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Small Grain Harvests Continue in Hot, Dry Michigan
Michigan Ag Connection - 08/13/2019

There were 6.1 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. Other than a few isolated thunderstorms located in the Lower Peninsula, most regions across the State continued to receive warm temperatures with little to no precipitation.

Earlier planted corn fields continued to silk and dough. Spotters noted that the combination of heat and lack of rain has a resulted in leaf rolling and poor root structure in certain fields.

Soybeans progress continued to be well behind the five-year average, and more fields were reported to be showing signs of heat stress. Most farmers were able to finish up their winter wheat harvest; yields were variable.

The combination of heat and dry weather also allowed more farmers to continue harvesting other small grain crops, such as barley and oats.

Pasture and range conditions were in decline due to the dry weather, and some producers have had to start supplemental feeding for their livestock. Other activities included seeding cover crops and applying nitrogen to idle fields.

Squash, melon, and cole crop harvest continued in the Eastern region. Disease pressure was reportedly increasing in Southwestern tomatoes and peppers. Sweet corn harvest was ongoing in the Southeast. Carrots in the Northwestern region were making strong progress and sizing nicely. Potatoes were being harvested in most major growing areas. Late blight (Phytophthora infestans) had not been detected in Michigan to date. Weather had been favorable for disease development and growers were advised to be vigilant in scouting efforts as the season progresses.

Even with light showers early last week, soils remained dry. Irrigation equipment was running where available. Where unavailable, growers hoped for rain. Peach harvest continued. Redhaven varieties were harvested in the Southwest. Early apple variety harvest continued in the Southwest. Pristine harvest began there. Apple harvest across the State was expected to be about a week to 10 days later than normal. Blueberry harvest continued. Bluecrop harvest finished up in the Southwest. Jersey harvest continued there.

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