Michigan Farm News

Field Focus from Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers

Field Focus

2018-06-21 176 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 | Kent County

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.  

Right now we are working on weed spraying and building deer fences for our new plantings.

We have started hand-thinning our peaches and some of our apple varieties as well.

We have just planted corn for our corn maze. We don’t have the ability to irrigate that field, so the recent rains have been welcome.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be preparing to start picking sweet cherries.

CALEB HERRYGERS | Oceana County

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.  

Asparagus harvest is coming to a close after another eventful year. Yields were good, but quality suffered during the hot and dry spell at the end of May.

The heat did catch us back up to what a “normal” year’s timing might be.

The cherry crop looks good, unless you know the state of the industry. Overall, apples have a nice fruit set as well.

Row crops are growing well, and as long as we can keep timely rains, all crops should be decent.

MICHAEL GENOVESE | Oakland County

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.  

Our part of the state has been hot and dry. We have been in a mad rush to get a well drilled (and everything that goes along with that) as well as our irrigation set up for the dahlias.

Luckily, they do not need much water until they are around a foot tall. With all the expansion on the farm it has been hard to keep up with all the work. We have a good team of employees, but I think we will need to hire more soon.

Things have calmed down with the Christmas tree farm until we need to start pruning in July and August.

 

JASON VANDRESE | Delta County

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.  

All the crops are planted and it’s been raining enough to keep the dust down, but we still need more. We pressure washed and greased/oiled all of our planting equipment and fixed some of it. We pulled all our hay equipment out and parked the planting equipment in. Also, we took out

irrigation equipment and got it ready to go.

We fixed fences and let calves out of the barn into the pasture and then cleaned the barn. We spread manure, cleaned off our cement pad for ag bags, got everything set up to fill the bags and started cutting hay.

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.  

We’ve been very busy since the beginning of the month with spraying corn, soybeans and sugar beets.

Along with getting the corn side-dressed, a little bit of rain wouldn’t hurt as we have been dry and missing some needed pop-up showers.

Second-cutting hay in the area is coming on strong too.

Combines will be coming in the shop soon, because it Mdoesn’t look like it will be long before we start on wheat.

Looks like another strong crop.

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. 

We are just finishing planting and starting hay. Spraying is underway most everybody is done except for replanting.

As far as baby watch: we received Elnora Marie Munsell on 5-30-2018.

Everyone is home and healthy.

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.  

Crops are all planted and on their way! Once again, it’s been a challenging spring as we fought with Mother Nature.

We have been making good progress with spraying.

Weeds have been enjoying the warm weather just as much as the corn and soybeans have. Anhydrous has started to be applied to the corn, and we will have to keep right at it so it doesn’t get away from us.

Also, wheat is headed out and fungicide has been applied. Before we know it, it will be time to harvest.

 

 

 

Field Focus

2018-06-21 176 Farm News Media farmnews_06/19/18_flood-car 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 | Kent County

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 enjoying a promising amount of potential fruit on the trees at our farm. Apples were in full bloom as I wrote this, and the projected warm weather looks ideal for the bees to do their work. 

Our sweet and tart cherries have so far made it through bloom unscathed. Sadly, we will see a small peach crop this coming season. Extreme cold temperatures in December killed a lot of bud wood in dormancy. 

CALEB HERRYGERS | Oceana County

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.  

Moisture has been adequate so far, and we finally found some heat to go with it, so everything is moving fast now. 

Asparagus harvest is in full swing. Be sure to check out your local grocer for fresh Michigan asparagus! We’re through bloom on the apples and cherries. We’ll know shortly what the crop is going to look like. Another exciting year is starting to unfold! 

MICHAEL GENOVESE | Oakland County

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 have finished all the field prep and are about two-thirds of the way though getting all the dahlias planted. The weather has been perfect so far for planting, and ground temperatures are where they need to be for the dahlias to start waking up. 

With dahlias you don’t want the ground to be too wet until the plants have established themselves as it can lead to rot. We have had a relatively dry few weeks which have been perfect conditions for our plants. 

On the Christmas tree farm we are working on fixing our drip irrigation system and removing all the cones from our fir trees.  

 

JASON VANDRESE | Delta County

Jason Vandrese_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 are just about done delivering potatoes to local stores. All of our barley and oats are in the ground. Right now we’re planting corn, which is probably about halfway done, and then hopefully we’ll plant potatoes.We’ve still got quite a bit of manure to spread, and had some problems with our truck, so haven’t had time to do it. 

Due to high fire danger, I’ve been spending a lot of time at the DNR office. It’s been windy and dry, so even though we want to get done planting, we could use some rain. 

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.  

 

Things have been a little interesting this spring to say the least. Too wet, then too dry. Mother Nature has been playing fun games with us. Still, most everything in this area has been going in on time. Corn, soybeans and sugar beets are all up and going. We still have a few acres or corn to get in the ground. 

Wheat is starting to really take off with the rain and warm weather we have been having. Dairy guys will soon be taking hay off. 

Remember to thank our veterans whenever you can, and not only on Memorial Day weekend. 

 

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. 

Good morning from Fowlerville. Due to recent rain, rain and more rain, planting was halted here for more than a week, although the forecast looks promising with warm temps and no rain. Everyone here has gotten off to a great start, and most are past the halfway mark or close to done. 

With 3-4 inches of rain, replanting will be the case for some. 

The parts came in for the corn planter, so we are ready to go when it dries out. We have corn, sunflowers, pumpkins and a few beans left to plant. We are still waiting for the arrival of baby Munsell (due date is 5-27-2018). Everyone is healthy and on track, so we are thankful for that. As always, we went to the Fowlerville parade and ceremony at the cemetery on Memorial Day to remember those who served. 

CODY FERRY | Genesee County

Cody Ferry_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.  

As usual, the weather has thrown us a curve ball with cooler air and rainy conditions during the second week of May. Our first-planted soys, which were in the ground May 1, sure didn’t like the cool rainy conditions, but they appear to be coming around. 

The warmer weather has given them a refreshed take on life and they’re greening up! Corn planting has been fair. As usual, the planter had a few issues here and there, but we are still managing to get the crop planted. The first-planted corn is emerged and looking good! 

We’re hoping to stay on track and finish up planting in a timely manner. Of course, weather permitting. Field conditions are still on the wet side, and doesn’t take much rain to shut us down for a few days. So a little less rain would be good. 

 

Field Focus

2018-05-08 176 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 | Kent County

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.  

These past few weeks have been all about planting trees for us. We are in the process of replacing our existing peach orchard and have more than doubled our number of sweet cherry trees. In addition, we’ve replaced a thousand Honeycrisp trees with a newer variety that will ideally be fully red in color.

Spring has been kind to us. We had concerns about frost damage to our trees recently, but the cold weather we’ve had for most of the spring has delayed bloom enough that we made it through the frost event seemingly unscathed.

CALEB HERRYGERS | Oceana County

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.  

The late start to spring gave everyone adequate time to finish trimming trees. The new orchards are planted, and new asparagus fields are going in now.

Asparagus harvest is coming up fast. Early reports indicate the labor supply is improving, much in part to another increase in the use of H2A. Although it is Michigan and the weather can change in a hurry, the general consensus is the later start to the growing season should lead to a lesser chance of a freeze and more successful fruit sets.

 

MICHAEL GENOVESE | Oakland County

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 had one of the coldest and wettest springs in memory here on the farm this year. Temperatures were running 10 to 15 degrees below normal and things didn’t start warming up until the end of April.

The weather pushed our schedules back by around three weeks and we ended up planting Christmas trees later than we have in the last 30 years. I am expanding our cut flower production to six acres this year, tripling what we did last year. I hope to start planting in the next few days once the risk of frost is over.

 

JASON VANDRESE | Delta County

Jason Vandrese_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 are still delivering potatoes to local stores, but it’s almost done. Right now we’ve just been pulling our planting equipment out and getting all of it ready to go. Looks like the ground is pretty dry here and temperatures are warm.

We’ve got a lot of manure to spread, so we’re going to do that until we’re done, pick up all the rock piles, work up the fields and then start planting. We’ve also put duels on tractors, potato seed cutter ready and waiting to get our seed in.

 

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.  

Finally weather is in our favor! Nitrogen is on the wheat and looking good. Planting is in full swing with sugar beets being planted. Many guys started the last week of April planting corn and soybeans in the area. Hopefully everyone has safe and great spring.

 

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.

Spring planting is in full swing, our oats are all planted and we’ve started planting soybeans. We will start planting corn and sunflowers as soon as the planter parts come in (it is fun waiting on parts).

Neighbors here are moving right along, we all started the last week of April without many wet spots.

Greenhouses are starting to fill with blossoms in preparation for Mothers Day, and vegetable plants are enjoying the long-awaited spring sunshine. Pumpkin seeds are waiting for Memorial Day week.

Thinking about contracting some corn and beans with recent slide up in prices

Hopefully planting continues without many setbacks because my wife and I are waiting for our first baby the end of May. So far everything is on track and we are excited to meet our new baby girl.

 

CODY FERRY | Genesee County

Cody Ferry_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.  

We are off to a slow start, but have worked a few acres. We have planted a few acres of corn and soybeans and have been applying dry fertilizer. Field conditions have a ways to go but we are able to find ground that is ready to go!

 

Index

 

Blogs & Columns

 

Columns

Field Focus - June

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.

Field Focus - May 30

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.

Breaking entry barriers for new farmers

Dollars and Sense

GreenStone FCS | May 23, 2018 

Farming can be a capital-intense business and with land prices increasing and commodity prices decreasing it may appear impossible for individuals to enter into farming. However, we also know if we are to continue to have access to a safe and affordable food supply, we must have resources available to encourage the next generation of farmers.

 

 

Field Focus - May 15

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. 


Use financial reports to assist in guiding business decisions

Dollars and Sense

GreenStone FCS | April 24, 2018 

Are you wondering what the break-even cost is on your cattle operation? Are you unsure what market price you need on your crops to cover inputs? Questioning if you should buy that piece of equipment this year or next year to minimize income taxes?