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Hay Harvest Begins in Michigan

Published: Friday, May 26, 2023

The following is from the Michigan Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending May 21.

Last week's warm temperatures allowed producers to make steady planting progress. There were six days suitable for fieldwork.

Hay harvest began in earnest in some areas in the Southern Lower Peninsula.

Sugarbeet condition was mainly rated good to fair. Oat and barley planting followed historical averages.

The warm weather helped corn and soybean emergence takeoff.

Winter wheat began to head in some fields in the Southeast Lower Peninsula. Producers reported improvements for field and pasture growth due to relatively dry, warm weather.


In the Southeast, the mild weather pushed tree fruit crops through bloom with small fruits on their heels. In the Southwest, most tree fruit were in petal fall or beyond.

With the sunny and warm conditions in the Northwest, bees were active in orchards.

In the Southwest, apples ranged from 7 to 12 mm. In the most northern reaches of the Southeast, there was still a few scattered blooms in apples.

In the West Central and Northwest, apples ranged from bloom to full bloom.

Tart cherries were out of the shuck in the Southwest. In the Southeast, cherries were mostly post-bloom.

In the West Central, tart cherries ranged from petal fall to shuck split. In the Northwest tart cherries were in petal fall.

Peaches were out of shuck in the Southwest. Peach crop potential was generally good although significant damage from frost had been reported in some sites.

In the Southeast, peaches were mostly at post-bloom. In the West Central, peaches ranged from bloom to petal fall with some early varieties at shuck split.

In the south, blueberries have started to bloom. In the West Central, blueberries were in full bloom with no spring frost or weather associated problems reported.


Michigan vegetable producers were on or ahead of schedule for their plantings across most of the state. Tomatoes and peppers were being transplanted in the Southwest, with stakes being installed on some farms.

The Southwest also saw fresh market cucumbers and squash being seeded. First plantings of sweet corn were up, and cultivation of early cabbage plantings was occurring.

Meanwhile, asparagus pickings continued, with the pace of harvest slowing down due to a decrease in temperature. Common asparagus beetles were active in several areas, leading growers to apply insecticides where needed.

Topsoil moisture was rated very short, 3%; short, 37%; adequate, 53%; surplus, 7%.

Subsoil moisture was rated very short, 5%; short, 32%; adequate, 60%; surplus, 3%.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2022 and five-year average) showed: corn planted, 60, 31, 56, 56; corn emerged, 20, 3, 16, 21; soybeans planted, 57, 33, 45, 45; soybeans emerged, 16, 2, 11, 16; winter wheat jointing, 80, 58, 88, 72; winter wheat headed, 6, 4, 2, 4; barley planted, 46, 20, 36, 49; barley emerged, 7, 5, 19, 22; alfalfa hay, first cutting, 2, 0, NA, NA; other hay, first cutting, 1, 0, NA, NA; oats planted, 79, 52, 75, 77; oats emerged, 37, 15, 39, 51; sugarbeets planted, 97, 95, 96, 93; sugarbeets emerged, 90, 60, 67, 63.

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