ONONDAGA, Mich. (AP) — U.S. Agriculture Department Undersecretary Michael Scuse has come to Michigan to examine the state's summer-drought related crop losses.
Scuse's tour Tuesday included a visit to the central Michigan farm of Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri-Business Association.
After the stop at the farm in Onondaga (on-un-DAH'-guh), Byrum said the losses are "unprecedented and show how important it is that farmers have a strong safety net."
Scuse says it's important to pass the Farm Bill now before Congress. It has disaster relief programs that otherwise will expire Sept. 30.
The drought follows an earlier blow to Michigan's tree fruit industry.
Growers sustained devastating losses when a hard freeze followed an early thaw, wiping out much of the year's tart cherry and apple crop.