Central Michigan field crop regional report – May 23, 2013

Rain, rain, go away! Central Michigan fields are saturated with standing water in many locations.


Dry weather and very good planting conditions allowed for rapid planting progress over the weekend. The good conditions ended with rains beginning on the evening of May 20 and continuing through May 23. The rainfall totals exceed 3 inches in the northern parts of the region. This will keep farmers out of the field until after the Memorial Day holiday (May 27). At this point, fields are saturated and there is standing water in many locations.

The current growing degree day accumulation (GDD) at the Freeland Enviro-weather station is 355 GDD with the five-year average being 435 GDD. The warm weather and moisture emergence of planted crops has been rapid.

Commodity reports

With a good week of planting, the corn crop is over 90 percent planted. Early planted fields have emerged. The excessive moisture and ponding will result in some stand loss. There was one report of grubs over threshold in an old hay field that was fall chiseled. Michigan State University Extension advises growers to scout newly planted fields for emergence, weed and insect pests.

Soybeans are about 40 percent planted across the region. Many of the early planted fields have emerged. Scout fields for stand and pest problems.

Wheat is advancing rapidly. The crop ranges from Feekes 6-9 with the flag leaf fully emerged in some fields. There is light disease pressure. The crop has moved very quickly over the past week. Timing is critical when applying fungicides. Closely monitor the crop if you are considering fungicide applications for accurate timing.

Scout fields for disease and insect problems. No armyworm moth catches in traps at this time. The crop is considered average with tremendous variability in maturity. Many are expecting we will have a late and long harvest.

Alfalfa is approaching optimal nutritional quality. Some harvest has begun by those in need of forage. The PEAQ reading is about 35 NDF. We expect harvest to begin later next week as field conditions allow. New seedings have emerged with good stands. Weed control will be necessary.

Oats and barley are emerged and doing very well with adequate moisture and temperature. Stands are excellent with some concerns over standing water in low lying areas.)

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

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