Central Michigan field crop regional report – June 18, 2015

Heavy rains make up for any shortages.


Any rainfall shortage in the region this year was made up this past week with over 5 inches of rain reported in some areas. The region has received 9.61 inches of rain since March 1 with the five-year average being 9.82 inches. This is based on the Michigan State University Freeland Enviro-weather station. Along with wet conditions, daytime temperatures are hovering in the mid-70s, giving the region a growing degree day (GDD) total of 707 GDD, 47 GDD below the five-year average. This wet weather has put a halt to any field activities. Saturated fields will need several days of warm, dry weather before field operations can resume.

Commodity reports

Corn is in growth stage V4-V8 and progressing normally. Crop condition has gone backwards in some areas due to excessive rains and ponding. Most farmers were able to make herbicide applications and get the sidedress nitrogen applied. No insect and disease problems have been observed. There are a number of fields that have water standing in low areas and those areas are expected to be lost.

Soybeans are suffering from too much rain. The soybean crop started off having excellent yield potential, but is starting to decline. There are a number of fields that have water standing. The conditions for white mold are nearly ideal for this disease to develop. This might be a good year to consider a fungicide to manage this disease. Farmers are also struggling get herbicide applications made and weeds are overtaking the crop in some cases.

Wheat is finishing up flowering and entering the grain fill period. The crop looks good, but the potential for disease is high. Wheat growers are cautioned that making fungicide applications at this point will be very close to the pre-harvest restrictions for most fungicides. Read and follow the label for this information.

Dry beans are about 75 percent planted. Many of the early planted fields have emerged. Farmers are concerned with seedling diseases with all the rain. It will take several days for fields to dry out enough to wrap up planting.

Alfalfa harvest has been a challenge. Second cutting regrowth is benefiting from the rains. Scout field for potato leafhoppers.

Oats and barley are progressing and will be in the boot stage soon. Farmers with malting barley are advised to scout this crop and be prepared to use a fungicide to protect grain quality.

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

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