Drought hard on crops

Michigan State Roundup

Published November 1, 2001  | November 2001 issue

The heat wave, coupled with few rainy days, proved profitable for some businesses this summer, but farming wasn't one of them. Ten Upper Peninsula counties are among dozens statewide included in a federal disaster assistance request resulting from the summer drought and sweltering temperatures. Roughly one-third of crops have been lost in 73 counties within the entire state. Hardest-hit crops include corn, soybean, oats, Christmas trees, potatoes, tart cherries, raspberries, pumpkins, squash and tomatoes.

Less than 1 inch of rain fell in the U.P. from mid-June to mid-August. One UP corn farmer said most farms in the area will have zero to 25 percent of their usual yields. Many farmers will have to buy corn to feed their livestock this winter.

If the request for assistance is granted, eligible producers would receive access to low-interest emergency loans from the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Farm Service Agency for up to 80 percent of weather-related losses.

Rosie Cataldo