Hail Hits Northern Michigan

Over this past weekend, damaging hail hit Northern Michigan, leaving damaging marks anywhere from quarter-sized to 3 inches in diameter.

“It was probably one of our more prolific hail events that we’ve had in a long time,” Jeff Lutz, meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Gaylord, MI, told MLive.com. “We issued a fair amount of warnings yesterday, (we haven’t) issued a whole lot since 2007.”

The Grand Traverse area was the hardest hit. Leelanau County experienced two inches of rain, and the storm brought winds near 60 miles per hour, Lutz said.

Growers concerned about the potential for hail damage need to act quickly, says Mark Longstroth, Extension educator from Michigan State University.

Longstroth suggests growers spray broad-spectrum systemic fungicides closely after a storm.

Injured tissue on plants and trees is susceptible to pathogens. Injured fruit is also susceptible to pests.

Nikki Rothwell, Emily Pochubay, and Karen Powers of Michigan State University Extension recommend growers assess damaged fruit to make proper decisions for disease and pest management.

Also of concern to growers should be the current warm temperatures, which could increase the chances of fire blight or trauma blight. According to Accuweather.com, temperatures will subside for a few days, when rain is in the forecast, before temperatures return to the mid to upper 80s.

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