
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The recent downpours put many farmers behind on their planting schedule.

This leads to shortages in hay and produce, forcing farmers to raise their own prices and buy expensive supplies from out of state to sustain their business.

Trish Jeffers of Jeffers Greenhouse and Farm in Grand Rapids, Ohio, says many of their customers cannot get into their gardens or work on their flower beds.

Sandy Potter Tucker Farms in Clayton, Michigan says they are behind on planting their produce, and hopes she won’t have to raise prices this year. Vegetables that get too much water can get diseases and rot.

Potter says, "You don't get as much fruits and vegetables from your plants out there when they're having so much water out there."

By July, many growers start selling sweet corn. This year, the crops aren’t planted yet, and won’t be here in time for Fourth of July weekend, a prime selling time.

Tony Keil of Keil & Sons Farms has been farming for 59 years. He says this is the worst season for planting he’s ever seen.

Keil says "We should have about seven plantings of sweet corn in by now, cabbage lettuce and stuff, we have nothing planted, whatsoever.”

Farmers say the Deadline to plant corn in June 5th.

With the rainy days persisting, they’re put in a tough spot, with not a lot of time to get the planting done.

Brian Jentzen of Jentzen Farms in Monroe Michigan says "You get that three or four days of drying and then there's like one or two days you can get out there and plant."

A few farmers we spoke with said they will file a claim for this season’s losses due to the weather. Their insurance is through the government, so they won’t see that money until next year.

For now, many workers are planning to work on any dry days they can get.