Weather Alert

Michigan Crop Conditions Decline from Dry Weather, Frost

Field Crops

The entire Lower Peninsula and the easternmost counties of the Upper Peninsula were abnormally dry or worse, 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 June 6, 2021. Approximately two-thirds of the state was rated in moderate drought conditions, according the latest U.S. Drought monitor, with five counties in the west central region showing severe drought conditions.

Winter wheat condition declined with only 54 percent of the crop rated in good to excellent condition; dry conditions have kept disease pressures low, but some reporters worried that grain fill could suffer if it remains dry.

Some frost damage was reported on corn and soybeans from the May 30 freeze, but drier weather with slower emergence has kept the damage low.

Cooler weather in the Upper Peninsula shocked the oat and barley crops as both crops were near full emergence.

First cut hay and alfalfa was in full swing. In the northwest, high winds and warmer temperatures caused the crop to mature early and be short.

Other activities included pesticide applications and crop scouting.

Planted: 98%
Emerged: 92%
Condition: 56% G/E

Planted: 97%
Emerged: 87%
Condition: 57% G/E

Jointing:99 %
Headed: 86%
54% G/E

Planted: 96%
Emerged: 91%
Headed: 3%
Condition: 25% G/E

Dry Beans
Planted: 30%
Emerged: 3%

Planted: 99%
Emerged: 97%
Headed: 1%
Condition: 62% G/E

Condition: 60% G/E

Range and pasture 35% G/E


Michigan remained in a drought and passing rains last week did little to relieve needed moisture. Fruit growers irrigated, the earliest any farmer could ever remember irrigating. The lack of rain led to lower disease and fungal pressure. The exception was powdery mildew which was more prevalent in 2021 than in past years due mostly to the dry spring.

Peaches were 23 to 28 mm in the Southwest. Oriental fruit moth and codling moth catches were high.

Tart cherries were 13 to 15 mm in the Southwest. Cherry leaf spot infection periods were infrequent due to lack of rainfall.

Apples in the Southwest were 18 to 28 mm. Many fruit had low seed counts due to poor pollination. Hand thinning began there. In the Grand Rapids area, fruitlets were growing and ranged in size from 12 to 22 mm depending on variety. Growers applied chemical thinners early in the week to help manage crop size. In the Northwest, growers actively thinned varieties needing a crop load reduction.

Blueberry bloom in the Southwest was ending and green fruit were present in a number of varieties. Shoot growth looked good, especially in irrigated fields. Cherry fruitworm and cranberry fruitworm egg laying began.


Hot and dry weather this week led to increased pest activity throughout the state in asparagus, carrot, and celery fields.

Additionally, the first detection of cucurbit downy mildew spores occurred in an air sample taken in the Southwest, however, an outbreak of the disease has not been reported in Michigan at this time. Producers have been scouting and applying pesticides where necessary.

Transplanting and greenhouse harvesting of tomatoes and peppers continued. Garlic was also being harvested, with scapes developing on hardneck varieties. Some sweet corn suffered freeze damage due to cold temperatures, but the crop seemed to be in the process of recovering.

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