Farmers prefer dry weather to wet weather, but welcome rain in d - WNEM TV 5

Farmers prefer dry weather to wet weather, but welcome rain in drought

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SAGINAW COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The dry weather isn't doing farmers any favors and their produce is feeling the effects of the drought.

Mid-Michigan is officially in a drought, with Shiawassee and Genesee counties feeling it the most.

The farmers at the Hemlock Farmer's Market don't need measurements to know it's been a dry summer. They can see it in their crops.

"The season is way too dry. It's causing a lot of our fruit to be a small size this year," said Lynne Jacques, farmer.

She runs Jacques Farm in Hemlock. She said the lack of rain has really only hurt the size of crops and when customers are buying it's not the size they're looking for.

"It's flavor and the fact that it's fresh picked, local produce," Jacques said.

Karen Earley, of Earley Farms, said a long, hot and dry summer like this one isn't really a bad thing because crops like tomatoes flourish in drought like weather.

"I would rather have hot, dry weather than wet, rainy weather. Because wet, rainy weather brings in the mildew and tomato blights. It's harder on your crops. With the hot, dry weather they might not get as big, but you don't have to worry about all the mold and fung that come along with the wet, damp weather," Earley said.

Lee Shepherd has been farming all his life and said he is stunned at how well crops are doing through the drought.

"It's been a long time. I don't know if I've ever seen it quite this dry," he said.

Shepherd said he welcomes a few inches of rain, but is careful what he asks for because dry heat isn't a farmer's worse nightmare.

"It's an old saying that a dry year will scare you to death, but a wet year will kill you," he said.

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