IMAGE: Corn field

“Are we going to make ends meet, are we not going to make ends meet?”

John Burk lives and breathes for his family farm, “Burk Farms” in Bay City.

Its been in his family for more than a century and hopes it continues on for generations to come.

John worries the unpredictable Michigan weather and tariffs could make that difficult.

“Sometimes you feel like, you know, maybe we should just give up and walk away,” John said. “If we all do that, then what?”

There’s no good answer to that question because Michigan needs farmers and all they provide.

Mother Nature has made things hard this year, especially for corn and soybeans.

The heavy rainfall in May put many farmers behind about a month or so. Now they’re waiting on a late blooming crop and hoping an early frost doesn’t destroy it.

“We hope all these crops get ripe so there is something to even harvest,” he said.

To add to the stress, John said they’re working hard to sell the field corn and soybeans from last year’s harvest.

However, they can’t seem to love their products because of the tariffs.

Just last weekend, China, one of the largest buyers of U.S. agricultural products, suspended all purchases after President Donald Trump announced a 10 percent tariff on Chinese imports.

All of this is forcing farmers to sell and lower than average prices.

“It’s getting to the point where it’s going to be hard to make ends meet here shortly, if it’s not already on some farms,” John said.

While John said they're at the mercy of tariffs, there are some things you can do to help local farms

“Always buy local as much as you can, choose ethanol in your vehicles,” he said. “You can always voice your concerns to your state senators, your reps and say, ‘hey, we need this trade war over.’”

Copyright 2019 WNEM (Meredith Corporation). All rights reserved.

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