Wild weather across growing area leads to mixed year for Michigan's corn farmers

On this week's Ag Report on Greening of the Great Lakes, Jim Zook, executive director of the Michigan Corn Growers Association, says harvest is wrapping up in Michigan after a turbulent year for many growers.

"The first challenge has been the weather throughout this year's growing season, as Michigan started off with a very wet early season and then entered a very dry period that persisted for much of the summer," says Zook. "Second, when it came time to harvest corn, rainfall put the harvest well behind. That 'roller coaster' effect had a big impact on the year."

As of the end of November, 88 percent of corn had been harvested. That's just below the average and below last year's harvest, which was 95 percent complete by that point.

"We aren't seeing the excellent crop quality experienced the past two years," says Zook. "About 10 percent of corn will be poor quality this year, although the vast majority is coming off the field in fair to good condition. Yields will also see a small drop this year."

Zook says record years seen in 2014 and 2015 have set the bar high for corn farmers. Even with a decreased yield, 2016 will still see plenty of corn grown in the state.

You can hear this week's report here.​

The Ag Report on Greening of the Great Lakes is brought to you by the Agricultural Leaders of Michigan. It airs weekly on News/Talk 760 WJR and features voices from Michigan's growing agriculture sector.