Crops Aided By Timely Rains; Second Cutting Of Alfalfa Underway

Crops Aided By Timely Rains; Second Cutting Of Alfalfa Underway

Corn fields ranged from V9 to R1.

Five days were suitable for fieldwork during the week ended July  31,  according  to  the  USDA,  NASS,  Michigan  Field Office.  A  significant  rainfall  fell  over  most  of  the  state Wednesday  and  Thursday  bringing  relief  to  crops.  Various amounts of  rain  were reported across  the state. Some  fields went  from  very  dry  to  very  wet  while  others  received  just enough rain to keep the crops growing. Cooler temperatures were  a  relief  as  well.  Activities  for  the  week  included harvesting alfalfa, oats, wheat, cherries, blueberries, peaches and  plums,  bailing  straw,  scouting  fields  for  pests,  and keeping irrigation running. 

Field Crops

Much needed  rainfall  during  the  week  helped  improve  field crop   condition.   Significant   rains   fell   Wednesday   and Thursday  night  in  southern  areas  of  the  State.  Northern counties were still in need of rain at week's end. Corn fields ranged  from  V9  to  R1.  Western  bean  cutworm  counts  were high  in  central  counties.  Soybeans  ranged  from  R1  to  R3 with some fields not yet canopied. A few drowned spots due to excessive  rainfall  were  reported.  Most of  the  wheat  in southern Michigan has been harvested. Straw continues to be bailed. Some summer seeding  of alfalfa  was  completed late in  the  week  after  the  rainfall.  Second cutting  of  alfalfa continued.  Oats  ripened  fast  and  harvesting  was  underway. The sugarbeet crop was hurt from the high temperatures but benefited from the rain.


The tart cherry harvest neared completion in the west central and  was  in  full  swing  in  the  northwest.  The  fruit  quality  in those  regions  has  been  very  good.  Fruit  size  has  been diminished  by  low  rainfall  amounts,  but  the  dry  conditions reduced the severity of cherry leaf spot. Sweet cherry harvest was  nearly  done.  The  harvest  of  Bluecrop   blueberries peaked. Harvesting of mid-season blueberries was underway.

Berry size and quality declined in the Grand Rapids area, so some growers irrigated and waited for fruit to increase in size before  continuing  with  the  harvest.  Japanese  beetles  are  a major  concern.  Apples  were  2  to  2.5  inches  in  the  south, where harvest of summer varieties began. European red mite numbers increased. Methley, Shiro, and Vibrant plums were picked.   Early   Star,   Desiree   and   PF5D   peaches   were harvested. Some growers have had a large percentage of early peaches  with  split  pits  and,  therefore,  cracked  fruit.  Pears were  1.75  to  2  inches  in  the  south.  Grapes  were  at  cluster tightening in the southwest. The crop load was very good in most vineyards in the northwest, where some growers hedged vines. Grape berry moth was the primary insect pest. 


Vegetable fields benefited from rains in certain areas this past week. Celery harvest was in full swing. Cabbage was being harvested with  good  quality  and quantity.  Carrots appeared healthy.  Aster  yellows  disease  was  found  in  some  carrot fields,  but  at  rates  less  than  normal.  Sweet  corn  harvest began  ubiquitously  this  past  week.  Tomato  harvest  volume increased  as  more  fields  came  into  production.  Pepper harvest began in the southwest. Purple spot pressure remains high in asparagus. The onion crop developed rapidly. Thrips control  was  necessary  in  some  fields.  Cucumber, zucchini, and  summer  squash  harvest  continued.  Squash  vine  borers were  active,  but  decreasing.  Cantaloupe  and  watermelon continued to size. Harvest continued in some areas. A spider mite outbreak was reported on watermelons in east Michigan. Broccoli  for  processing  continued  to  grow.  The  eggplant crop was nearing harvest.

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