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Friday, 16 August 2013 11:07

Row crops prospering despite cool summer

(AREA) -- Farmers tending most of Michigan's big-acreage row crops are looking forward to what promises to be a successful 2013 harvest season. Despite delayed planting and sub-normal temperatures, adequate rains are helping boost estimated yields toward potentially record-setting levels. According to the USDA NASS Great Lakes Regional Office, Michigan's corn crop is poised for near-record production. Corn growers are looking at gleaning 158 bushels per acre, up 25 bushels from 2012. Soybean production is estimated at 85.1 million bushels, down slightly from last year, with yields forecast at 45 bushels per acre. Sugar beet growers estimate a yield of 25 tons per acre, down four tons from last year. The state's hay yield is forecast at 2.61 tons per acre, up almost a ton from last year, which is good news for livestock producers. Possibly the best news is for producers of dry, edible beans, who are expecting crops to yield 1,900 pounds per acre, up 110 pounds from last year. The average yield nationwide is forecast at 1,795 pounds per acre. Planting began in early June, and by late July, 60 percent of the crop was reported in good to excellent condition. Michigan ranks second in the nation in total dry bean production, and is the top producer of black, cranberry and small red beans.