Gov. Rick Snyder has requested federal disaster assistance for farmers across Michigan who are facing substantial crop losses because of extreme weather conditions.
A rare extended period of summerlike temperatures in March caused trees to blossom early, only to be hit by April frosts and freezes. Farmers and extension agents say the 1-2 punch has all but wiped out the tart cherry crop, while other orchard fruits such as sweet cherries, apples, pears and peaches have suffered extensive damage.
The governor's request, announced on Friday, is being sent to U.S. Agriculture Department Secretary Tom Vilsack.
It also cites crop damage due to blizzards, hail, tornadoes, flooding, excessive rain and lightning that occurred between Jan. 1 and May 11.
The governor says the crop losses currently are estimated at $223.5 million.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.
WSJV-TV FOX 28
All content ©Copyright 2000 - 2013 WorldNow and WSJV. All Rights Reserved.
Persons with disabilities who need assistance with issues relating to the content of this station's public inspection file should contact Administrative Assistant Heather Stewart at (574) 343-5310. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, at 888-835-5322 (TTY) or at firstname.lastname@example.org.