ALLAN ROBINETTE | Kent County
Allan is a fifth-generation fruit grower from Grand Rapids. He farms apples, peaches and cherries with his father Ed, and two uncles.
We’re getting ready for our busiest time of year at the orchard.
Soon we will have apples available for U-pick and a small amount of pears for sale.
We are just finishing up our peach season, and will harvest some plums soon.
As fall approaches, I’m hoping for good weather and lots of customers.
CALEB HERRYGERS | Oceana County
Caleb 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 finally getting rain. Peach and zucchini harvest are winding down. A few early-season apples varieties are being picked, but most need another week or two.
We’re establishing cover crops and getting the grass drive rows seeded in the orchards we planted this spring.
Around the county, there are a number of cherry orchards being removed and ground cleaned up. The shift from summer to fall is near.
MICHAEL GENOVESE | Oakland County
Michael 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!
JASON VANDRESE | Delta County
Jason 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 have all our potato equipment ready to go and have been harvesting, only digging out about a cart or two a couple times a week, just to get some moving before we start harvesting at full force in September. It’s always nice to try everything and fix any problems we have before we put anything into storage.
We’re still picking up irrigation pipe, hauling manure, and working up fields to plant rye in. Still have some straw left to do, and started on third- crop hay too. Looks like it’s going to better than second crop.
SCOTT THOMAS | Sanilac County
Scott 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.
Things are beginning to look better with the late rains.
Corn is starting to dent and dairy guys will soon be taking corn silage off.
Early sugar beet harvest have been underway. Hoping for some good tonnage and sugar content.
Soybeans are looking very good for the small amounts of rain we’ve had.
MATT MUNSELL | Livingston County
Matt 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 we are all done with oats, rye and straw, which is good because we lose our help when they return to school.
We still have a little hay to bale, but that is where the round baler comes in handy. We have been busy cleaning seed rye and tying cornstalks so they will dry green and be ready for the fall market.
With the recent bit of moisture, the corn and beans are coming along great, given the summer we had. Pumpkins are turning orange and we will start picking the middle of September. We have a small bit of powdery mildew starting, but nothing that should affect us too bad.
The sunflowers have been in bloom the last couple weeks but are done now. It’s amazing the things we take for granted. We had people from Grand Rapids to Port Huron come and take pictures of them along with 40-50 passing cars or more a day for two weeks. Yet we just think it’s just a sunflower field.
No one is chopping corn silage here yet, but probably any time now.
Elnora is12 weeks old and doing great, she is growing like crazy we are very excited for the upcoming holidays. My wife Amanda was off all summer but had to go back to work, so that took a little adjustment. With all that been said, with the upcoming harvest season upon us, don’t forget to be safe and watch out for others.
CODY FERRY | Genesee County
Cody 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.