Erratic Weather Threatens Farms

A powerful cold front, following on the heels of warm winter weather, may endanger crops in Michigan.
Over the past several weeks, farmers across the country have enjoyed remarkably warm late-winter weather. Given the extreme weather that farmers were enduring at the same time last year, a warm, wet spring is a welcome change of pace from floods and tornadoes.
However, the warm weather has come with a price. Across the country, the warm weather has caused plants to sprout earlier than usual. Many farmers find themselves forced to alter their typical planting schedule as a result. In addition, the early blossoming is threatening some crops. According to one Michigan farmer, “I’ve never in my lifetime seen weather this warm this early. All the cherry trees and things like that are blossoming now, which they shouldn’t be and aren’t getting pollinated.”
The major problem facing Michigan farmers is the mercurial nature of recent weather. While early thaws have led to earlier sprouting, an upcoming cold freeze could kill the recently blossoming crops. According to the National Weather Service, Michigan and much of the Midwest could face several days of freezing weather next week, which could ruin spring fruits and vegetables that have sprouted early.
Some farmers are worried that more than half of their crops could be at risk next week.
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Written by: Justin Ellison / Farm Plus Staff Writer