What a terrible year this has been for area crops.
First, strawberries arrived early and were off from their normal bountiful harvests. The weird end of winter/spring weather that ruined the cherry and apple trees across state was at least partially to blame with our strawberries as well.
Now, with the summer's drought, it looks as if the region's corn and soybean crops are in jeopardy as well.
In a release from the U.S. Department of Agriculture this week, officials said 56 percent of the state's corn was in "poor, or very poor" condition, with the crops in southern Michigan probably a near total loss this year. Regarding soybeans, officials labeled 50 percent in "poor, or very poor" shape.
At the same time USDA officials declared natural disaster areas in 1,300 counties in 29 states as a result of the drought.
AccuWeather.com meteorologists this week predicted things only will get worse through mid-August because of the drought conditions.
"The combination of too much heat and too little rain moving forward into the middle of August will prove to be too much for corn to take," said Jim Andrews, senior meteorologist. "Essentially, most of these areas are beyond hope for a significant crop this year."
Putting things in perspective, according to the USDA Alpena County harvested 5,900 acres of soybeans in 2010, Montmorency 3,100, Presque Isle 5,000 and Alcona, less than 1,600. As for corn production, Alpena County harvested 4,200 acres, Montmorency 1,400, Presque Isle 4,100 and Alcona, no significant production.
Farmers in our region already had it tough, they didn't need Mother Nature to pile it on even more.