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Michigan crop update: Dry beans planted at furious pace

LANSING, MI -- There were 5.4 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending June 7, according to the Great Lakes Regional office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. A cold, wet Memorial Day weekend gave way to drier, but cool conditions later in the week. Dry beans were planted at a furious pace as corn and soybean planting was winding down. Early planted corn was at the side dress window, cooler temperatures kept some corn off color. Early planted soybeans looked good; the first herbicide applications were going on this week. Early planted wheat was headed out while later planted fields were beginning to reach head emergence; wet weather during the early flowering period was expected to cause challenges for Fusarium head blight development. Hay producers took advantage of sunny weather to harvest first cutting alfalfa, although much was being chopped for silage. Oats and barley continued to look good with improved weather conditions.

Damage to sweet cherries and tart cherries was still being assessed across many northwestern counties. In the south, sweet cherries were at 13 to 18 millimeters while tart cherries were at 10 to 12 millimeters; some fruit drop has been reported, but there appeared to still be potential for good crops in the southwest. Apple growers in the north reported a decent set in later varieties, while early blooming varieties showed more damage. In the south, apple fruits ranged from 12 to 24 millimeters; fire blight and apple scab continued to be concerns. Peaches were out of shuck split and were 10 to 18 millimeters in diameter. Pears were 12 to 16 millimeters in size with larger fruit now starting to grow considerably faster. Japanese plums were at 6 to 16 millimeters. European plums were at 12 to 18 millimeters, but pits were not hard. Apricots were about one inch in diameter. Grapes in the northwest were showing a few signs of recovery from winter cold and the May 20 freeze events. In the south, grape shoots ranged from 12 inches in the southwest to 30 inches for Concords in the southeast. Saskatoons have progressed to the small berry stage. Blueberry bloom ended and fruit has been sizing up; growers in the southwest report the blueberry crop is variable due to winter injury of canes and flower buds. Strawberry harvest began in the far southwest part of the state, while in the southeast, strawberries were mostly at small green to thimble sized fruit. Raspberries were at full bloom for early flowering varieties.

Asparagus harvest continued in the west and central regions with many southwest growers beginning work on post-harvest activities. Potato planting is nearing completion in the central region. Earlier planted fields emerged and showed good progress. Sweet corn seeding continued with early-planted fields in good shape. Tomato, pepper, and eggplant transplanting continued in the southwest region with early-planted peas starting to bloom. Cole crops in the eastern region have shown good growth but have recently fallen under heavy insect pressure. Onions in the west have shown strong development and green bean planting is underway. Disease pressure has been a concern for many growers as precipitation and humidity have been prevalent.