Field Focus: July 15, 2018
Farm News Media
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 is a fifth-generation fruit grower from Grand Rapids. He farms apples, peaches and cherries with his father Ed, and two uncles.
We recently nished our U-pick for sweet cherries.
Heat and humidity cut the season very short as we battled brown rot and quickly ripening cherries.
Very soon, we will begin to harvest our rst apple variety of the season as well as apricots.
In the meantime, we are keeping ourselves busy hand- thinning our crop of Honeycrisp trees.
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.
The main storyline around here is the lack of rain. June and July have been desert-dry, and there are a lot of crops around the county that won’t come close to expectations. Thank goodness for irrigation.
Many of the neighbors’ vegetable crops will be coming on over the next few weeks. The next big crop for this area is zucchini.
We’re nishing up cherry harvest and clean up. August will be a little less busy at our farm as we await the early apple varieties.
Here’s hoping for a good rain soon, and not to get it all during fall harvest season!
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.
Hot and dry: Those two words sum things up perfectly. It has been a scorcher of a month here on the farm.
We’re trying to install a new well and have been getting the run-around from a few well drilling companies. It is taking longer than we imagined getting things moving but, for now at least, our plants are doing OK.
It has been a year of extremes from the cold wet spring, and now some near record-breaking heat with very little rain. I sure wish we could take a little of that cold and wet weather now!
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.
Unfortunately, we’ve been getting hardly any rain whatsoever, so we’ve been irrigating potatoes nonstop. We’ve been having a lot of issues with our pumps too.
We cleaned out our calf barn, ripped out some of the cement oor, and poured all new cement throughout.
The corn was doing great until July came with little to no rain and excessive heat. We have all our hay equipment ready to go again and started cutting second crop, but it’s dry and also suffering from the heat and lack of rain.
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.
The rains we got in late June sure have helped in the big push. Crops in our area look very healthy with the little rain that we did get.
Wheat harvest was better than expected, being dry. Third-cutting hay in is looking very good also.
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.
Spraying is all done.
Guys are started into wheat and will be done soon. With the lack of rain we really could use right now, a lot of the early corn is tasseling. The later corn still has good color but is curling in this heat.
We haven’t started rye yet, but we’re close. The county fair is July 22 through 29, so our labor force dwindles then.
Chickens are starting to back up on appointments 4-6 weeks out. First-cutting hay is done and all put in the barn.
Elnora is 6 weeks old and doing great. She is eating and sleeping good and is a hit everywhere we go. Thanks and remember to stay hydrated.
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.
Wheat harvest has started in the area. Warm weather and dry conditions have really pushed the wheat along.
From the looks of our wheat and reports from around the area, the quality seems to be fair.
Our later-planted crops are starting to show stress with no rain in the last few weeks. Rain has been very spotty throughout our farming operation. We have some elds that have caught an inch or two, and some have not received any rain.
Our early planted crops appear to be in fair condition and well on their way as long we get a splash of water soon!
Now we will focus on nishing up foliar application on beans and getting the little bit of our wheat harvested.