Hot, dry weather a struggle for farmers

Bretching Farms
Marty Bretchting checks on a sprinkler at his farm in Comstock Park. (June 13, 2017)


ALPINE TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The hot, dry weather of late couldn’t have come at a worse time for West Michigan farmers working to get seedlings off the ground.

Marty Brechting, the owner of Brechting Farms near Comstock Park, said he’s been fighting against the weather pattern almost around the clock.

Bretching Farms
A sprinkler waters crops at Brechting Farms near Comstock Park. (June 13, 2017)

“I was going to talk to the weatherman and see if we can’t get them to squeeze those clouds a little bit,” Brechting said with a laugh.

He uses a sprinkler system that sprays some 340 gallons of water each minute. He says it costs about $11 per hour to run.

Bretching Farms
A sprinkler waters crops at Brechting Farms near Comstock Park. (June 13, 2017)

The cost beats the alternative.

“At least with the irrigation I’ll have a crop,” Brechting said. “Without it, it would all be a loss.”

The hot weather has been accompanied by high winds, which only adds to the struggle. The wind makes irrigation difficult because the water gets blown away from some of the plants that need it.

Bretching Farms
Dried out crops at Brechting Farms near Comstock Park. (June 13, 2017)

The irrigation system, Brechting said, is no substitution for actual rain.

“You can tell,” Brechting said. “Right after (rain), everything just perks right up.”

>>Inside woodtv.com: Much-needed rain in forecast

Each year brings a new struggle for farmers who work tirelessly and at the mercy of nature.

Brechting said he wouldn’t have it any other way.

“My customers come to me and they hug me when they see me and they hug me when they leave and they thank me for doing what I’m doing. I even had a customer come out one day and she asked God to bless my field. She knelt down on the field and asked God to bless my field because she’s never seen a place like this,” Brechting said. “That’s better than money.”

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