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Corn Silage Harvest in Full Swing

Published: Friday, September 23, 2022

The following is from the Michigan Field Office of USDA's National Agricultural Statistics Service for the week ending Sept. 18.

Fieldwork conditions were favorable last week across much of the state. There were a few small rain events that brought some relief to crops, although subsoils remained dry.

There were 6.1 days suitable for fieldwork.

According to the latest U.S. Drought Monitor, counties in Northern and Eastern Lower Peninsula were abnormally dry. The Thumb and Bay Region continued to experience the driest conditions with most of the area in moderate drought.

Dry beans neared full maturity and harvest began to speed up. Sugarbeet harvest continued to move along, and crop conditions remained stable.

Corn for grain was maturing slightly behind the average pace, while corn for silage harvest was in full swing.

Soybeans were drying down quickly.

It was another good week for cutting alfalfa and other hay as the warm, dry weather was favorable for haymaking. Pest and disease pressure continued to be low.

Other activities during the week included harvest machinery preparation, hauling manure and preparing for winter wheat planting.


Apple harvest continued with farmers reporting a heavy crop with large fruit size. The crop was picking out more strongly than some growers predicted and some growers were scrambling to find additional bins.

Fruit is coloring very well. Recent rains have helped fruit size but reduced the brix content of fruit.

On the Ridge, growers were harvesting Gala, Honeycrisp and McIntosh. Growers in the Southwest, were finishing up Gala harvest and moving onto Jonagold and Honeycrisp.

In the Northwest, growers were picking early Honeycrisp strains and applying ReTain in their Gala blocks. Brown marmorated stink bug populations have increased significantly.


Cooler temperatures improved harvest conditions for Michigan vegetable producers as the vegetable season was nearing its end.

Harvest of carrots, cauliflower and several other vegetables was wrapping up, and many vegetables were going to market. Supply of cucumbers was moderate while supplies of zucchini and squash were fairly light.

Potato late blight was confirmed in three additional locations in Montcalm County, causing growers to take immediate action to reduce further spread. Most of the state was at medium risk for late blight, although some areas were at higher risk due to recent heavy rainfall.

The crop progress schedule (last week, previous week, 2021 and 5-year average) showed: corn dented, 81, 69, 79, 74; corn mature, 24, 13, 41, 26; corn harvested for grain, 2, 0, 2, 1; corn harvested for silage, 40, 25, 65, 45; soybeans dropping leaves, 53, 38, 72, 50; soybeans harvested, 2, 0, 4, 1; winter wheat planted, 5, 0, 9, 6; barley harvested, 94, 86, 93, N/A; dry beans dropping leaves, 92, 78, 95, 75; dry beans harvested, 9, 0, 43, N/A; alfalfa hay, third cutting, 93, 89, 89, 78; alfalfa hay, fourth cutting, 45, 33, 49, N/A; other hay, third cutting, 76, 67, 80, 54; other hay, fourth cutting, 16, 10, 10, N/A; sugarbeets harvested, 11, 7, 19, 16.

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