Drier than normal conditions hindered crop production in Michigan in 2012, according to Jay Johnson, director of the USDA, NASS, Michigan Field Office. An earlier than normal spring allowed producers to complete planting much earlier than normal. Adequate rains followed planting aiding emergence, but then hot, dry weather arrived in late June and persisted throughout the summer. The southern most areas of the state were affected most by lack of rain. Areas in mid-Michigan and the Thumb saw more rainfall, which aided yields. Harvest weather was nearly ideal and most growers completed harvest in record time. Highlights of the Crop Production Summary from the USDA National Agricultural Statistics Service, Michigan Field Office include:
The corn for grain yield at 133 bushels per acre was down 20 bushels from last year's record of 153. Grain production was 335.1 million bushels. Silage yield at 15 tons per acre was down 3 tons per acre from last year. Corn for grain harvest began in late September and wrapped up by late November.
Soybean yield, at 43 bushels per acre, was down 1 bushel per acre from last year. Soybean harvested acres at 1.99 million acres was up 50,000 acres from last year. Production at 85.6 million bushels was up fractionally from 2011.
Sugarbeet yield, at 29 tons per acre, was up 5 tons per acre from 2011. Production at 4.4 million tons was up nearly 21% from last year. Both yield and production were record highs. Sugarbeet harvest began on an 'as needed' basis in mid-September and piling began in late October. Harvest was complete by mid-November.
Dry bean production in the state was 3.5 million hundredweight, 4.9% higher than last year. Yield per acre at 1,790 pounds, was 210 pounds per acre less than 2011. Yields were harmed by the hot, dry summer weather and also by a very large storm in mid-August that brought excessive amounts of moisture. Some areas in the Saginaw Bay region received in excess of 6 inches of rain from this storm.
Spearmint production in Michigan was 119,000 pounds, down 5.6% from the 2011 crop. Spearmint yields averaged 70 pounds per acre, unchanged from last year. Peppermint production was 48,000 pounds, up 4.3 % from 2011. Peppermint yields averaged 60 pounds per acre, up 2 pounds from last year.
All hay production was 1.85 million tons, down 32.7% from 2011. Hay yields were hindered substantially by lack of rain.
Potato production was 15.9 million hundredweight, up 4.9% from 2011. The average yield was 350 hundredweight per acre, up 5 from last year.