Produce at the Muskegon farmers market - 2012
PLAINFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WZZM) - There hasn't been much rain in west Michigan over the last few weeks, and very little rain is expected in the next week or so.
It's not officially a drought, but farmers say it's an unwelcome dry spell right in the middle of the growing season.
"The seriously dry spring has really caused a lot of trouble for a lot of farmers," ays Dan Newton of Newton Family Farms in Sand Lake.
"You got to have rain for things to grow," adds Sherrie Brooks, co-owner of Brooks Garden and Greenhouse in Coral.
Newton, Brooks and other vendors at the Tuesday night farmer's market on Plainfield Ave. NE in Plainfield Township say the lack of rain is already effecting their harvest.
"Strawberries, blueberries, asparagus -- all those are almost done because of the weather," says Brooks.
"It's going to be rough on green beans, and it's going to stunt zucchini," says Newton. "We probably lost about half of our strawberries due to the fact I couldn't water them."
The farmers say even a stretch of steady rain won't revive some of their thirsty plants.
"It will help, of course," says Brooks. "But when plants get stunted, not only will they produce smaller, some won't produce at all."
This dry spell is just the latest weather issue for west Michigan farmers this growing season. Many already lost most of their fruit crop because early blooms in the unusually warm spring were killed by frost.
"It's part of farming," says Newton. "You do the best you can."