Unseasonably warm weather could have negative impact on crops - WNEM TV 5

Unseasonably warm weather could have negative impact on crops

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(Source: WNEM) (Source: WNEM)
BAY COUNTY, MI (WNEM) -

The January thaw wore out its welcome from Mid-Michigan farmers like Mike Vanooteghem.

Puddles of water sit in his fields where snow should be, endangering his winter wheat crop.

"A lot of times what that will do is suffocate the plants ability to go through its dormancy period. Hopefully we haven't had too much yet, but if it continues there is some potential there as well," Vanooteghem said.

Agriculture experts said it's too early to tell what effect the warm stretch of weather will have on crops this growing season.

"It's a wait and see type thing. I don't think we will know the answer to what warm conditions do to us, nor do we know what really conditions do until the spring comes and we see what emerges and what continues to grow," said Steven Poindexter, agriculture researcher at Michigan State University.

Poindexter said while mid-winter warm ups are common, the length of this one is unique. He was quick to point out there is still plenty of time for Mother Nature to get her act together and help those who live off the land.

"Some coldness, getting back to our normal temperatures with a blanket of snow will be the ideal situation and would work well," Poindexter said.

That's what Vanooteghem would like to see, sooner rather than later.

"Some periods of drying time. Definitely some snowfall would help to insulate that crop, but it definitely would help if we had uniformity in our weather. The peaks and valleys doesn't help anybody," he said.

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