In the past two months, Michigan residents have been enjoying unseasonably warm temperatures and many people been loving weather. Everyone except for one large part of the population, Michigan farmers, is embracing the warmth. This spring, farmers have been busy at work trying to plant crops for the upcoming season. Unfortunately the weather in Michigan has been even busier making the farmers’ job even harder. The recent slew of very warm weather followed by freezing temperatures has made deciding when to plant an issue for farmers. There have been overnight and early morning frosts on some days that can kill or damage plants that the farmers have planted. This means that farmers could lose part or all of their planted crops if the weather continues to be this unpredictable.
There is also another problem with the unseasonable warmth. Michigan farms rely heavily on the help of migrant workers to help hand-pick some crops such as asparagus, one of Michigan’s marquee crops. Unfortunately, the migrant workers are in other parts of the country right now and don’t arrive to Michigan for at least another month. This means that frost is an even bigger problem because without as much help, the crops are exposed to the elements for a longer time before being picked.
Even with the potential risks of frost killing or damaging a crop, many farmers went ahead and planted their crops during the heat wave. This is because some farmers saw the risk of a freeze outweighed by the potential for a longer growing season. A longer growing season would mean more crop production and higher profit from this summer and fall. Some farmers have used precautions to protect against frost such as fans or heaters in order to keep their crops warm enough to resist freezing or frosting over. Despite precautions, no one knows how the weather will react in Michigan and farmers will not sleep well until Summer arrives.