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Some Michigan Fields Show Signs of Farmers' Desperation to Plant
Michigan Ag Connection - 06/11/2019

There were 3.5 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending Sunday, according to Marlo Johnson, director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Most regions across the State experienced warmer temperatures and less precipitation compared to previous weeks, but soil moisture surpluses are still high. Reporters in both the Upper and Lower Peninsulas noted that the relatively warm and dry weather allowed for more planting progress and field work to occur.

The planting of corn and soybeans continued to be well below the five year planting average, but producers were able to make progress in many areas. However, some re-planting was done due to poor emergence or drown-outs. Desperation of some farmers was evident by rutted fields observed by some.

Sugarbeets continued to emerge in the Thumb, and crop conditions were reported to be good overall.

Some producers were able to start first cuts of alfalfa, but many fields were still too wet to do much baling.

The warmer temperatures resulted in some winter wheat fields starting to head, however spotters noticed some were showing signs of disease and weather damage. Most of this was the result of delayed or missed disease control applications.

Pasture conditions declined a bit, but were reported to be mostly good to excellent, especially on well drained soils. Other activities included the spreading of manure and some herbicide applications

Asparagus harvest was ongoing in the West Central Region as weather allowed.

Carrot stands were looking good as the crop continued to show strong development.

Early planted potatoes in the Southwest were progressing nicely.

Pumpkins were being seeded in the East as sweet corn planting was reportedly delayed for some growers in the area.

Garlic in the Southeast was showing good growth as plants were expected to begin producing scapes soon.

Apples remained in bloom in the Northwest. In the Southeast, apples ranged from 14 to 22 mm. Growth was rapid. On the whole, fruit set appeared to be good. Thinners were applied with good success. Apples in the Southwest were growing rapidly with most fruit in the 14 to 16 mm range. June drop began. Thinners were applied.

Tart cherries in the Northwest were in late petal fall and bees were removed from blocks. In the Southwest, pits hardened and June drop was completed.

Peaches in the Southeast were in late shuck split; fruit were 10 to 12 mm. Peach leaf curl was common. In the Southwest, peaches were 14 mm. Growers were applying larval control sprays.

Blueberry fields in the West central were in varying stages of development depending on variety; Weymouth was in the green fruit stage while mid-season varieties like Duke and Bluecrop were in petal fall. Late season varieties like Elliot and Liberty were still in bloom. Blueberries in the Southwest were past full bloom. Berries were 8 to 10 mm.

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