Field Focus | Michigan Farm News

Field Focus - June 2018

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_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_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.


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.



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.




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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.