It’s day 15; it’s July 10th, 2015. It’s the start of the U.S. Crop Tour in the state of Michigan. We’re going to start it here today and then finish it off tomorrow – day 16 on July 11th and end our 2015 U.S. Crop Tour. Just to give you a couple of facts about agriculture in Michigan: Michigan ranks 11th in corn production, 12th in soy and 16th in wheat, so similar to perhaps Wisconsin. It’s not a big state, it doesn’t rank high so what happens here may or may not add to the national average. But everything adds up. Some facts: average farm size – 182 acres, total acres – 10 million, average corn yield last year was 161. There’s about 355 million bushels that are grown yearly, although last year was a record –about 7% of the total production in the United States. 1.3-1.5 million acres of soys are grown in the state. Wheat, typically within that 20-30 million bushels per year. Michigan is the leader in tart berries more than it is in grain production. In the latest USDA Crop Progress Report for corn, the very poor to poor over the last three to four weeks has increased by 8 points to 11%. Good to excellent has dropped 10% to 65%. And soy very poor to poor has increased 11%. Good to excellent has dropped 12 points to 59%. In the wheat, the very poor to poor has increased 6% to 13%, and good to excellent 65% - a drop of 3%. Here’s a good example of the corn here in Michigan. Thus far from what I’ve seen travelling in Michigan, and it’s getting late in the day – it’s a sunny day here, but this is a very – some of it is head high but I see a lot of variability within the field. Could be moisture stress here as well. What I’ve seen so far is that the corn is very short, which is amazing to me. I’m surprised to be honest with you. And you get that variability because perhaps Michigan did get a little bit too much moisture here over the last couple of months. It’s healthy – looks lush and green but it’s a little bit behind its growth stage.
We’re travelling east on highway 12. We’re near Three Oaks, Michigan, and we’re in front of a soybean field. In fact, the beans here in Michigan look a lot better than the corn. As I stated earlier, the corn looking a little short. Looks like a little bit of variability, looks like the rows are filling. This is just about to flower, maybe some moisture stress there, but overall, the beans are looking maybe further ahead than the corn, which again is a little bit of a surprise to me. I’m not seeing much in terms of weed pressure. It looks like this field was sprayed, and I’m not seeing any disease pressure either.
Its day 16, our final day of the U.S. Crop Tour. We’re in the state of Michigan. It’s July 11th and we’re travelling east on highway 57. We’re near – just passed – Greenville, Michigan. We’ve got another short cornfield here. Probably planted a little bit later. It’s about almost chest high, but there’s some good looking tall corn, but the majority of it is late and short which is surprising to me.
We’re travelling east on highway 57. We’re just passed Ashley and we’re in front of a bean field. It’s shorter than usual. We’ve been talking to some local farmers here, and the north has been getting flooded, they’ve been getting some good rains. Around here they’re saying that they’re lacking a little bit of rain. They planted a little bit later. The early beans or corn look decent, but the later planted stuff looks short to us. Farmers have been saying that basically it’s been too cold. Finally we’re getting some heat here today, but some of the beans were planted late May, and there’s still a big growing season ahead, so this crop still could still be made but it could be subject to some early frost as well.
We’re travelling east on highway 57. We’re near Clio, Michigan. We’re in front of another soybean field here. This area, from local farmers, are suggesting that we may need a drink or two – it’s been a little dry in this area, a little sparse in this field, not filled out like we’ve seen. Nowhere near flowering, so a little bit behind. We’re going to continue to travel east. We’re going to go down the 75 to 69 towards Port Huron, and we’ll do our final tour and video of the state of Michigan.
We’re travelling on highway 69, going east toward Port Huron. We’re just south of Lapeer, Michigan, and we’re in front of another corn field here. And this field is not doing so well. A lot of the fields we’ve noticed here in Michigan are looking short and looking dry in this area. So we’re going to conclude our U.S. Crop Tour here in the state of Michigan. One word to describe Michigan – “short”. Local farmers we’ve spoken to say it’s worse in the south. This central travelling toward the north in the state of Michigan, it’s a mixed bag. A lot of variability, uneven corn, short beans. Farmers have suggested they’ve gotten enough moisture to date, but they could use a drink or two now. The north has probably gotten more rain than this area. If I was to rank the state of Michigan – again it’s not a big ranking state. It’s not a big corn, soybean or wheat production state. It’s obviously not as good as what we saw in Wisconsin, but we’re not seeing as many issues as we saw in Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, but nonetheless, I’m not sure the state of Michigan is going to add to the national yield average. We can still make a good crop here, but you know, you’re going to need a hot September. I’m basically going to conclude that you’ve got an average to below average crop here in the state of Michigan.