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Michigan corn planting only 60 percent complete

Friday, May 22, 2009

Michigan corn growers were slowed in planting due to a wet spring.
Michigan corn growers were slowed in planting due to a wet spring.

Spring planting is kicking into high gear in Michigan, where soggy weather has delayed many farmers from getting their seasonal crops into the ground.

Although rural residents should be used to seeing farm equipment on the road this time of year, state farm bureau officials are warning motorists and farmers to be cautious due to the high volume of traffic on this busy holiday weekend.

Paul Wylie, Michigan State University Extension director for Allegan County, estimated that about 40 percent of the county's 100,000 acres of corn still needed to be planted, according to the Kalamazoo Gazette.

That means slow moving tractors and other equipment will be on the roads at all times of the day, Wylie said.

The Michigan Farm Bureau reminds drivers that farmers can legally go as slow as needed for safety.

Motorists often don't realize how much slower farm machinery travels than other vehicles. A driver going 55 miles per hour that comes up on a tractor going 15 mph will close quickly.

If the motorist tops a hill at 55 mph with the tractor just 400 feet ahead traveling only 15 mph, a closing speed of 40 mph means the fast-moving driver will have only seven seconds to react.

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