The hot, dry conditions are taking a toll on Michigan’s field crops. According to USDA’s Crop Progress Report, this week, 54 percent of the corn is rated in good to excellent condition. That’s an 11 percent decline in conditions in one week.
The conditions for soybeans declined 10 percent in one week. For the week ending August 23, 63 percent of Michigan’s soybeans were rated in good to excellent condition.
Sugarbeet ratings declined 12 percent. Now 58 percent of the crop is rated good to excellent.
Another relatively dry week continued to stress fruit that did not have access to supplemental irrigation. Codling moth numbers were relatively low. Oriental fruit moth numbers were up as were brown marmorated stink bug numbers.
Peach harvest continued across the State. Warm sunny days produced peaches that were very sweet. Fruit size has been very good; surprisingly so even in blocks with no irrigation.
Early apple harvest continued in Southern Michigan. Pristine and Paula red were harvested in the Southwest. In the East, Jersey Mac harvest wrapped up. Ginger Gold harvest was expected to begin soon and Paula red harvest was about a week away.
Late season blueberry variety harvest continued. Aurora and Elliott were harvest in the Southwest. In general, fields were looking a bit raged.
Producers across Southwest Michigan assessed wind damage to vegetable crops this week, in the aftermath of the August 10 storm that moved through the area. Direct damage was most evident in sweet corn and peppers, including some fruit drop in jalapeno plantings. In addition, a few tomato fields had stakes blown over that had to be replaced.
In the East and Southeast, harvest was ongoing for processing and fresh market peppers, field tomatoes, summer squash and eggplants.
Cucurbit downy mildew was confirmed in 14 counties and had moved into smaller, isolated fields and home gardens.
Pumpkins and winter squash continued to take on color and some were harvested for direct sales or to move to storage for protection.
Large scale potato harvest was ongoing in the Southeast, with no late blight reported to date.