Central Michigan field crop regional report – May 19, 2016

Farmers are making good planting progress in the central region.


Parts of the central region had light snow over the past week. After some early cool, wet weather, farmers are getting back into the fields and making good planting progress. The region is still about 2.5 inches of rain below the five-year average, according to the Michigan State University Freeland Enviro-weather station. The region still lags about 96 growing degree-days (GDD) behind the five-year average of 271 GDD. Cold nighttime temperatures and soil temperatures in the low 50s at mid-day are slowing germination and growth of planted crops. The cool conditions have kept insect and disease pressure to a minimum.

Commodity reports

Corn planting in the north and eastern parts of the region is progress rapidly with a number of farmers hoping to be done by the weekend. The southern and western parts have received more rain, so they are not expecting to finish until early next week. Early planted corn is just beginning to spike.

Soybean planting is estimated to be 40-50 percent completed with early planted soybean just beginning to push through. With the favorable weather forecast for the week ahead, many are hoping to get the crop planted next week.

Wheat is in Feekes growth stage 7-8 and is progressing nicely with near ideal growing conditions. Septoria and powdery mildew can be found low in the canopy in many fields. Stripe rust has been observed in the region. Michigan State University Extension advises farmers walk fields for these diseases. Stripe rust can move very quickly and experience tells us we can lose significant yield if the disease is not managed.

To learn more about issues facing the wheat crop this year, you are invited to attend a Wheat Field Day May 25, 2016, at the Hauck Seed Farm, 498 W. Weidman Road, Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858. MSU wheat experts as well as industry representatives will discuss weed, insect and disease management strategies. For more information, see the Wheat Field Day flier.

Alfalfa is 14-16 inches tall and progressing with no disease or insect problems reported. Harvest of first cutting is expected to begin late next week in some areas.

Oat and barley planting has wrapped up with the early planted oats emerged. The emerged fields look very good. If you believe the old saying of good oats have a snow on them, then we should have a good oat crop this year. This week’s snow will give us a chance to test that saying.

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