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.
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.