© 2021 MICHIGAN RADIO
91.7 Ann Arbor/Detroit 104.1 Grand Rapids 91.3 Port Huron 89.7 Lansing 91.1 Flint
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
Available On Air Stations

Some of the world’s best hay comes from the UP, but rain threatens this year’s harvest

hay-wet_0.jpg
Courtesy of Bruce Berkompas
/

It’s been a pretty rotten year for the farmers who grow timothy hay, a Michigan crop that's not very familiar to most.

Timothy hay is an important feed for horses, cattle and small animals, like pet bunnies and guinea pigs, among others.

Some of the best timothy hay comes from the eastern Upper Peninsula, but farmers there are enduring a season that will go into the record books for all the wrong reasons.

Bruce Berkompas is president of the Chippewa County Farm Bureau. His family has grown timothy hay in Rudyard for generations.

“There’s a saying out there that says you know, 'This is one of them years that I’d have been better off taking money and go to the casino,'” Berkompas said, “'because I maybe would have had more fun and not near as much frustration.'”

He said farmers who rely on hay sales will be hurting this year.

Listen above to learn which weather conditions have made that the case, and what ground that’s “like a clay pot” has to do with it.

(Subscribe to the Stateside podcast on iTunes, Google Play, or with this RSS link)