Weekend rains ‘a godsend’

Nearly an inch of rain has made all the difference for Michigan Thumb-area farmers.

Neil French, ADM edible bean grower relations manager, tells Brownfield he can’t remember a growing season that had more than a month of no rain at the beginning.

“We had cool nights, we had no insect pressure, we had no chemical damage,” he shares.  “The crop was amazing to everyone that was involved—how good it looked and how well it was doing under the dry stress conditions that we were in.”

He says farmers planting into moisture during May has helped dry beans survive until now.

“They’re all looking good,” he says.  “It was just a godsend that we’ve got this rain pretty much 1/2 inch to an inch in most of the dry bean area.”

However, French says wheat yields have been impacted and he’s concerned about how corn cobs have been developing.

“I’m concerned about heat units on the corn,” he says.  “We were really depleted. We’re probably 100 or 150 heat units below normal so we’ve got to catch that up. Rainfall, we’re 4 inches below normal.”

French also has been farming for 45 years near Munger.

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