Field Focus- September 30, 2018 | Michigan Farm News

Field Focus- September 30, 2018

2018-09-30 176 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 continuing our harvest with no shortage of apples. Mosquitos have made working in the orchard very unpleasant. At the time of writing this, the heat has kept customers at home. Luckily there are cooler temperatures in the near future. Hopefully some rain as well. 



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 are enjoying the cooler weather for apple harvest. We finished Gala, Honeycrisp and Empire and are on Jonagold now. Quality has been good. Yields have been slightly better than anticipated, but we aren’t breaking any records.

Around the area, most of the summer vegetable crops are done and fields being planted with cover crops. Pumpkins, squash, and carrot harvest has begun. Combines are rolling as well. 



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.  

The season is still going strong here. We have not received a frost yet and our plants will continue to produce until we do. The dahlias are also appreciating the cooler weather!

This year has been a real challenge from the cool spring to the hot and dry summer. I am really looking forward to hitting the reset button over winter and starting to work with the Christmas trees again!

Before that though, we need to dig our dahlias to and put them into storage. We have a new digger on its way to hopefully make this job a lot easier! 



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 still working on getting all the potatoes harvested. Weather in early September was too hot to dig potatoes, so instead we chopped three silage bags full of corn.

It was kind of wet when we started, but we moved to different fields to find some corn that was drier. The ag bagger broke down, so we went back to harvesting potatoes. At least we got something done instead of waiting for cooler temperatures to dig.


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.

Summer is over for most farmers. Now it's fall time, and harvest season is upon us.

Things are really picking up in the area. Edible dry beans are going and a few soybeans are starting also. I think we will be going the first of October if everything goes right. Wheat and cover crops will be going in soon also.  

Corn silage is pretty much wrapped up, and we’re getting high-moisture off soon too. Corn is drying better than expected. Yields will tell us more when we harvest. Early sugar beets have been coming off pretty good for having a dry June/July. 


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. 

The weather has been warm and dry, so the last big push to bale hay is almost over.

Soybeans have been turning fast and harvest will start soon. Corn chopping is in full swing, but with the delayed planting it may be a little drawn out this year.

Pumpkins are coming out of the field awesome. This may be one of our best years. They have beautiful color and great stems. We didn’t get a lot of powdery mildew this year and everything from the gourds, big, small and specialty pumpkins look great on the farm stand and have been selling great. With the finishing of the hay we are going to start planting rye, hopefully, before we start running beans.

If there isn’t an early frost, our corn should do fine, which isn’t the case for everyone. Some corn was really hurt with the lack of rain in July. The poultry place has been busy with everyone stocking up freezers to have chicken to sell through the winter. We are starting to get ready for the FFA contest in November. If you have a chapter in your area, it might be great place to get awesome chicken and help a great cause, as most chapters sell their extra chickens as a fundraiser.

Baby Elnora is doing awesome and growing like a weed. She is starting to test her vocals and is figuring out her hands. I’m sure it won’t be long until she’s sleeping in the tractor.


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 are pretty much ready to harvest. In a week or so we and our neighboring farms will be going full- throttle running beans. Corn won’t be too far behind, but generally we like to get all of our beans off before we switch into corn.

We are shipping out the last of last year’s corn and gearing up to store this year’s crop.

The grain system is ready to roll after doing normal routine maintenance and fixing a few things that have worn out from years of operation.

To kick off harvest and to start thinking of next year’s planting season, Hunt Farms held its annual field day. This gave me a chance to look at new equipment that’s coming down the pipeline and also gave me a chance to learn about new products and agronomy practices to look at for next growing season.

I also was given the opportunity to represent my business, Ferry Seed and talk about Beck’s current and new products for next year. I look forward once again doing business with my current and new customers for the 2019 growing season!


Leave a comment
Name *
Email *


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.