Central Michigan field crop regional report – June 6, 2013

It’s a race to the finish in central Michigan.


Scattered showers over the past week have made it very difficult to make significant progress in wrapping up planting this spring. Cool temperatures, overcast skies and light frost are making for very slow growth for emerged crops. Growing degree day (GDD) accumulation at the Freeland Enviro-Weather station as of today (June 6, 2013) is 521, with the five-year average not including this year is 532. Total rainfall accumulation this year is 13.02 inches, with the five-year average not including this year is 7.82 inches. With all the rain, fields are just not drying out. The weak spots in tile drainage systems are being exposed. This is a good year to identify those weaknesses and make plans to address them in years ahead.

Commodity reports

The corn crop is 95 percent-plus planted with most farmers wrapping up planting mostly corn that will be used for feed. The crop has emerged very well despite less than ideal planting and growing conditions. Most corn is in growth stage V-3. We still have a lot of yellow corn that will be corrected with warm weather. As temperatures improve, farmers are advised to take some nitrate tests to improve nitrogen management strategies to optimize yields.

No insect problems reported at this time. Make any needed herbicide applications as soon as possible before weeds get too big for maximum control.

The soybean crop is 75 percent planted with the balance being planted as field conditions allow. Emergence of planted soybeans has been very good. Weed control will be necessary as many fields are greening up quickly and competing with the emerged soybeans. Farmers are advised to scout fields for seedling diseases. Wet conditions are ideal for these types of problems. If these problems are detected, please contact a Michigan State University Extension educator or your agribusiness for accurate diagnosis.

Wheat is heading and beginning to flower. If fungicide applications are being planned, they need to be made for maximum benefits. At this time, we are seeing very little leaf disease. Armyworm moth catches in traps have been very low. Low numbers of cereal leaf beetles have been found. Continue to scout this crop for disease and insect problems.

Alfalfa has reached 40 NDF using the PEAQ stick readings. Harvest is underway for those making haylage. Farmers wanting to make dry hay are holding off waiting for better drying conditions. Yields are being called average. New seeding looks very good except where excessive water has caused damage.

Oats and barley plantings are doing exceptionally well. These cool season grains do very well in this type of spring. Weed control will be necessary very soon. Scout these fields for insect and disease problems.

Planting of dry beans is just getting underway. Many dry bean growers are just waiting for fields to dry out.

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

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