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Michigan Farmers Keeping an Eye Out for Grasshoppers
Michigan Ag Connection - 07/10/2018

There were 6.5 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. Hot, dry conditions prevailed throughout the State, adding stress and declining conditions to crops.

The winter wheat harvest got to an early start as a result of the dry weather and heat. Some of the wheat showed signs of head scab, but for the most part the harvest was reported to be going smoothly.

Spotters noticed corn starting to roll in some fields, and other spotters reported that they saw some early tasseling as a result of the prevailing heatwave and lack of precipitation.

Soybeans continued to mature and bloom, but they too showed signs of stress. Dry conditions had an effect on hay progress as well. In areas where some spotty rain showers occurred it continued to grow, but in dry areas growth was slow. Farmers also began to keep an eye out for grasshopper damage, but there weren't any reports of it yet. Other activities included weed spraying and fertilizer applications.

Hot, dry weather last week pushed fruit development. Much of the State remained in need of moisture. Apricot harvest continued in early varieties. Peach and nectarine hand thinning wrapped up. Harvest of early season varieties was expected to start soon. Redhaven harvest was projected to begin about August 1 in the southwest. Sweet cherry harvest of mid-season varieties began in southern Michigan and was expected to begin in the northwest soon. Tart cherry harvest began, in earnest, late in the week in the south and was expected to begin in the northwest in a few weeks. Hot weather was causing fruit sizing issues in the northwest. Growers were encouraged to continue cover sprays for Spotted Wing Drosophila. Apple hand thinning was nearly complete. Blueberry harvest of early season varieties was well underway in the southwest. Fruit was ripening quickly with the hot weather. Strawberry fields were being renovated.

There have been no potato late blight reports in Michigan this season. As a result of recent high temperatures, late blight risk was reportedly reduced or at moderate levels in most areas. Cucumber, zucchini, and cauliflower harvest continued in the East.

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