Season mixed bag for local farmers

ESCANABA — Many variables can impact crops — including weather, nutrients in the soil, and animal interference. This year, farmers locally had a mixed growing season, with some crops doing much better than others.

According to Michigan State University Extension Field Crops Educator Monica Jean, there was a fairly good growing season in Delta and Menominee counties. Harvesting of potato plants hasn’t started yet, but farmers have killed the vines. Corn silage harvest will begin soon and the third cutting of alfalfa is close to being harvested.

“The harvest season is in full swing and I think overall farmers are happy about the growing season,” said Jean.

Summer crops varied significantly this year. Pellegrini Farm didn’t have strawberries to pick this summer due to, “major winter injury,” said Dave Pellegrini, but cabbage, sugar beets, corn, soybeans and hay turned out excellent.

“The annual crops on a whole look very good,” said Pellegrini.

The weather seemed to be a mixed bag for the Guindon Farms. The hay crop had a rough start — something seen by many local farmers — but the second crop came back well.

“We didn’t get rain early, which hurt our first crop of hay and brought us up short on hay,” said Barb Guindon. “Then it rained and pastures came and the oats grew well. We had hail three weeks before the oats were ripe and lost about one-third or more of the oat crop and the deer took a share as well,” noted Guindon.

The Guindon Farm ended up with just enough seed to reseed next spring.

“It is the way of farming. The good with the bad, and there is always next year to do better,” said Guindon.

Hall Farms had a banner year. The crops grew to maturity one to two weeks ahead of most years.

“At this time it looks like harvest yields here should be quite good,” said Teressa Hall, “Our sweet corn harvest is almost over… Pumpkin sales will start soon and the crop looks great. Most of them have turned orange and they look plentiful.”

Hall was not happy about the weather in their area last year.

“Last year weather conditions were extremely wet and on the cool side. It’s a real breath of fresh air to get such favorable growing conditions this year,” she said.

The harvesting of sunflowers and field corn at Hall Farms will start in mid October.

“The yield should be well above average,” Hall said.