Field Focus | Michigan Farm News

Field Focus - May 30, 2018

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_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_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! 


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_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. 


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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.