Michigan crop update: Dry conditions allow fieldwork
There were 3.8 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending May 6, 2018 according to Marlo Johnson, Director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. High temperatures and dry conditions early in the week allowed many producers to resume fieldwork and begin planting before mid-week precipitation halted progress. Many producers experienced a wind storm causing localized damage to crops and buildings. Corn and soybean planting was underway in central and southern Michigan last week and oat planting made decent progress, surpassing the previous year average for planting and emergence. Sugarbeet planting made great strides this past week and winter wheat development advanced steadily. A few low-lying areas were not accessible by machinery due to wet field conditions, especially in northern Michigan, but spring fieldwork was active during the week. Other activities during the week included hauling manure, applying fertilizer, and working on equipment.
More seasonably warm weather combined with recent rainfall brought the first push of green growth in fruit crops for the year. Drier conditions early in the week allowed for planting of new trees, clearing of brush, application of fertilizer, and spraying for pests. Apricots were beginning to bloom, about two weeks behind normal. Sweet and tart cherries ranged from bud swell in the Northwest to tight cluster in the Southwest, with most areas reporting cherry buds at side green to green tip. Peaches were at red calyx to pink in the Southwest, but only at swollen bud further north. Japanese plums ranged from green tip in the East to first white in the Southwest. European plums ranged from bud swell in the East to green tip in the Southwest. Apples ranged from silver tip in the north to ½ inch green in the south. Pears remained dormant in the Northwest while they ranged from bud burst to tight cluster further south. Blueberries were mostly at bud swell to bud break with flower buds opening only in early varieties. Strawberries were putting out new leaves, but flower trusses were not yet visible. Juice grapes were at very early bud swell while wine grapes remained dormant.