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Cooler Weather Invades Michigan


Published: Friday, September 15, 2023

The following is from the Michigan Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending Sept. 10.

Warmer than normal weather early in the week gave way to scattered showers and cooler weather at the end of last week.

There were 4.3 days suitable for fieldwork.

According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, the western Upper Peninsula and northern Lower Peninsula were rated abnormally dry.

Corn and soybean progress remained slightly behind the five-year average.

Sugarbeets benefitted from the cooler temperatures at night over the weekend. Early harvest began.

Cutting and baling hay continued where weather permitted.

Other activities last week included spraying for insects and disease and planting cover crops, tending livestock and preparing fields for wheat planting.

Fruit

The weather last week was warmer than normal. Overall, apple fruit quality appears to be excellent. Red color development was limited, but as temperatures cool down, color will improve.

In the Southwest, apples were predicted to mature a few days earlier than last year and up to a week earlier than the long-term average. Empire and Jonathan were being harvested for taffy apples and McIntosh were harvested for sauce.

Premier Honeycrisp and Minneiska harvest was wrapping up in the West Central. McIntosh, Gala, and Honeycrisp harvest were predicted to begin shortly for some growers.

In the Northwest, apple maturity was moving along swiftly. In fact, much of the fruit maturity was in line with the Hart, Mich. area, which is much further south.

Vegetables

Temperatures varied throughout the week as Michigan vegetable producers continued their harvest activities.

Harvest of peppers and tomatoes was proceeding, with some slow ripening for certain varieties of the latter being reported.

Some growers also expressed concern over possible low pumpkin yields owing to unfavorable weather conditions this summer.

Meanwhile, reports of new downy mildew outbreaks were still coming in from cucumber fields throughout the State. Further outbreaks of potato late blight had been detected in New York and Canada, but none had been reported in Michigan to date.

Topsoil moisture was rated very short, 2%; short, 13%; adequate, 64%; surplus, 21%.

Subsoil moisture was rated very short, 4%; short, 17%; adequate, 63%; surplus, 16%.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2022 and five-year average) showed: corn dough, 89, 78, 96, 90; corn dented, 58, 44, 66, 61; corn mature, 10, 3, 12, 12; corn harvested for silage, 23, 14, 24, 25; soybeans dropping leaves, 13, 7, 35, 27; barley harvested, 92, 77, 84, 81; dry edible beans setting pod, 98, 93, 100, 97; dry edible beans dropping leaves, 50, 29, 74, 59; alfalfa hay, third cutting, 83, 73, 88, 76; alfalfa hay, fourth cutting, 42, 27, 31, NA; other hay, second cutting, 96, 90, 100, 94; other hay, third cutting, 58, 42, 66, 51; oats harvested, 82, 71, 97, 94; sugarbeets harvested, 3, 0, 7, 9.

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