now in its one-hundred-and-eightieth year
The news from Berrien County MI is that rain is needed, a sentiment being expressed, with various degrees of urgency, in many parts of the country, and on countless farms throughout the Midwest.
We were at Dinges farm stand yesterday, where the night before an inch of rain had fallen, a microburst that didn’t help farmers even a few miles down the road.
Spots of rain help ease the urgency here and there, but in most quarters there are fears: about pumpkin vines not growing, bees not coming out of the hive, corn not tasseling. The fields look lush in some places, but most crops have been stopped in their tracks by weather that’s been too stubbornly hot and dry.
Michigan farmers are already hurting from having lost all of their stone-fruit—all their wonderful cherries and peaches and plums—from a combination of freakishly early spring weather and a freakishly late frost. Every day and night now, we scan the weather maps looking for the angry spots that might bring us some rain.
We came off the weekend with some zinnias and a feeling that the summer might be a tough one for Midwestern agriculture.