Central Michigan field crop regional report – June 13, 2013

More scouting is necessary for late planted crops in central Michigan.


The planting window opened enough for good planting progress as farmers raced to wrap up corn and soybean planting. Light rains overnight Wednesday (June 12) caused some short delays, but field work resumed Thursday afternoon (June 13). Accumulation was less than 0.5 inches. Field conditions are being called poor, but farmers are planting despite the less than ideal conditions.

The wet conditions and late planting in many areas has created almost ideal conditions for insect and weed pests. These late planted fields mean the crops are smaller and more at risk, so they should be scouted regularly to detect any potential problems early. Insects that may cause concern are black cutworms in corn, cereal leaf beetles in wheat and alfalfa weevils.

Commodity reports

Corn is making slow progress under the current conditions. Most early planted corn is between V-4 and V-5. We are seeing some stand problems and weeds are taking over some fields. Scout these weedy fields for black cutworms and make herbicide applications before weeds get too large to control at recommended rates.

Soybeans have emerged nicely with 85 percent of the crop planted. Farmers are struggling to get the last of the crop planted. Fields should be scouted for emergence problems. The cool, wet conditions are ideal for seedling diseases. Make herbicide applications as soon as possible to avoid yield loss due to weed competition. If seedling diseases are detected, contact a Michigan State University Extension educator so the plants can be analyzed and the disease race accurately identified.

Wheat varies from flowering to just heading. The crop is relatively clean of foliar diseases. There is a lot of concern with the cool and wet conditions and how this might influence head scab problems this year. Much of the crop has been treated with a fungicide. No serious insect problems reported at this time.

Alfalfa harvest is nearly wrapped up for those making haylage. Farmers that are trying to make dry hay are holding off and waiting for a better harvest window. There are a number of fields with high levels of alfalfa weevils. At this point in the season, cutting is the best choice for managing this pest. It is advised that farmers scout the regrowth for alfalfa weevils.

Dry bean planting is just getting underway as field conditions allow.

Oats and barley are doing very well in the cooler conditions.

Other Michigan State University Extension field crop regional reports from this week:

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