Michigan Farm News

Field Focus: October 30


Sponsored by Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers

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Welcome to our 2015 Field Focus sponsored by Agro-Culture Liquid Fertilizers.

Field Focus gives you an insider's view on what's happening in grapes, pickles, bee farming and other diverse agricultural sectors from Farm Bureau field reporters across the state.   

Several of the reporters are recent graduates of ProFILE, Michigan Farm Bureau's Professional Institute for Leadership Education program.The 15-month program refines individuals' leadership and advocacy skills in an effort to nurture strong agricultural leaders for the future. 



Brian Bush | Chippewa County 

Brian Bush 2015 Field Focus

We've been wrapping up our yard work and honey production. Now, focusing on packaging and deliveries.

The weather has allowed us to finish bulk feeding and preparations for winter, with some moving of hives yet to be done.

We have been blessed with a good harvest after a late start last spring.


Brian Bush is a general contractor near Sault Ste. Marie whose side-business is beekeeping. Honey is the main business focus, and he also distributes about 150 hives for farmers who need the pollinators. 



Matt McKimmy | Gladwin County 

 Matt McKimmy 2015 Field Focus 


We just climbed down off the grain bin. We are busy shelling corn today. Our corn yields are above average and the test weight is good and dry.

Over the last 10 days, harvest progress has been exceptional. We have been very blessed with nice weather this fall, which makes harvest a pleasure. A week ago, we had our first frost killing, which was much later than last year's first frost.

Dry bean harvest is complete and yields seemed about average. 

Later this week, we will dig sugar beets. 


Matt McKimmy grows cucumbers for pickles, corn, sugar beets and dry beans (red and Navy) near Beaverton. The fourth-generation farmer farms with wife Kristen, brother Andy, and his three daughters. 



Mike Noll | Sanilac County


Mike Noll 2015 Field Focus


Fall harvest is in full swing in Michigan's Thumb.

We wrapped up soybean harvest on Oct. 20. Overall, yield was above average, with numbers coming at 50-70 bushels per acre.

Field corn harvest has not begun yet.

 Currently, sugar beet harvest is on hold with the warm temperatures. The ground temperature needs to be under 55 degrees for us to be allowed to harvest. We are 50 percent done with harvest and the beets we dug were phenomenal!  

Last year, we harvested our best crop of sugar beets, and we are anxious to see what the rest of this year brings.


Mike Noll is in a dairy partnership near Croswell with dad Mike and brother Mark. They grow corn, soybeans, sugar beets, alfalfa, wheat and dry beans. Mike is president of the Sanilac County Farm Bureau.



Brian Kreps | Monroe County


Brian Kreps 2015 Field Focus

Winding down on this year's harvest with 50 acres to go. Corn yields have been terrible. Our area was hit hard this spring with wet weather, so even the corn that was planted has been struggling to catch up and do well. 

On a positive note, corn has been very dry coming out of the field, but the yields are just not up to par.

Soybeans were wrapped up on Sunday, Oct. 18.  We saw excellent yields with an average of 57 bushels per acre.  

All the wheat is planted and most of it's coming up.


Brian Kreps is a third -generation cash crop farmer near La Salle and a DeKalb and Asgrow seed dealer with father Gary.



Carl Wagner III | Berrien County 


Carl Wagner III 2015 Field Focus

Harvest is going along well. We are very dry and things seem to be going well. We wouldn't mind a rain—just to get a break and have time to fix a few things. 

Soybeans are wrapping up this Friday. Yields are exceptional, 50-60 bushels per acre, and corn harvest is in full swing.

Grapes are wrapping up this week in southwest Michigan. Yields are about average. For some growers, sugar was a challenge.

Carl Wagner, III grows row crops, juice grapes and certified seed (malting barley, wheat and rye) on his family’s 1400 acres near Niles. He farms with dad Carl, mom Mary, brother Jake and sister Emily.



Brad Lubbers | Allegan County


Brad Lubbers 2015 Field Focus 1


Driest fall we can ever remember, which makes getting into the field much easier.

Soybeans are all harvested and, overall, a little below average. Most of our crops went in late, due to a wet spring, so our soybeans averaged 40-50 bushels per acre.  

We are now working on corn and have about 70 acres in the bin.  Our good ground corn is probably averaging 150-180 bushels per acre. Moisture levels in corn are still 20-25 percent, so we are hoping it dries down before we harvest it.


Brad Lubbers and wife Konni own Lubbers Hog Enterprises with Brad’s father Paul and mother Kathy. They grow corn, soybeans and wheat on 800 acres and run a 220-sow farrow-to-finish operation near Hamilton.


Adam Kokx | Muskegon County 


 Adam Kokx 2015 Field Focus


We finished soybeans last week and yields were above average. Overall, we saw a 5-8 bushel increase per acre and we are very pleased.

We are still waiting for corn to dry down before we start harvesting.

 In the meantime, our roadside stand has kept us busy selling pumpkins, squash and gourds.  We sell 80 percent of pumpkin crop off the farm, while the remaining is sold wholesale.  This year's pumpkin crop was excellent, and sales have been above average.

Adam Kokx raises dairy heifers, steers, a small goat herd and vegetables near Fremont. He also runs Kokx’s Sweet Corn and Pumpkins, a roadside stand. Adam is the third generation on the farm.


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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.