Storms hit sunflowers, peppers, apples

Williamsburg: Dreams of trouble-free growth were blowing in the air on Tuesday night for some local farmers.

Sunflower fields – owned by brothers Eric, Mark and Marty – in Wilmsburg on Tuesday night were severely damaged by strong winds.

“The fields – they look really bad,” said Donna Lac, Eric’s wife.

He came and cut very few heads in half, so nothing. And then some of them just fall asleep. No matter what they do, they may not be able to do it. I do not know. ”

“It is too early to tell what will happen,” says Eric Lac. But I have to assume that we have lost at least 50 percent. It certainly hurts. ”

I have not yet seen 31 sunflower fields between Juba and Elk Rapids, but it has assessed the damage to their domestic distances.

“Here (in the plains) they look very rough on Bethesda Road and Howley Road,” he said.

Exporters sell their sunflower seeds as poultry, retail and wholesale. The average yield of the brothers is 1,400 pounds per hectare. That means that in a good year, 350 hectares will produce 490,000 pounds of sunflower seeds.

An article posted on the farm’s Facebook page on Wednesday morning showed photos of fallen sunflowers and “and such a wonderful crop has been damaged beyond repair.”

Nicki Rothwell, a fruit educator with the University of Michigan State University Extension Northwest Extension Center in Lilana County, said she received reports from farmers who lost both crops and infrastructure in Tuesday’s storm.

Suspected straight-line winds tore up trellis systems for large-scale apple gardens. The worst agricultural damage since Tuesday night’s storms appears to be in the area of ​​Uba and Williamsburg.

“Trees breathed. Apples are on the ground, ”said Routwell. “Some young sweet cherries have reached the top, but they may survive.”

“We’ve lost a lot of trees,” said Bill Orchard, owner of the Great Lakes Pie Company in Williamsburg. “The trees sounded good. We can save some, we cannot save some. We have probably lost 10 percent. ”

McCall bought the farm in 2013. This week’s injury was worse than ever.

He was glad that the cherries had already gathered, and with half the fruit. But the second half of his peach crop suffered some damage.

“Peppers have passed. We don’t have a lot of pepper on the ground, but it’s still enough on the trees. ”

These types of hurricanes and storms seem to be on the rise in recent years, and Horticulture expert Rothwell points to a worsening climate crisis.

“This is climate change. There is no way for farmers to prepare for last night, ”Rothwell said Wednesday.

“Salam Dun used to be fruitful here, but now farmers are in greater danger. And there is no readiness verification list. ”

Wind, rain, and snow can hit most areas, hitting some fields without affecting other crops.

Folk gardens on the Old Mission Peninsula have escaped unprecedented damage this week.

“We had tons of rain, but the winds were not so bad,” said Ray Foch. “I don’t see any trees falling. We had no snow – that’s a good thing. ”

Fo’s garden was damaged in June.

“At the beginning of the year, we had snow. He nailed our cherries to the ground. He made a number, especially on sweet cherries. The skins are heavy, but they are not very flexible, so if something hits them they will actually crack easily.

“The tarpaulins were a little green, and the weather was a little better,” Fuch said at the June weather event.

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