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History of April freeze dates not stopping farmers

An ag consultant in Michigan says Wednesday in his region was the first 80-degree day of the year and earliest warmup since 2012.

“Our start this spring has been terrific, the month of March was more like May, farmers have been out spraying fertilizer, tilling fields, and starting to plant corn and soybeans, our wheat is greening up really nicely.”

Ned Birkey of Spartan Ag Consulting in Monroe County tells Brownfield next week’s return of normal conditions and rain could help alleviate some dryness concerns especially as longer-term outlooks call for a warmer and drier than normal summer.

“We have not had a lot of snow this winter, we’ve not had a lot of rain, Lake Erie is still high like the other great lakes but it’s down from the record highs, so our subsoil moisture is still dry,” he explains.

Birkey says April weather is always fickle and average spring frost dates later in the month still leave fields at risk of frost, freeze or even winter conditions.

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