Central Michigan field crop regional report – May 30, 2013

More of the same brings frustrations for the central Michigan region.


Another 1.5 inches of rain this week added to the totals last week puts rainfall over the past 10 days to over 4.5 inches. This will keep central Michigan farmers out of the field for the next several days. This is starting to cause concern and frustration as the window is closing for optimum yields. Soil conditions are saturated with ponding in many fields. There will be areas of fields that will be considered for replanting. Farmers will be evaluating their situation and options for changing maturities and prevented planting.

Commodity reports

Corn that is planted has emerged and is very yellow due to the cool temperatures and excessive moisture. Warm, dry weather will cure most of the yellowing. Stands are very good, but many areas of some fields have standing water drowning out the emerged crop. With all the rain, nitrogen management will be an issue if a large amount of the nitrogen was applied at planting. This may be the year to consider nitrate testing as a tool to better manage this nutrient. Weeds are thriving and taking over many fields.

Soybeans that have been planted have emerged over the past several days. If there is a silver lining in the rains over the past week, it is that the rains have softened the crust from the earlier driving rains, allowing good emergence of this crop. We still have a large portion of the soybean crop to plant. Farmers should consider evaluating the maturity group of the soybeans they will be planting. If you plan on planting wheat after soybeans, Michigan State University Extension recommends you consider switching to an earlier soybean.

The wheat crop is in the boot stage and progressing quickly. There is light disease pressure in most fields. The crop is all over the board in terms of growth stage, stand and uniformity. Farmers are advised to scout fields closely for growth staging if fungicide applications are planned.

Wheat growers that are interested in learning more about this year’s wheat crop are invited to attend a Wheat Field Day on June 5, starting at 10 a.m., hosted by Hauck Seed Farm, 498 W Weidman Rd., Mt. Pleasant, MI 48858 (view map). There will be two RUP credits for this program.

Alfalfa harvest is just getting under way, but is being hampered by the rains. The crop is near the bud stage and has a PEAQ stick reading of 36-36 NDF. It appears that first cutting yields will be very good in fields that were not impacted by winterkill. New alfalfa seedings are doing very well.

Oats and barley look about as good as any crop this spring. The cool and wet conditions suit these cool season grains very well.

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

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