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Dry, Warm Conditions Aid Michigan Harvest Efforts

Published: Friday, October 16, 2020

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

Much of the state experienced drier and warmer weather conditions. There were 6.2 days suitable for fieldwork.

Dry and warm conditions allowed for fieldwork in most areas as soil moisture levels had decreased considerably. Pasture and range conditions improved as a result of adequate rainfall in previous weeks and warmer, growth friendly daytime temperatures throughout the week.

Corn and soybean conditions held steady as the majority of the crop approached maturity and harvest made significant progress.

Corn harvested for grain was at 16 percent with a reported moisture content of 24 percent.

Soybeans harvested was at 42 percent with a reported moisture content of 14 percent.

Corn silage harvest continued to approach completion as growers took full advantage of ideal chopping conditions.

Sugarbeet harvest continued at a slowed pace although harvest was still ahead of the 5-year average and the previous year.

Late-season cuttings of hay continued as weather allowed. Dry bean harvest made rapid progress throughout the week as superlative weather conditions prevailed.

Other activities included seeding winter wheat and cover crops, engagement in crop marketing activities, and maintenance of harvest equipment.


Apple harvest progressed rapidly last week under favorable harvesting conditions. Warm, sunny weather lead to concerns of watercore.

In the Southwest, growers completed Golden Delicious harvest and were harvesting Red Delicious, Rome and Ida Reds.

On the Ridge, growers finished up Honeycrisp, Jonathan and Jonagold and focused on Golden and Red Delicious.

In the Northwest, growers finished Honeycrisp and moved on to later maturing varieties. Growers have been happy with fruit quality to date.

In the East, Empire, Fuji, Cortland and Golden Delicious were harvested heavily. Demand for fresh apples and cider has been very strong at farm markets. Some East Michigan cider producers have had to purchase cider apples to keep up with demand.

Topsoil moisture was rated very short, 8 percent; short, 12 percent; adequate, 75 percent; surplus, 5 percent.

Subsoil moisture was rated very short, 11 percent; short, 20 percent; adequate, 66 percent; surplus, 3 percent.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2019 and 5-year average) showed: corn mature, 82, 70, 40, 73; corn harvested for grain, 16, 7, 6, 14; corn harvested for silage, 99, 96, 54, 81; soybeans dropping leaves, 96, 94, 79, 90; soybeans mature, 86, 71, NA, NA; soybeans harvested, 42, 19, 15, 32; winter wheat planted, 67, 41, 42, 51; winter wheat emerged, 32, 21, 18, 25; dry beans mature, 95, 60, NA, NA; dry beans harvested, 82, 47, 45, 68; alfalfa hay, third cutting, 99, 96, 80, 90; alfalfa hay, fourth cutting, 71, 61, NA, NA; other hay, third cutting, 84, 80, 46, 74; other hay, fourth cutting, 22, 18, NA, NA; sugarbeets harvested, 39, 36, 17, 27.

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