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Thumb Area Experiencing Driest Conditions in Michigan
Michigan Ag Connection - 09/27/2022

Temperatures declined mid-week and some areas received some much-needed precipitation, according to Marlo D. Johnson, director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Soil moisture levels increased from the previous week, with 80 percent of topsoil moisture reported as adequate or surplus. There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending Sunday.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, counties in Northern, Eastern, and Southwestern Lower Peninsula were abnormally dry. The Thumb Region continued to experience the driest conditions with several counties in moderate drought.

Corn for grain continued to mature slightly behind the average pace while harvest was just beginning in a few areas. Corn for silage harvest surpassed the halfway point but ended the week behind schedule.

Soybeans dropping leaves was right on pace and harvest progress was slightly ahead of normal.

Dry bean harvest moved along quickly before the rains slowed progress. However, harvest progress was ahead of the 5-year average pace by week's end.

Sugarbeet harvest advanced moderately and remained behind the average.

Alfalfa and other hay cuttings continued in some areas despite the cooler, wetter conditions.

Other activities during the week included planting winter wheat, preparing harvest machinery, and hauling manure.

Apple harvest moved along steadily last week. Crop load is excellent and red color continued to develop well. Temperatures turned cool mid-week. Growers harvested Gala and Honeycrisp in the West Central. Soon growers will turn their attention to Jonagold and Empire there. Growers in the Northwest were gearing up to begin full scale harvest. Early varieties were harvested there with some spot picking of Honeycrisp. In the Southwest, only a few Honeycrisp remained to be harvested. Growers there were switching harvest to Jonagold, Golden Delicious and Red Delicious. On the Ridge, growers continued to harvest Honeycrisp, Gala and McIntosh.

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