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Farmers Make Hay, Finish Planting

Published: Friday, June 16, 2017

The following is from the Michigan Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending June 11.

High winds coupled with warm temperatures dried soils and allowed many producers to catch up on planting, spraying and fertilizing, although high winds made spraying difficult at times.

The lack of moisture was beginning to stress crops in some areas and many areas were reportedly in need of a good soaking rain by week's end.

There were 6.6 days suitable for fieldwork.

A good week of weather allowed corn and soybean planting to advance towards completion. Corn and soybean emergence was steady, but continued to lag behind last year and the 5-year average.

The warm, dry weather provided good conditions for harvesting hay. Producers made good progress planting dry beans, but remained well behind last year's pace.

Over three-fourths of winter wheat crop was headed by week's end, behind last year and the 5-year average. Disease pressure in winter wheat was noted in some areas.


Damage from the May 8-9 frosts has become more visible as warmer temperatures promoted rapid growth in all fruit crops. Fruit set has been highly variable, even on plants and trees within the same areas, ranging from heavy to non-existent.

Strawberry harvest began in southernmost counties; many growers reported smaller than normal berry size.

Blueberries were mostly at 9 to 11 millimeters in size and in the green fruit stage; heavy fruit drop was reported in blueberries in West Central.

Apples ranged in diameter from 9 to 11 millimeters in the Northwest and from 22 to 30 millimeters in counties further south, while pears ranged from 13 to 30 millimeters in size; frost rings have been observed in both apples and pears.

Peaches were growing rapidly and hand thinning has begun; producers in the East report a good crop this year while in the Southwest, the crop is spotty.

Sweet cherries ranged from 11 to 17 millimeters in diameter with hard pits while tart cherries were at 10 to 14 millimeters in diameter with hardening pits; significant fruit drop was reported in the East.

European plums ranged from 15 to 20 millimeters in diameter while Japanese plums were up to an inch in diameter.

Grape shoots ranged from 12 to 24 inches long and were approaching the start of bloom.


Asparagus harvest continued in the West Central region. Early season pests have become the main concern for growers.

Transplanted broccoli in the Southeast is starting to head, with pea harvest set to begin soon.

Pepper and pumpkin planting has been ongoing in the area as well. Zucchini and squash harvest was beginning in the Southwest.

Hops yards reported bines climbing around 10 feet up strings. Potatoes in major growing regions were developing nicely. Cool temperatures have delayed progress slightly.

Topsoil moisture was rated very short, 10 percent; short, 39 percent; adequate, 47 percent; surplus, 4 percent.

Subsoil moisture was rated very short, 4 percent; short, 21 percent; adequate, 67 percent; surplus, 8 percent.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2016 and 5-year average) showed: corn planted, 96, 91, 99, 99; corn emerged, 83, 66, 89, 93; soybeans planted, 88, 75, 94, 95; soybeans emerged, 68, 46, 74, 80; winter wheat jointing, 94, 89, 99, NA; winter wheat headed, 77, 59, 85, 88; dry beans planted, 23, 3, 65, NA; alfalfa hay, first cutting, 57, 35, 59, NA; other hay, first cutting, 36, 20, 39, NA; oats planted, 90, 86, 99, 99; oats emerged, 81, 71, 90, 94; oats headed, 12, 2, 12, 24.

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