Field Focus- October 30, 2018 | Michigan Farm News

Field Focus- October 30, 2018

2018-10-23 176 Farm News Media Field Focus_MFN_2018 Welcome to the 2018 Field Focus feature. This year, six of our seven reporters are members of ProFile, a leadership development program of Michigan Farm Bureau. In each print edition of Michigan Farm News through the growing season, these young farmers will tell you about conditions on their farms and their regions.


Allan Robinette_MFN_2018Allan is a fifth-generation fruit grower from Grand Rapids. He farms apples, peaches and cherries with his father Ed, and two uncles.

We are just now finishing up harvest on apples.

The weather has complicated harvest, but we’ve been able to get everything picked in good time.

Our yield this year is fantastic when compared to last year’s disappointing crop. As we get our numbers put together, we find that our yield is above average.



Caleb Herrygers_MFN_2018Caleb and his family raise primarily tart cherries, asparagus, and apples on their centennial farm. He and his wife Andrea have one son, Luke.  

We've been getting consistent light rains, and had a hard freeze the morning of the 18th with temperatures dipping to 25. Apples are wrapped up and we ended up with a little better crop than I expected.

We're getting some equipment put away for the winter. Soon we'll be mowing asparagus fern and starting to trim trees. Around the area, Christmas tree guys are starting to cut trees, carrot and squash harvest continues, and there's getting to be a lot more talk about deer hunting. Good luck hunters! 



Micheal Genovese_MFN_2018Michael operates Summer Dreams Farm, specializing in Dahlias for cut flowers and tubers. Michael also works with his parents, Frank and Cathy, on their Christmas Tree Farm.  

We are at the height of our season now and the fields are full of flowers. Our season is around eight weeks long, but the peak is September. The last two years, because of a late frost, we have managed to harvest into mid-October.

We are still in rough shape when it comes to rain, now around 8 inches behind, but we have been managing with our irrigation system that we set up. It is not a perfect situation, but it is keeping everything looking good! Now if Mother Nature would just cool things down a bit!

Updated as of September 30, 2018   



Vandrese FF_MFN_2018Jason works at VanDrese Farms in Cornell, which has been family owned and operated since 1914. He works with his grandma, dad and two uncles. They work 750 acres and grow alfalfa, oats, barley, corn, and potatoes (russets & whites). They also milk 140 Holstein cows twice a day in a free-stall barn.

Well we're finally done digging potatoes, through the rain and snow. It snowed a few times off and on, but hasn't stayed on the ground for very long. I'm not sure how much rain we've gotten but I know we got as much as three inches in one day. The corn is all chopped into bags and one silo full. Moved right into combining. We got our field harvest audit done so now it's time to do our Primus Global Food Safety Initiative Audit (Primus GFSI). Don't have a date for it yet but want to do it sometime next month.


SCOTT THOMAS | Sanilac County 

Scott Thomas-MFN_2018Scott works at Eager farms in Brown City, where he farms corn, soybeans, sugar beets and wheat. He also works the family farm along with his mother.

What a month it has been and very rough start to fall harvest, as many across the state have probably experienced. Many farmers in the area, as well as us, started the corn harvest then moved to soybeans.

Corn yields and moisture have been all over the board depending where you are and when you received the rains. I have seen anywhere from 140-260 bushels per acre on our fields and have the same from also talking friends. 

Soybean harvest got rolling good around October 13. Yields have been very pleasing with high 50’s running up to the 75 bushel per acre mark in the seed beans that I have harvested so far. Guys are also chopping the 5th cutting hay.

Sugar beets will be starting permanent pile any day now and with the rains in early October should help with adding the tons on. 


MATT MUNSELL | Livingston County 

Matt Munsell_MFN_2018Matt farms with his family on their centennial farm in Fowlerville where they grow hay, oats, sunflowers, pumpkins, rye, soybeans and corn. They also have greenhouses and a road side market where they direct-market most products. He also owns Munsell’s poultry processing, which operates under full USDA inspection. 

Hello from Fowlerville. The sunflowers are all done and waiting in the bin for this winter. We are still trying to get rye planted and just started running soybeans. The pumpkins are selling very well this year and we have lucked out with sunny weather on the weekends. The patch isn’t too muddy so the pickers can still get out there with the gators and haul out the pumpkins.

The tractor pull turned out great - we had about 50-60 tractors come and pull. It rained before and after but, not during so the track held up pretty well. Most of the classes ended up somewhere around pulling 200% on a dead weight sled.

A lot of beans and corn are coming off in this area and there is some wheat still being put in. The weather has changed here and it feels like fall now. We haven’t got a lot of rain in the last couple weeks. It just kept drizzling enough to hold up everything, but we’ve had a good stretch of dry weather and things are moving along now. Bean yields are in the 50’s and haven’t heard much as far as corn yields around here.

We are gearing up for the broiler contest at the poultry place and then it’s on to thanksgiving turkeys. So hopefully if you plan on bringing birds to us you already have an appointment, we are currently booking in December. Baby Elnora is almost 5 months and is hit or miss on sleeping through the night so, that has been fun. Other than that she is doing great. Stay safe out there and Happy Halloween. 


CODY FERRY | Genesee County

Ferry_FF_MFN_2018Cody is farm manager for a large cash-crop farm which grows corn, wheat and soybeans. In his spare time he is a Beck’s Hybrid seed dealer.  

This is the month that soybeans are made, and the weather has been cooperating with us the last few weeks.

We have caught good rains in the area that have helped tremendously with filling pods and with grain fill in corn. 

Right now it’s the calm before the storm around the farm. We all know harvest will be here really quick and we can all hope we are ready for it. I will begin to really walk fields again to get a better idea how the crops are developing and looking at plant health.

From the few fields that I have been in, whether it’s been our farm or my customers fields, things still look really good considering this year’s dry conditions up to this point.

Updated as of October 15, 2018

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Market Outlook: Large corn inventories don’t bode well for price outlook

Dr. Jim Hiker | November 30, 2018

 Jim Hilker png(1)The November USDA/NASS Crop Production Report showed U.S. 2018 corn production to be 14.6 billion bushels, down 1% from the October estimate. It would still be the second largest crop on record, just below the 2016 record of 2016 of 15.1 billion bushels. 

Weather Outlook: Warmer and drier days ahead…

Jeff Andresen | November 30, 2018

Jeff Andresen pngThe development of an upper air trough across central and eastern North America during the last week of October led to northwesterly flow across the Great Lakes region and to an extended period of early winter weather through much of the first half of November.

Field Focus- November 15, 2018

Welcome to the 2018 Field Focus feature. This year, six of our seven reporters are members of ProFile, a leadership development program of Michigan Farm Bureau. In each print edition of Michigan Farm News through the growing season, these young farmers will tell you about conditions on their farms and their regions. 


Weather Outlook: Above normal precipitation to continue

Jeff Andresen | November 15, 2018

Jeff Andresen pngSeasonably cool and drier weather developed across the Great Lakes region during late October, allowing a resumption and/or acceleration of fall harvest and fieldwork activities across Michigan. With a persistent troughing pattern in place during much of the latter half of October, temperatures fell to below normal values, slowing grain dry down and soil evaporation rates.

Drier days ahead for harvest?

Jeff Andresen | October 30, 2018

Jeff Andresen pngThe jet stream flow across North America changed dramatically during mid-October, with the transition of the highly amplified western troughing/eastern ridging pattern of the past few weeks to a western ridging/ eastern troughing pattern.