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Farmers get state and federal money to help with wet weather

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Record rainfall this year has hit northern Michigan crops hard, and now farmers Up North are getting some help from the federal and state governments.

Last week, the U.S. Department of Agriculture declared Antrim, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska, Leelanau, and Otsego counties as ‘disaster areas.’ Farmers affected by the weather in those counties are now eligible for federal emergency relief loans.

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill on Monday that allocates $15 million for Michigan farmers whose crops have been affected by the weather.

Teresa Sisung with the Michigan Farm Bureau says damaged crops can set farmers back years.

“There’s a lot of crops that did not get planted … Some of what did get planted was planted in pretty marginal conditions, so they were planting into mud and instead of nice, dry soil,” Sisung said.

Water levels on the Great Lakes reached a record high in June, according to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and 2019 was the wettest year ever according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

The USDA is accepting applications for emergency relief through February 2020.

Max came to IPR in 2017 as an environmental intern. In 2018, he returned to the station as a reporter and quickly took on leadership roles as Interim News Director and eventually Assignment Editor. Before joining IPR, Max worked as a news director and reporter at Michigan State University's student radio station WDBM. In 2018, he reported on a Title IX dispute with MSU in his story "Prompt, Thorough and Impartial." His work has also been heard on Michigan Radio, WDBM and WKAR in East Lansing and NPR.