Say a prayer for our farmers

It’s not easy being a farmer these days, especially in Northeast Michigan.

All of us are all too familiar with how bovine tuberculosis has made having a dairy herd in this region a gamble at best. We have read too many stories of lives ruined and herds destroyed after a cow tests positive for the disease.

Crop farmers haven’t had it much better this year.

Wet weather severely limited seeds getting into the ground this spring and pushed crop production way later than normal. While a spell of weather in recent weeks has helped crop growth, there still is a significant lag in where crops should be at this point.

External factors beyond a farmer’s control also can greatly impact his crops, such as President Donald Trump’s announcement last week to levy new tariffs against Chinese products. While, this week, some of those tariffs have been delayed until December, the Chinese government’s initial reaction to curb purchases of American agricultural products adversely impacted prices and sent markets on a wild roller coastal ride.

This week, a new U.S. Department of Agriculture report on crop estimates sent prices again on another wild ride.

And, if all that isn’t enough to deal with, crop farmers now have one eye to the ground and another to the sky, worrying about when the first frost will occur this fall and how that will impact crops planted much later than normal.

All these extra worries this year are enough to drive anyone crazy.

If you know a farmer, thank him or her for the work that they do. It is tireless and thankless, most days.

And say a prayer for a bountiful harvest this year.

Trust us, they sure would appreciate that prayer, this year more than ever.