Grain News


Extreme Winter Weather Could Pose Challenges For MI Spring Planting and Logistics

Date Posted: April 15, 2014

Lansing—Record low temperatures and large amounts of snowfall this winter could pose challenges for agriculture as spring planting season begins, according to members of the Agricultural Leaders of Michigan (ALM).

ALM hosted a lunchtime forum this week on extreme winter weather and how it will affect Michigan’s agriculture sector.

“Record cold temperatures and ice cover on the Great Lakes mean a slow warm up this spring, which will put our farmers behind when it comes to spring planting,” said Jim Zook, executive director of the Michigan Corn Growers Association.

“However, with today’s modern equipment, planting is more efficient than ever and we can plant ten to twelve percent of our corn crop per day. Thanks to new technology, Michigan corn farmers should be able to adapt to changing conditions and have a good year.”

Snow, ice and cold temperature also interfere with transportation logistics for Michigan’s agriculture sector.

With winter conditions stretching into late April, country roads will have weight restrictions in place well into the planting season.

This can make it difficult for farmers to get the fertilizer and other inputs they need.

“In addition to weight limits for trucks, record snowfall and extreme weather present major challenges for rail transportation,” said Tim Boring, research director for the Michigan Soybean Promotion Committee.

“Railcars faced delays all winter from deep snow and ice on tracks, which puts suppliers behind going into the growing season. All that said, Michigan soybean producers are in a good position to work around these delays and we anticipate a successful planting season.”

For more information, call 517-333-1606.

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