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Wacky weather could cause problems for farmers

Posted at 1:17 PM, Apr 21, 2022

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. — Snow and temperatures in the 30s, dipping down into the 20s at night, isn't what many like to see in the middle of April.

That goes especially for farmers like Todd Quick out of Peach Ridge Farms in Grand Rapids. He's been trying to prepare for the spring and summer seasons.

"We're going to put in a few strawberries; we're going to put in a brand-new set of raspberries that are a brand new one that just came out," said Todd Quick.

But, these up-and-down temperatures, sunshine one day and snow the next, could cause some big problems for farmers.

"I was getting ready to start putting in onions, which is ... which will be the first thing I do," said Quick, "and then I'm going to start potatoes, but it's still too far off because the ground is still too cold."

This weekend, temperatures are expected to hit 70 degrees. Quick says that's good news as long as the warmth stays consistent. If it gets too cold after the upcoming heat wave and temperatures go down into the 20s again, he says that could be a big problem. The warm-up will likely cause crops to bloom, but if more cold weather is in store, there's nothing to protect the buds, and they could freeze.

Although the weather is causing a slight delay with planting, Quick is getting as much done as he can in his greenhouse. It's a temporary solution that's also a costly one.

"It costs more to get the greenhouse going and the gas and everything, because you're burning more gas," explained Quick, "and it takes more time; everything takes more time, because everything is all mud constantly."

He says the best thing for plants is the natural sunlight because it helps them grow better and faster. But, with the wacky weather, there will be a bit of a delay this season.

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