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'We expect a 25-30% loss in yield,' Mid-Michigan farm deals with summer drought

Posted at 6:04 PM, Jun 21, 2023

FOWLER, Mich. — The summer heat hasn't stopped, and the rain hasn't started. Through it all, Pat Feldpausch and his workers at Pat Feldpausch Farms in Fowler are making sure their crops survive the season.

"In the last three weeks, we've received about a tenth of an inch of rain here at our farm," said Feldpausch. "Three weeks ago I said 'yeah, it's dry.' And now, we're getting very critical."

Feldpausch says some of the seeds they've planted haven't come up.

"The seed is laying in dry dirt," said Feldpausch.

And the longer it lays there, the worse the plant gets and the more plans change.

"We're getting the combines ready for wheat harvest, it's going to start early because the crop is not maturing, it's actually dying because its so dry," said Feldpausch.

Feldpausch predicts a 25-30% loss in yield on wheat this season due to the hot temperatures. But even with a loss like that, he says the only thing you can do is be prepared.

"We just make sure that we've got weeds under control, and we have proper fertility there so that when it does rain, we're ready to go," said Feldpausch.

He says that they also have looked into irrigation systems to water their own crops, but the cost for the system is priced very high.

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