Recent storms come at the perfect time for Michiana farmers

Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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SOUTH BEND, Ind. (WNDU) - While rain storms might not be the best weather if you’re planning some outdoor fun, farmers couldn’t be more excited about it.

Recent rainmakers in Michiana are also big money makers for farmers.

Not only did these storms come just in time to ensure a good yield, but they also kept farmers from having to pay to make it rain on their own.

Irrigation is irritation

Brent Burkus says Martin Blad Farms was just one day away from having to turn on their irrigation system before a big storm washed away their worries.

“Had it not rained the Friday before 4th of July weekend, you would have seen all these systems running. Natural rain is what we want. It’s free, its the right temperature--think about it, when it comes out of the sky, it’s the perfect temperature,” said Martin Blad Farms Owner/OperatorBrent Burkus.

When Burkus has to turn his irrigation system on, he says he also has to pull out his wallet for the steep water bill.

“One rotation of this system out here takes about $1,500,” he said.

Burkus also says this perfectly timed rain is coming in perfect amounts for the corn and soybean seasons.

“The corn yield will typically get dialed-in in July. So if you have plenty of precipitation in July you should have a good corn yield. Then in August, we like to get a little more rain on the beans,” Burkus said.

Coming out of a drought, it’s easy to tell why Burkus compares the recent farming conditions to Nirvana.

That means they’re getting roughly one inch of rain a week, with highs in the mid-80s and lows at night in the 60s.

“There is nothing under stress out here right now,” he said.

Burkus says the lack of rain in Michiana was starting to show before these recent storms rolled through.

“The last few days with this rain, the crops were starting to stress a little bit. If you drive by and you see a corn field where the leaves are curled and it has kind of a blue hue to it, that means that plant is under stress,” he said.

The next stage for the corn is pollenation, which Burkus says is more successful if the plants are less stressed.

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