A tractor for wheat and corn crops is a must for farmers.
If the fields have been plowed and the seedlings are ready to be harvested, it will cost around $4,000 to buy the new equipment.
But for farmers in Michigan, the cost is so high they’re looking at buying a new tractor.
In the past two years, farmers in the Michigan and Illinois counties of Macomb, Fulton and Wayne have spent $500,000 on tractor-like equipment to help them make their corn and soybeans grow faster.
“We want to see a bigger yield on the corn and we want to have a bigger return on our investment in the equipment,” said John O’Donnell, a farmer in the county, who added he’s worried about the cost.
“It’s just a huge burden that we’re putting on our family.
And we want it to be as cheap as possible for us to pay for it.”
Farmers like O’Brien worry about the financial impact of having to pay to have the equipment installed, especially if the crop isn’t ready for harvest.
But the county is taking steps to cut the cost of tractor maintenance and repair, including adding a $5,000 loan to help cover the cost for replacement equipment.
“If you can’t do it yourself, at least we can make it easier for you to do it,” O’Connor said.
“We can’t make it easy for you.
We can’t provide you with the equipment that you want to buy.
We have to make it a little bit more expensive for you.”
O’Donnell said the county had to raise more money for repairs and upgrades than it would otherwise have because of the drought, and it’s making sure the new tractor is fully up to date.
The county recently signed a $2 million loan with the federal government, which is being used to purchase and install the new hardware.
“The county is paying the cost through the federal loan program,” said Mark Ritchie, director of the Michigan Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service, which oversees the loan program.
“And that loan will be used for all kinds of things.
We are taking the extra step of getting this new tractor on the road.
It will be ready for use by the end of the year.”
Michigan has been dealing with severe droughts and drought-related crop failures in recent years, and the state is seeing a spike in the number of farms in the drought-affected area.
The number of drought-reliant farmers in Monroe County increased from 12 in 2013 to 23 in 2016, and total farm operations in the state have more than tripled since the Great Lakes State’s agricultural recovery began in the early 2000s.
In a statement, Gov.
Brian Calley said the state would work with the county to get the new crop ready for harvesting.
“Michigan has seen an increase in the availability of farm equipment due to drought-stricken conditions,” Calley wrote.
“Michigan will continue to work with our farmers to secure the new harvest, which we believe will provide a significant boost to the economy and support our agriculture workforce.
The Department of Farm Service will work with local and state partners to make sure the equipment is properly installed and maintained and that they are in working order.”
Follow the Associated Press’ David McCrary on Twitter: @DavidMcCraryAP