Soil moisture levels decreased across most areas of the State, according to Marlo Johnson, Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending August 16, 2020.
Crop conditions held steady throughout the week despite the lack of much needed precipitation. Corn and soybeans continued to show good progression as conditions were stable and the crops moved towards full maturity.
Oat and barley harvest continued to progress as drier weather provided ideal conditions for threshing.
The third cutting of alfalfa and other hay moved along as the second cutting neared completion. Sugarbeet conditions showed further recovery from deterioration in previous weeks.
The drought condition monitor updated with data through August 13, 2020 reported a decrease in moderate drought conditions across the mtate despite the general lack of rain.
Other activities included crop scouting, spraying herbicides, and assessing crop-marketing strategies.
- Corn condition: 65 percent good to excellent
- Corn silking: 100 percent
- Corn dough: 59 percent
- Corn dented: 7 percent
- Soybean condition: 73 percent good to excellent
- Soybeans blooming: 100 percent
- Soybeans setting pods: 90 percent
- Dry bean condition: 59 percent good to excellent
- Dry beans blooming: 100 percent
- Dry beans setting pods: 90 percent
- Sugarbeet condition: 70 percent good to excellent
Storms Monday evening caused some damage on fruit farms in the Southwest. Strong straight-lined winds caused damage to fruit trees and knocked fruit from trees on some farms. Oriental fruit moth numbers trended up last week. Some areas of the State remained dry and growers irrigated where it was available.
Peach harvest continued. Redhaven harvest was underway. In the Northwest, peaches sized well and were being hand thinned. Apples were more than 2 inches in diameter in the Southwest.
In all areas of the State, apples were sizing well where irrigation was available. Where irrigation was not available, apple sizing slowed. Fruit finish to date appeared to be good. Jersey Mac harvest started on a few farms in the Southern part of the Lower Peninsula. Blueberry harvest continued; Jersey and Elliot were harvested.
Japanese beetle numbers trended down.
The last tart cherries were harvested in the Northwest. Fruit quality was very good throughout the entire season.
Sweet corn harvest was on going in the East, with relatively low pest pressure being reported.
Cole crop harvest continued and some initial topping took place for early season Brussel sprouts.
Picking continued for field tomatoes, peppers and eggplants in the Eastern region, while peppers and tomatoes continued to size up and ripen in the South.
Some operations halted late cucumber harvest, as ongoing downy mildew treatments have become time consuming and expensive. Pickling cucumber harvest continued, along with fungicide treatments for the crop.
Late blight had not been detected in Michigan to date, although medium risk is forecast for both tomatoes and potatoes. Producers are encouraged to carry on with scouting activities.