Michigan wheat harvest expected early

A wheat specialist says Michigan’s harvest could start up to two weeks ahead of normal.

Michigan State University Extension’s Dennis Pennington tells Brownfield yield losses from recent hot, humid weather will likely be less for crops past flowering.

“The majority of the wheat crop in Michigan when these high temperatures and humidities hit were probably at least 50 percent of the way through their grain fill period, and some of them may be even a little further than that,” he says.

He recommends farmers take the crop early with higher moisture levels if weather could be an issue.

“If you see in the long range forecast frequent rainfall, that would make it even more important to harvest as soon as you can,” he suggests. “There will be a little bit of drying charge, but sometimes there are some elevators that will actually pay the drying costs because they’re encouraging growers to get out there and harvest early.”

AUDIO: Dennis Pennington, Michigan State University Extension

The USDA says winter wheat in Michigan is rated 76 percent good to excellent with 17 percent mature, ahead of last year and the five-year average

Corn is now 97 percent emerged and 71 percent of the crop is rated good to excellent. Soybeans are 98 percent planted, 91 percent emerged, and two percent blooming with 62 percent of the crop good to excellent.

Dry beans are 91 percent planted, 83 percent emerged, and rated 62 percent good to excellent. Sugarbeets 70 percent good to excellent. First cutting of alfalfa is 71 percent complete and second cutting is at six percent.

Apple harvest is forecast about a week ahead of normal because of rapid development while some cherry and blueberry harvests have started in the southern part of the state.  More Michigan vegetables are heading to market with downy mildew closely being monitored.

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