Field Focus- September 15, 2018 | Michigan Farm News

Field Focus- September 15, 2018

2018-09-15 176 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.

Fall is finally here and the crowds have arrived with it. 

We are offering U-Pick to customers now that we’ve got our Honeycrisp picked.

Our cider mill is up and running and we’ll be selling pumpkins soon.

Crop yields on apples are above average for us this year, and that is a welcome change from last year.


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 went from one extreme to the other with all the rain we’ve been getting. Our sandy soils that left us so dry in the drought are draining well and progress in the fields hasn’t been hindered too much.
The most violent winds missed our farms, but unfortunately north of us five miles sustained severe damage with downed trees and tipped-over pivots. We had to straighten some apple trellises where trees had tipped, and some varieties did lose a fair amount of fruit to the ground. 

Apple harvest is underway now, with McIntosh done, Gala in progress, and Honeycrisp beginning


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. 

Things have finally cooled down and we have received a bit of rain on the farm. The dahlias are pumping out more blooms than we can handle, and the farm is full of color.
Normally we would only have a few more weeks in the season, but if the weather holds out we will continue to harvest until mid-October. Honestly, I am looking forward to a little break. Unfortunately, that won’t be until after Christmas! 

Once we dig the dahlias, Christmas tree season will start up. Can’t wait to wear a hoodie again and for some R & R in January!


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. 

We’re harvesting potatoes in full force now. We only grow about 100 acres, but we’ll dig every day until we’re done. We put them all into storage, and are usually done harvesting around the first week of October. But if it keeps raining here, we’ll have a lot of fun playing in the mud.
We planted all our rye cover crop for next year. All irrigation pipe is picked up, straw is done, and third-cutting hay is done. Corn looks good. Some people have already started chopping it, but we have to get all the potatoes in first and then switch to corn.

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.

The harvest has been really picking up in the area. Corn silage and sugar beets are underway in our area. Dry beans and soybeans are really starting to mature too, and I’m guessing by the end of the month we will be close to running. And wheat will be getting planted.

The rains have really been nice to get. I wish it was couple months earlier, but everything still looks promising for good crops.

Have a great and safe harvest.


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. 

In Fowlerville the beans are starting to turn fast and some corn is drying down and ears are tipping down.

Corn is starting to be chopped and we’re starting to move. Some bunker covers and baggers are going out. It’s nice to know there are some small farms left. Seems all you hear about are the big ones.

Pumpkins are starting to ripen, and we will open our stand on the 15th of September. So come and get all your fall decorations. We are still busy with chickens as growers are stocking up for winter. Have a safe harvest.


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.  

Soybeans have started changing over. The rains have been very beneficial in filling pods. I believe we will be very pleased with our early planted bean yields this year.

Corn is a toss-up. After walking a few fields, I’ve noticed some ears had pollinated really well and others not so much. But corn plant heath appears to be really good as we come into fall.

Our farm, along with other farms, are already looking into what seed we are going to plant and what can we change for next growing season. The last couple of weeks I have been busy meeting with my Beck’s customers to start discussing seed orders for next year. One thing we have noticed this year is weed pressure, and resistant weeds have been an issue.  So I think going into 2019 planting season we will see a change in gears in soybean technologies and herbicide programs being used.

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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.