In Your NeighborhoodDeWitt - St. Johns


Clinton County farmers are battling the summer heat, concerned about dry weather

Posted at 10:29 AM, May 31, 2023
and last updated 2023-06-01 14:55:37-04

CLINTON COUNTY, Mich. — On a week full of possible 90-degree days, the summer heat can take its toll on farmland across Clinton County.

"As we're getting hot here, and we're drying out, we're doing a couple different things," said Pat Feldpausch Farms manager PJ Feldpausch. "We're trying to hold off on some post-emergent sprays. Our residuals aren't going to work without any water. They need to be washed in to be activated."

And with the heat plus a lack of rain, PJ Feldpausch says this is where the nervousness sets in.

"Anything above 85 degrees is really where we start to see damage to things. Things starting to get stressed," he said.

With irrigation pivots or self-watering systems costing a pretty penny, many farms have to rely on Mother Earth.

"We don't have any irrigation pivots at this moment, so we only have what comes out of the sky," said PJ.

And if that's not enough, there's another problem that's created in these conditions, weeds.

"They're using precious water that we want for our crops, so we want to make sure that we keep these weeds under control. If you have a cover crop, get that killed when you plant so that you're not using water except for the crop that needs that water," farm owner Pat Feldpausch said.

And Pat says that anyone gardening at home should plant into moisture during the heat.

"Same thing with your garden, plant into moisture, or else the seeds will lie there in dry dirt until it rains," Pat said.

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Russell Shellberg

5:49 PM, Jun 03, 2022

Your Neighborhood Reporter

Russell Shellberg

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