Local farmers battling rain, delaying crops

News

In the 10 years of Hillcrest Farms’ existence, Michigan’s weather has been a challenge for Mark Kastner and his crops.

The frequent and back-to-back rain makes the soil too wet to plant some of his crops and messes with his harvest schedule. He does have a leg up on his competition thanks to his ability to plant indoors.

“Most of our planting is done from transplants, so we can hold it indoors for a while until conditions are favorable,” Kastner says. “If I had to direct seed like most of the guys, you know, that seed would probably rot before it germinates. And that’s a real problem right now.”

The amount of rain cuts down on the already short window of time farmers need to get things in the ground. Plants that need drier soil, like the snap peas Kastner grows, may have to wait until the fall before they can be planted. There’s nothing farmers can do to change the weather, but Kastner says farmers will do what they can to adapt just like they have for years.

“It’s called agriculture, and it’s what we do.”

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