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Crop Conditions Hold Steady During Mostly Dry Week

Published: Friday, July 31, 2020

The following is from the Michigan Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending July 26.

The state experienced significantly drier conditions. There were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork.

Soil moisture levels decreased last week as there were very few precipitation events and temperatures reached higher levels on average. Crop conditions generally held steady despite the lack of rain.

Corn and soybean progress showed significant jumps mostly attributed to high temperatures and a fairly rapid accumulation of growing degree days.

Wheat harvest progressed substantially as weather was ideal for fieldwork throughout the week.

Oats and barley began to mature quickly as both crops were nearly done heading out.

The second cutting of hay continued to progress as weather was generally cooperative for haymaking, although high humidity did pose some challenges to dry down and forage quality.

Other activities included scouting for pests, spraying herbicides and assessing crop marketing strategies.


Spotted wing Drosphila populations surged last week. Growers were able to control the pest in ripening fruit by judicial use of insecticides.

Peach harvest in the Southwest and East continued. Harrow Diamond and Brightstar were harvested. Split pits were a problem in early harvested varieties in the Southwest this year. Red Haven harvest is anticipated to begin in a week or two.

Blueberry harvest was well underway with growers machine harvesting Blue Crop. Growers maintained irrigation due to lack of sufficient rainfall. Because of the low price for processing berries some fields will be left unharvested.

Apple sizing slowed somewhat last week. Apples were between 1.75 and 2.25 inches in the East. Lodi harvest began there.

Hand thinning continued in most varieties. Apple maggot catches rose last week and growers were cautioned to keep an eye on this pest.


Hoop house tomato harvest continued in the East, while field tomato, pepper and eggplant harvest all gained traction across the state.

Summer squash, beans and sweet onion were harvested in the East.

Downy mildew pressure remained high in cucumbers and melons due to ongoing overcast weather and high humidity; producers initiated spray programs to combat its spread.

Pickling cucumber machine harvest began in the East. Some early melon and watermelon was harvested for local sales.

Pumpkins and winter squash are starting to vine and flower.

While no potato late blight had been reported in Michigan to date, predicted disease risk had increased to medium for most of the state. Producers should continue intensive scouting and preventative management practices.

Topsoil moisture was rated very short, 13 percent; short, 43 percent; adequate, 40 percent; surplus, 4 percent.

Subsoil moisture was rated very short, 12 percent; short, 38 percent; adequate, 45 percent; surplus, 5 percent.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2019 and 5-year average) showed: corn silking, 67, 22, 16, 51; corn dough, 3, 0, 0, 2; soybeans blooming, 74, 46, 37, 65; soybeans setting pods, 39, 7, 11, 25; winter wheat mature, 96, 76, 81, 93; winter wheat harvested, 78, 46, 36, 65; barley headed, 82, 46, 68, NA; barley mature, 10, NA, 8, NA; dry edible beans emerged, 100, 95, 88, NA; dry edible beans blooming, 42, 4, 14, 35; alfalfa hay, first cutting, 100, 95, 98, NA; alfalfa hay, second cutting, 78, 56, 44, 61; alfalfa hay, third cutting, 4, 0, NA, NA; other hay, first cutting, 96, 88, 87, 87; other hay, second cutting, 37, 29, 17, 38; oats headed, 100, 95, 86, 94; oats mature, 55, 3, 22, NA.

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