Home News Michigan Ag News Crop Progress: Michigan Sugarbeet Planting Nears Completion, Fruit Growers Still Assessing Frost...

Crop Progress: Michigan Sugarbeet Planting Nears Completion, Fruit Growers Still Assessing Frost Damage

Field Crops

Colder temperatures prevailed as scattered rainfall aided crop progress in some areas, according to Marlo Johnson, Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service in USDA’s Michigan Crop Progress Report. There were 5.2 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending May 2, 2021.

Winter wheat condition improved slightly with a reported 73 percent of the crop rated in good to excellent condition. The winter wheat crop has shown resiliency and continued to progress at a nice pace.

Oat and barley seeding continued to progress at an above average pace.

Sugarbeet planting was nearing completion as previously seeded beets were showing rapid emergence.

Recent frost damage resulted in significant losses in sugarbeets; replanting efforts began across much of the major growing region.

Corn and soybean planting continued at a swift pace as the earliest planted fields began to emerge. Sustained cooler temperatures and a general lack of moisture have slowed the germination process. Other activities included equipment maintenance, spring tillage, and crop scouting.

National Crop Progress Week of May 3

Planted: 29%
Emerged: 2%

Planted: 27%
Emerged: 1%

Jointing: 75%
Condition: 73% good to excellent

Planted: 71%
Emerged: 53%

Planted: 95%
Emerged: 67%


Fruit farmers continued to assess damage from the Good Friday freeze and freezes April 21 and 22. Damage will become more evident as the season progresses. Freeze damage was seen in most crops across the entire State. Michigan remains in need of rain.

Peaches in the Southwest were in an extended bloom period and freeze damage was evident. Crop prospects were decent on the best sites. Oriental fruit moth catches increased. About 20 percent of peaches in the Grand Rapids region were in full bloom.

Tart cherries in the Southwest were in full bloom to early petal fall. The crop was damaged heavily in some areas. On the best sites, a decent crop was still anticipated. Tarts in the Grand Rapids region were in full bloom. In the Northwest, tarts appeared to suffer more damage than sweets and growers were still assessing damage.

Apple buds in the Southwest were at full pink or first bloom depending upon variety in the Southwest. Apples in the Grand Rapids area suffered from the freezes with king bloom nearly eliminated on the most susceptible varieties. There appeared to be healthy lateral blossoms in these cases though. Most apples in the Grand Rapids region were between open cluster and full pink. Blueberry flower buds in the Southwest burst. Early varieties were in early pink bud. There was damage due to the freezes on poorer sites, but the damage there appeared not to be widespread.

Blueberries in the West Central generally appeared to be in fair shape with early signs showing only slight damage to the overall 2021 crop. More will be known for certain once the crop blooms in June.


Throughout the state, field work for seasonal vegetables began this week and several crops had been seeded. Dry fields allowed for increased field work across much of the region. Asparagus began to emerge this week, but cool weather had postponed widespread harvest. Herbicide applications were concluding.

In the East, the first plantings of potatoes had occurred, and the first tomatoes were being transplanted under frost cloth. Plastic had not been laid yet for tomatoes, peppers, and melons. Sweet corn planting was also underway across the State with preemergence herbicide applications being applied, as needed.