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Michigan crop update: Sugarbeet planting almost complete

LANSING, MI -- There were 4.7 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending May 10, according to the Great Lakes Regional office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. Growers continued to plant crops at a steady pace early in the week before rain in the later part of the week kept them out of the fields. All reported crops are now ahead of the five-year average planted.

Sugarbeet planting is very close to completion, and oat planting is coming close to completion as well. Soybeans and corn planting progress jumped significantly, and corn is emerging on schedule, helped by the late week rains. Wheat and pasture condition are better than at the same point last year. While the rain kept farmers out of the field towards the end of the week, most welcomed the precipitation in order to encourage emergence.

Major field activities for the week included planting crops, spraying weeds, cleaning brush from orchards, and spraying fungicide.

Warmer temperatures across the State promoted flower development in fruit crops. Showers early in the week were welcome to most as soils had been getting more dry; however, weekend rain events brought concerns of fire blight infection in apples and pears as well as worries of brown rot in stone fruit.

Apples were mostly at first pink with early flowering varieties at full pink to early king bloom. Pears were at open cluster to early white bud. Peaches were in bloom in the southwest and were at pink for growers in the southeast with a crop; growers in the southeast reported significant winter kill to peach buds, but some bloom was observed in younger trees in the south.

Apricots were in the shuck; some damage to apricots was reported from the April 24 freeze. Sweet cherries were at full bloom, while tart cherries were approaching full bloom. European plums were at king bloom and Japanese plums were at full bloom.

Grapes were at bud burst for Concord types in the south and at bud swell in the north. Strawberry leaves continued to emerge from the ground, and flower buds started to emerge with warmer weather. Summer raspberry canes showed leaf growth. Blueberries were at bud burst to early pink bud. Saskatoon bushes were at green tip to tight cluster in the northwest, and were in bloom in the southwest.

Potato and sweet corn planting continued in the southwest. Transplanting of yellow squash and tomatoes began along with direct seeding of cucumbers and zucchini. Asparagus harvest resumed in the southwest.

Asparagus spears were emerging in the Central region and harvest is expected to start very soon. Most market garden plantings of onions and peas were complete and plastic was being laid in preparation for later transplants. Hoophouse planting of peppers and tomatoes continued in the Bay area. Carrots, kale, and radishes were seeded.