Michigan experienced significantly drier conditions this week, according to Marlo Johnson, Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 6.3 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending July 26, 2020.
Soil moisture levels decreased last week as there were very few precipitation events and temperatures reached higher levels on average. Crop conditions generally held steady despite the lack of rain. 61 percent of the corn, 66 percent of soybeans, 68 percent of sugarbeets, and 43 percent of dry beans are in good to excellent condition.
Corn and soybean progress showed significant jumps mostly attributed to high temperatures and a fairly rapid accumulation of growing degree days. 67 percent of the corn is silking, a 45-point increase from last week, and 3 percent of it is in the dough stage.
Soybean blooming and pod setting also increased substantially. 74 percent of soybeans are blooming, up 28 points from last week, and more than one-third of the crop is setting pods at 39 percent.
Wheat harvest progressed substantially as weather was ideal for fieldwork throughout the week. 78 percent of the crop is harvested, 20 points more than last week.
Oats and barley began to mature quickly as both crops were nearly done heading out. The second cutting of hay continued to progress as weather was generally cooperative for haymaking, although high humidity did pose some challenges to dry down and forage quality. Other activities included scouting for pests, spraying herbicides, and assessing crop marketing strategies.
Spotted wing Drosphila populations surged last week. Growers were able to control the pest in ripening fruit by judicial use of insecticides.
Peach harvest in the Southwest and East continued. Harrow Diamond and Brightstar were harvested. Split pits were a problem in early harvested varieties in the Southwest this year. Red haven harvest is anticipated to begin in a week or two.
Blueberry harvest was well underway with growers machine harvesting Blue Crop. Growers maintained irrigation due to lack of sufficient rainfall. Because of the low price for processing berries some fields will be left unharvested.
Apple sizing slowed somewhat last week. Apples were between 1.75 and 2.25 inches in the East. Lodi harvest began there. Hand thinning continued in most varieties. Apple maggot catches rose last week and growers were cautioned to keep an eye on this pest.
Hoop house tomato harvest continued in the East, while field tomato, pepper and eggplant harvest all gained traction across the State. Summer squash, beans, and sweet onion were harvested in the East.
Downy mildew pressure remained high in cucumbers and melons due to ongoing overcast weather and high humidity; producers initiated spray programs to combat its spread.
Pickling cucumber machine harvest began in the East. Some early melon and watermelon was harvested for local sales.
Pumpkins and winter squash are starting to vine and flower. While no potato late blight had been reported in Michigan to date, predicted disease risk had increased to medium for most of the State.
Producers should continue intensive scouting and preventative management practices.