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Michigan Peach and Blueberry Harvests Underway
Michigan Ag Connection - 08/20/2019

There were 5.8 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. Counties in the West Central region reported receiving two significant rain events during a very critical time period, but the lack of rain in the Upper Peninsula and much of the rest of the State was creating very dry conditions in crop fields and pastures. In the East, there were reports of prevent plant fields with cover crops emerging unevenly. Growers sprayed for insects in dry beans and alfalfa and were monitoring disease pressure in sugarbeets. Soybeans were reported to be thin and short, although insect pressure has been light. Irrigated corn fields were showing promise while non-irrigated fields were showing signs of stress due to disease pressure and lack of moisture. In areas which saw rain this week, corn was unrolling and getting its color back. Recent rains in areas which received it have been beneficial to hay growth but have slowed the progress of the third cutting. Harvests were winding down for winter wheat, oats, and rye.

Harvest continued for most crops around the State. In the Eastern region, quantity was below normal for most crops, but quality was good. Onion field curing was underway while garlic, red beets, snap beans, and specialty herbs were going to market. Summer squash and melon harvest was ongoing, but watermelons were lagging behind. Pumpkins and winter squash were in various stages of development but still had a ways to go. Sweet corn and field tomatoes were being picked regularly, while pepper harvest was delayed. Eggplant harvest began in the Southwest.

Early fresh market peach varieties were harvested in the West Central region. Processing peach harvest was anticipated to begin soon there.

In the Southwest, the post-Redhaven group of varieties were harvested. In the East, Redhaven harvest began.

Tart cherry harvest was complete in the Northwest; growers applied post-harvest cherry leaf spot control.

Paula Red apple harvest in the Southwest was a few days away from beginning. In the East, Jersey Mac and other summer apple varieties were harvested.

Blueberry harvest continued; mid-season varieties including Jersey, Nelson, and Liberty, were harvested.

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