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Michigan Weather Sites: 42-86 Percent of Normal Growing Degree Days
Michigan Ag Connection - 06/25/2019

Another week of adverse conditions for field crops continued to narrow the options for Michigan growers, according to Marlo Johnson, director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were just 2.1 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending Sunday. More farmers opted for preventive planting due to the continual unfavorable planting conditions. The majority of the regions across the State experienced cooler temperatures and high amounts of precipitation. Recorded weather sites have so far reported 42% to 86% of normal growing degree days (Base 50) since April 1. The Statewide average is 71% of normal. Most producers have finished planting corn, and reporters noted that many fields were showing signs of stress due to waterlogged and oversaturated soil. Soybean progress continued to be well below the five year planting average, and conditions were reported to be declining due to excessive soil moisture. Sugarbeet emergence concluded in the Thumb, and reported crop conditions declined during the week as a result of too much precipitation. The wet weather continued to have a poor effect on hay fields. Most were still too wet to bale, and many cut fields have started to rot or develop mold. Pasture conditions were reported to be looking good. Other activities included herbicide and fungicide applications where the weather permitted. Some growers resorted to aerial applications.

Cucumbers, squash, and zucchini harvest was expected to begin soon in the Southwest. Cole crops were being planted and harvested in the Southeast as weather allowed. An increase in disease pressure was reported in peppers in the area. Pumpkin planting was ongoing in the Eastern region. Transplanting of melons was nearly complete. Asparagus harvest continued in the Central region although it has reportedly slowed down significantly. Final plantings of sweet corn were going in as early planted fields were progressing nicely. Potato planting was wrapping up in most major growing areas across the State.

Growing degree day accumulation continued to lag the five year average. Tart cherry growers are anticipating a delayed harvest because of it. In the West Central, cherries were beginning to size. The crop was variable and many orchards had poor fruit set. In the Northwest, the crop was also variable with growers in the southern part of the district having a larger crop than those in the north. Tart cherries in the southwest were beginning to yellow and were undergoing final fruit swell. Harvest was anticipated to begin around July 8 which is later than normal. Apples continued to size well across the State due in no large part to the very wet spring. Because of that wet spring, vegetative growth has been spectacular. Growers were cautioned against bitter pit because of this vegetative growth. Calcium sprays will be needed in susceptible varieties. Growers in the West Central generally had very good success with thinning sprays. Growers in the Northwest applied thinners. Peaches set heavily in the West Central and trees looked healthy due to the lush growth from the wet spring. Blueberries were past bloom in the Southwest. Larger berries were 12 to 15 mm. In the West Central, bloom was extended due to the very cool spring. Elliott just finished blooming there. Growers sprayed to guard against Cherry fruitworm and cranberry fruitworm, as well as, blueberry stem gall wasp.

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