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Dry Conditions in Michigan Allow Planting Progress

Published: Friday, June 8, 2018

The following is from the Michigan Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending June 3.

Dry conditions in northern Michigan allowed producers to make good planting progress. Warm temperatures promoted crop development.

In mid-Michigan, rains kept soils damp and caused crop moisture stress in some areas. In southern Michigan, heavy precipitation limited planting activities in some areas. In other areas tractors were visible in every direction making planting progress.

There were 4.6 days suitable for fieldwork.

Statewide, corn and soybean planting progress continued to lag behind the 5-year average.

Oats had just begun to move into the heading stage while sugarbeet emergence neared completion. Nearly half of the winter wheat crop was heading and beyond, but crop development continued to progress behind normal.

Hay growth continued at a good pace, but hay cutting was slowed by wet fields. Other activities included spraying herbicides and fungicides and applying fertilizers.


Hot weather during the week accelerated tree fruit and berry growth, but much of the fruit development throughout the state continued to be behind normal, despite now being ahead in growing degree day totals. The high temperatures caused newly planted tree and small fruit crops to show signs of stress, particularly in the eastern part of the state.

The rapid growth of new leaves and fruit development left orchards and small fruit susceptible to a new wave of various pests and diseases.

Apples continued to bloom in the Northwest and portions of Eastern Michigan; fire blight risk remained high in areas that were still in bloom. In the Southwest, most apple varieties were setting fruit ranging from 7 to 12 millimeters in size.

Most peach varieties were out of the shuck and progressing nicely, with fruit ranging from 6 to 8 millimeters in the East and 14 to 18 millimeters in the Southwest.

Sweet cherries in the Northwest progressed quickly through shuck split, while cherries in the Southwest reached 12 to 14 millimeters. Tart cherries were 9 to 10 millimeters in diameter.

Grapes experienced rapid growth over the week, with Concord and Niagara juice grape shoots at 16 to 18 inches in the Southwest; in the East, new shoots ranged from 10 to 16 inches in length.

Early varieties of blueberries were at petal fall and beginning to set fruits up to 5 millimeters, while later varieties were in late bloom; shoot and fruit growth were expanding rapidly from the high temperatures.


Clear weather allowed growers to catch up on field activity. Hot temperatures allowed for a large increases in soil temperatures and GDD accumulations.

Transplants set recently were having trouble due to the sunny, hot, dry conditions. Transplants grown in 72 cell trays are faring better than those grown in 128 cell trays.

Squash and pumpkin planting was ongoing in the East. Celery was making good progress although there have been reports of wind damage in some areas.

Radishes, kale and salad greens are being harvested from Flint area urban farms. Cabbage was being transplanted in the Southeast region.

Asparagus harvest continued as high temperatures accelerated pickings. Asparagus beetle has been an issue statewide.

Chip potato planting in Montcalm County was behind and expected to continue through the beginning of June. Planting continued in the East in some fields while hilling began in earlier planted fields. Colorado potato beetle adults were out and mating.

Carrots had three true leaves and cultivation began in the East. Hoophouse tomatoes and cucumbers were hitting markets.

Sweet corn conditions have improved with the weather. First generation European corn borer was flying in the South.

Topsoil moisture was rated very short, 1 percent; short, 7 percent; adequate, 63 percent; surplus, 29 percent.

Subsoil moisture was rated very short, 1 percent; short, 8 percent; adequate, 66 percent; surplus, 25 percent.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2017 and 5-year average) showed: corn, planted 80, 64, 90, 92; corn, emerged 61, 40, 63, 71; soybeans, planted 65, 45, 72, 79; soybeans, emerged 45, 26, 42, 52; winter wheat, jointing 84, 69, 88, NA; winter wheat, headed 46, 12, 54, 51; barley, planted 69, 60, NA, NA; barley, emerged 46, 36, NA, NA; dry beans, planted, 14, NA, 3, NA; dry beans, emerged 1, NA, NA, NA; alfalfa hay, first cutting 24, 8, 32, NA; other hay, first cutting 11, 3, 18, NA; oats, planted 88, 79, 85, 93; oats, emerged 74, 61, 69, 81; oats, headed 1, 0, 2, 4; sugarbeets, emerged 95, 90, 93, NA.

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