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Farmers Assess Storm Damage

Published: Friday, July 14, 2017

The following is from the Michigan Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending July 9.

Warm weather allowed producers to catch up on spraying, gathering hay off fields, fertilizing and other fieldwork activities. Producers assessed crop damage from earlier rains as fields began to dry out.

Some areas in southern Michigan received much-needed rains, which helped replenish soil moisture.

Corn conditions varied across the state. Corn seemed to be in mostly good condition, but was stressed from lack of rain in some areas and yellowing from too much rain in others. Some side-dressing of corn took place while the weather was nice.

Soybeans fared better in the wet conditions as opposed to corn in the West, but were reportedly slow in flowering in some locations.

Dry bean replanting occurred in central and eastern Michigan.

Quality of hay was down due the rain delayed harvest. Luckily, this past week, dry hay harvest accelerated due to favorable weather conditions.

Winter wheat harvest had begun in some southern and eastern locations and continued to mature nicely. The sugarbeet crop condition also showed improvement due to the dry weather.

There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork.


Drier conditions prevailed in the Northwest, which allowed growers there to catch up on fungicide sprays. Further south, increased moisture from frequent rain events helped apples, peaches, pears and plums size rapidly, but operations in sandy sites were still low on water.

Fruit growers were still assessing damage from a heavy Friday morning storm; in the Southwest, there were reports of knocked down trees, broken limbs, fruit blown off of trees, and wind whip damage to fruit still on trees.

Spotted wing Drosophila numbers were increasing across the state; growers were spraying to keep ahead of this pest. In the Southwest and East, harvest of early varieties of peaches, tart cherries, blueberries, summer red raspberries and black raspberries began.

Sweet cherry harvest continued in southern counties, and was just beginning in the Northwest.

Strawberry harvest was complete at all but a few farms in the north; many growers have begun renovation.

Concord and Niagara grapes were at berry touch while wine grapes were between buckshot and berry touch-sized fruit.


Chipping potatoes were in full bloom around the Saginaw Bay. Potato leafhopper populations were very high. Late Blight was reported in western Ontario. Growers were advised to be vigilant in applying protective fungicides.

Fresh market tomatoes were going to the market, harvest of zucchini and yellow squash had begun, and watermelons and cantaloupes were setting fruit in the East.

Pickles were at various stages and some were starting to bloom. Machine harvest is anticipated to begin soon. Last week, harvest of sweet corn from low-tunnel, plastic-mulched, raised beds began in the Southwest.

Pumpkin and fall squash were beginning to runner and flower. Tomatoes, peppers and eggplant continued to size well. Full-season production asparagus fields in the West Central region were in the process of ferning out.

Cucurbit downy mildew was reported in West Central and Southeast Michigan cucumbers. Growers were advised to watch fields for symptoms and take control measures when observed.

Topsoil moisture was rated very short, 5 percent; short, 19 percent; adequate, 61 percent; surplus, 15 percent.

Subsoil moisture was rated very short, 4 percent; short, 17 percent; adequate, 67 percent; surplus, 12 percent.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2016 and 5-year average) showed: corn silking, 2, 0, 3, 6; soybeans blooming, 23, 13, 19, 25; soybeans setting pods, 3, NA, 1, 1; winter wheat mature, 64, 38, 75, NA; winter wheat harvested, 10, 0, 13, 18; dry beans planted, 96, 91, NA, NA; dry beans emerged, 89, 82, 100, 97; alfalfa hay, first cutting, 87, 79, 98, NA; alfalfa hay, second cutting, 34, 21, 42, NA; other hay, first cutting, 63, 57, 86, NA; other hay, second cutting, 19, 13, 21, NA; oats headed, 79, 62, 90, 91.

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