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Michigan crop progress sees mixed results amid scattered showers

Michigan crop progress sees mixed results amid scattered showers

By Andi Anderson

Michigan's crop progress has seen mixed results as scattered showers persisted across the state last week.

According to Marlo D. Johnson, Director of the USDA NASS Great Lakes Regional Office, topsoil moisture levels decreased from the previous week, with 89 percent rated adequate to surplus. Despite the rain, there were 4.4 days suitable for fieldwork during the week ending July 7, 2024.

Field crops in Michigan showed varied progress. The winter wheat harvest is underway in the Lower Peninsula, and oats heading reached 86 percent, significantly higher than last year's rate.

Corn silking was reported at 9 percent, and sugarbeets improved to 88 percent good to excellent condition. Producers began spraying fungicide for white mold in dry edible beans and soybeans.

However, rain showers hindered hay harvest, especially in the Upper Peninsula. Other fieldwork activities included scouting, hauling hay, baling wheat straw, and tending to livestock.

In the fruit sector, the tart cherry harvest continued, and blueberry harvest picked up steam. Recent storms brought high winds and hail, causing damage to some orchards.

In the West Central region, most early apple varieties ranged from 57-61 mm, while in the Southeast, apples ranged from 60-65 mm. Tart cherries in the West Central region were red, and harvest began.

Peaches in the West Central ranged from 43-45 mm, while in the Southeast, they had passed the pit hardening stage and were sizing well. Very early peaches in warmer sites were harvested.

The blueberry harvest in the West Central region was underway, showing excellent fruit quality and flavor, with yields benefiting from mild winter weather. The Southeast also began its blueberry harvest.

Vegetable crops in Michigan approached harvest time while producers managed disease outbreaks. Cucurbit downy mildew was detected in the Southeast, over two weeks earlier than last year, prompting cucumber and melon producers to apply fungicides.

Pumpkin and winter squash plantings neared conclusion, while harvest continued for summer squash. Early planted peppers and tomatoes were beginning to set subsequent fruit after the first set. The first plantings of sweet corn neared harvest, and radish and beet harvest continued.

Overall, Michigan's agricultural sector is managing through varied conditions with progress across field crops, fruits, and vegetables.

Despite challenges from weather and disease, the state's farmers are working diligently to ensure successful harvests. Monitoring crop conditions and adapting to weather patterns remain crucial as the growing season advances.

Photo Credit: usda

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Categories: Michigan, Weather

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