Central Michigan field crop regional report – May 28, 2015

Corn and soybean planting is wrapping up in central Michigan.


Scattered rain May 25 and 26 halted a very good week of planting progress across the region. Rainfall totals vary with the western part of the region receiving over 1 inch of rain while the eastern part getting just a trace. According to the Michigan State University Freeland Enviro-weather station, the rainfall total since March 1 is 4.83 inches, which is considerably behind the five-year average of 8.13 inches. The area’s growing degree day (GDD) totals during that period are 388 GDD, which is much closer to the five-year average of 406 GDD. Some areas of the region had light frost, but no crop damage is expected.

Commodity reports

Corn is considered all planted except for that scattered field. Emergence has been very good with excellent stands observed. The crop ranges from spiking to V-3. There are no insect or disease problems reported at this time. Armyworm and black cutworm traps have zero moth catches this week. Continue to scout fields for pest or nutrient problems.

Soybeans are about 85 percent planted with quick emergence and good stands observed. Planting should wrap up this week as field conditions allow. There are no reported problems at this time. Michigan State University Extension advises farmers to get herbicide application made on the fields with weed pressure in a timely manner. Letting weeds get a jump on the crop will result in yield loss and poor control as weeds get beyond the stage where they can be easily controlled.

Wheat is in Feekes growth stage 8-9 with some fields beginning to head. The crop is advancing quickly. Farmers planning a fungicide treatment at first flower need to make necessary plans as we are just a few days away from this critical stage. There has been no insect problems observed and very light foliar disease pressure. Continue to scout this crop for any problems. Because of the low trap catches for armyworm moths, farmers are advised not to include an insecticide in the spray mix when fungicides are being applied. There are a number of natural predators in these fields and it is important that we respect these biological systems and the balance of pest/predator that naturally occur.

Alfalfa harvest is well underway with many of the larger farmers wrapping up harvest this week. If you are using GDD to time your first cutting, we are at about 700 GDD base 42 with 750 GDD being ideal. PEAQ stick readings are at 39 NDF. There are no reports of alfalfa weevils at this time. Most farmers are reporting average yields. New seedings looks very good.

Oats and barley stands are very good, but many fields are showing signs of yellowing in some areas. Some of this yellowing is contributed to the cool, wet soils in some areas. There is some concern that this might also be micronutrient issues.

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

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