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Early blast of winter puts Michigan farmers’ crops in limbo

WASHTENAW COUNTY, Mich. – There is an agonizing waiting game playing out between mother nature and farmers in southeast Michigan.

Normally this time of the year they’d be out harvesting the last of their crops, but that’s a no-go when they’re covered in snow.

“Well, this year we farmed about 2,400 acres and 650 acres we were unable to even get planted. So they just sat idle for the year,” Jeff Briggs with Jeff Briggs Farms said.

Briggs said mother nature is to blame. He said it’s been too wet in the spring and summer.

“It’s been extremely wet, so in order to get out onto our fields it can’t be muddy, you know, so. It rains and then the next day it’s sunshine and evyerone thinks the farmers can go out and do their thing, but it’s still wet underneath. Everything was planted late, we were delayed because of the rain that we had. We had records rains, so that delayed the maturity of the crops. So we weren’t able to get started as early as we normally would. Normally we would start late September, early October perhaps. This year we started end of October,” Briggs said. “But with the snow on there, we could run for maybe 20 minutes and then the common would be completely plugged up. And right now we can’t get out here, like, for instance, you have all of this stuff on here."

Briggs said he’s not able to harvest his crops and no crops means no money.

“It’s hard to put an exact dollar figure on it. Our income is gong to be way down from the weather, that tariffs, and the pricing, so an exact dollar I can’t give you that, Briggs said.

He did estimate the loss was in the hundreds of thousands.


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