Farms throughout the Midwest are struggling with near-record amounts of rain this year, putting crops well behind normal for growth.
Congressman Fred Upton visited three farms in southwest Michigan on Tuesday and said during a trip to Illinois this week, he saw several fields outside of Michigan still underwater. The St. Joseph Republican said the problems are becoming widespread.
“Everyone’s competing all at the same time, so when you have a weather-related casualty like we’re having here in the Midwest, it really hurts because there’s not a chance to recover,” Upton said.
Upton made his comments at the Sodus Township farm of Russ Costanza before meeting with more farmers in Paw Paw and Scotts, near Kalamazoo. While weather was intended to be the main topic at the Costanza farm, much of the conversation between growers and lawmakers focused on other economic issues such as migrant labor costs and Mexican growers shipping in bushel boxes of cucumbers that are three-quarters of an inch larger than what American farmers use.
Costanza noted the size of the boxes aren’t regulated, and asked Upton if something can be done about that. He says the size difference is equal to about nine cucumbers per box, which adds up quickly.