Michigan Farm News

Field Focus from Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers

Crops & Livestock, Field Focus

2018-11-15 176 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 | 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 finished with our apple harvest for the season! Recent rains did not present much challenge to us finishing our harvest, however we did have a bit of a scare as we had a small hailstorm come through recently. Luckily there was no visible damage done to our crop or trees.

At the time of writing this, we are working on winterizing our irrigation lines, and building additional deer fences to protect our younger trees. As Thanksgiving and Christmas approach, our focus will shift to shipping fruit in gift boxes all across the country.

 

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 fall weather has been fairly cooperative with the exception of a couple days of light rains, about a quarter inch on two occasions. Corn, squash and carrots rule the roads. There are a lot of Christmas trees being cut now as well.

Asparagus growers that elect to chop fern in the fall have their mowers busy. Much of the migrant community has left, and housing units are being winterized. Apple trimming is underway, and along with that, brush grinding.

And at home, we have ourselves a walker. Luke is loving life and his newfound mobility!

 

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 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

 

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.  

We’ve been doing a little bit of everything lately! Around here we’re just trying to finish up as much as we can before it gets too cold. The weather hasn’t been that bad, better than October was. We’re still combining corn and delivering potatoes, cleaning calf pens, hauling out manure, picking up stone piles left in the field after digging potatoes, and emptying the slurry tank again. I just emptied the slurry in August so it wasn’t that full, but usually we empty it out once in the fall and once in the spring and sometimes it’s just about running over.

 

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.

Not sure what we have had for rain for October, since our rain gauges were put away in case of freezing, but had few rain delays. Been seeing many flocks of geese headed south. It’s definitely the heart of harvest season as I write this.

Soybean yields were very good in area, better than expected. Test-plots had few in the 80s bushel per acre range. Couple of our seed beans varieties that we grew were in the 65-70 range.

Got some winter wheat is planted and also trying to get cover crops planted.

Corn harvest is underway in the area with yields ranging across the board depending on if you got rain or not. Test weights have been decent too. Sugar beets were also a good year if you got the rains just like corn.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!

 

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. 

Fowlerville is moving right along. Beans are starting to be wrapped up if we can keep the elevator taking them it would be easier but tis the season.

There is a lot of corn being done inches area between rain drops. We have gotten a couple 1/2” rains and a bunch of mists. We just barely started on corn, but everything is halted with the broiler contest. The crop quality has been good, test weights are a little low but given the year we’ll take it.

All of our rye is planted and most of it is up already. Pumpkins are done and Ch————mas trees will be coming soon (I didn’t want to say it yet!). Turkey season is ramping up to be busy as always.

 

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.  

Soybean harvest is finished and we are now plugging away at corn. Our soybean yields were better than anticipated and caught us by surprise. It has been a busy few weeks as we harvested the majority of our soybeans in two weeks.

Corn also appears to be doing fairly well but it is still early as we only have a few acres off. As usual the weather decides what we accomplish in a day and looking ahead it looks like it’s going to be wet. We caught about an inch of rain on Oct. 31.

 

Columnists, Field Focus

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 | 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 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 | 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.  

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! 

 

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 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   

 

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.

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

Columnists, Field Focus

2018-10-15 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.

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.

Updated as of September 30, 2018

 

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.  

Here’s the latest from God’s Country: September closed with spotty rains and we opened October with another inch. Fortunately, it hasn’t slowed apple harvest much as most of the rain has come overnight.

Cooler weather has helped productivity and apple quality, and maybe just as importantly knocked the rampant mosquitoes back. Around the area, pumpkins have been picked up and shipped, and the squash and carrot guys are rolling.

This year seems like it has gone especially fast for me - we’re celebrating Luke’s first birthday this month!

 

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.  

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! 

Updated as of September 30, 2018

 

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.  

We’ve got about 25 acres of Russet potatoes to dig and all of our white potatoes to dig which is probably another 20 acres. It’s getting harder and harder to dig right now, the days are getting shorter, and it’s been mostly cloudy every day, which means less and less sunlight to dry things up.

 

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. 

Updated as of September 30, 2018

 

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.

Updated as of September 30, 2018

 

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.  

Soybean harvest had started but then came to a screeching halt. It looks like we made up for the lost rains of this past summer all in one week! Throughout the area, we received anywhere from 2.3 to 3.0 inches of rain.

Now if we could just get a few days of sunshine and a little wind without the three or four passing clouds that want to sprinkle on us, we might be able to jump back into harvest.

It’s too early to tell what yields are going to be. We only taken off a few acres prior to the rain but those fields produced fairly well.

Columns

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.