Grand Rapids area tree fruit update – July 19, 2022

Hot, dry weather for the remainder of July.

Tree fruit.
Tree fruit in Sparta, Michigan, on July 18. Photo by Anna Wallis, MSU Extension.

Weather and phenology update

Over the past week, the Grand Rapids, Michigan, area continued to have very warm conditions. Temperatures were near 80 degrees Fahrenheit most days with overnight lows in the upper 50s and 60s. As of July 18, the Michigan State University Sparta Enviroweather station has accumulated 2027.1 degree days base 42 F (DD42). This is slightly above average, which is 1899.6 DD42, and approximately four days ahead of normal.

Across most of the area, there was a significant amount of rainfall on Monday, July 11, and Friday, July 15. Accumulation has been quite variable between locations, ranging from approximately 0.1-1.5 inches total over the course of the week.

Expect a hot week, with highs in the mid to upper-80s and lows in the mid-60s. There is a slight chance of showers for most of the week, but with little accumulation expected. Over the weekend, scattered storms and rainfall are likely, with possibly 0.5 inch of rainfall. Rainfall is not keeping up with the ET demand, keep irrigation on trees where possible, especially in new plantings.

Tree fruit is continuing to put on size. Apples are sizing well and there is a very good potential crop. Hand thinning and summer pruning is underway in most places. Some very minor sunburn has been observed. Peaches have begun harvest on early varieties. Predicted harvest dates can be found on the Enviroweather model. For the most part, they are close to average harvest dates this year, with earliest varieties expected to begin harvest at the end of July, other varieties beginning early to mid-August.

Degree day accumulation at Enviroweather stations in the Grand Rapids area

Weather Station Degree Days Base 32 from Jan. 1 Degree Days Base 42 from Jan. 1 Degree Days Base 50 from Jan. 1
Aetna - Fremont 3094.4 1973.5 1261.6
Alpine 3246.7 2086.5 1350.3
Belding 3191.2 2048.6 1328.9
Clarksville (CRC) 3242.8 2077 1347.4
Conklin 3243.6 2086.8 1347.3
Fremont 3151.3 2017.9 1304.8
Grant 3139.5 1998.5 1283.3
Kent City 3165.3 2028.5 1309.5
Reeman-Fremont 3154.3 2014.8 1298.8
Sparta 3172.8 2027.1 1303.2
Sparta 20m Tower 3183 2031.2 1303.2
Sparta - North 3199.6 2049.4 1318.7
Standale 3302.3 2120.5 1379.6
Average DD from Sparta historical data for Jan. 1 to date 3089.5 1899.6 1180.6
Comparative Date of Averages @ Sparta 20-Jul 22-Jul 24-Jul
Days +/- Average @ Sparta +2 days + 4 days  + 6 days

For these updates, we used averages for 1997-2021 from the Michigan Automated Weather Network (MAWN) to represent normal conditions. Weather data was gathered from MSU Enviroweather.

More information and reports on normal weather conditions and departures from normal can be found on the NOAA Climate Prediction Center website, NOAA U.S. Climate Normals website, NOAA Climate Normals Quick Access Page (which may be searched by region) and Midwest Regional Climate Center website.

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