Corn is pollinating throughout much of Michigan and soybeans are setting and filling pods. Warmer temperatures and scattered precipitation during the last couple of weeks have accelerated development and maturity of crops in the northern portions of the Lower Peninsula.
Conversely, dry weather conditions in the central and southern parts of the state and in the Upper Peninsula (U.P.) are slowing crop progress, but these conditions encouraged wheat and hay harvest last week, according to the most recent report from the Michigan field office of the USDA’s National Agricultural Statistics Service (NASS).
Farmers reported 73 percent of soybeans were blooming and 35 percent were setting pods, which is on track with last year and slightly behind the five-year average. Fifty-five percent of corn was in the silk stage, which is behind last year’s rate of 72 percent and the 65-percent five-year average.
Although corn is slightly behind due to the year’s late planting, farmers are reporting 80 percent in good to excellent condition, compared to 73 percent at this time last year.
Nearly all of the winter wheat was reported as being mature, with 72 percent harvested throughout the state. Jim Isleib, Michigan State University extension educator in the U.P., said areas of the south-central U.P. are dry. "Crops are becoming dormant, especially perennial forages," he said. "Small amounts of rainfall have kept most cornfields moving along."
He said while corn is beginning to tassel, "cornfields are generally behind normal due to late planting caused by wet fields.
"In the rest of the region, adequate moisture is resulting in a very satisfactory season for perennial forage growth," he added. "Frequent shows in many areas have made putting up top-quality dry hay challenging."
By Shelly Strautz-Springborn