Weather slows Michigan fieldwork, forces some sugarbeet replanting

Cold temperatures, high wind, and even some upper peninsula snow kept Michigan farmers out of the fields for much of last week.  USDA reporters say there were just over three days suitable for fieldwork, and some farmers in the lower peninsula were able to apply manure and fertilizer.

Michigan led the nation in sugarbeet planting last week, but the freezing temperatures in some areas have some producers replanting.  Soil temperatures were too low to begin soybean and corn planting and slowed growth for winter wheat, barley, alfalfa, and oats.

Thirteen percent of Michigan’s winter wheat is jointing.  Twenty-one percent of the oats, 41% of sugarbeets, and 1% of barley are planted.  About 5% of sugarbeets have emerged.

Fruit producers also dealt with a mid-week hard freeze as southeastern apples were just beginning to break dormancy.  Tart cherry buds are starting to swell, blueberry flower buds are opening.

Michigan topsoil moisture is 64% adequate and 32% surplus, while subsoil moisture is 54% adequate and 44% surplus.

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