Central Michigan field crop regional report – May 7, 2015

Planting is well ahead of normal in central Michigan.


Light showers in the region on Monday, May 4, kept farmers out of the fields for most of the day. The rainfall totals ranged from a trace to one-tenth of an inch. Farmers have been taking advantage of the drier weather, tilling and planting crops at a furious pace. A number of farmers have expressed some concerns about the lack of spring rains and the dry conditions this early in the growing season. According to the Michigan State University Freeland Enviro-weather station, rainfall totals from March 1 measure at 2.41 inches with the five-year average being 4.53 inches. Growing degree day (GDD) totals from March 1 are 138 GDD with the five-year average being 174 GDD. The rains predicted for the next week will be welcomed.

Commodity reports

Planting the 2015 corn crop is progressing at record pace. Some farmers have wrapped up corn and are planting soybeans. Across the region, the crop is about 65 percent planted. There have been no pest problems reported. Michigan State University Extension advises farmers to take the time to check planting depth as soil conditions dry out. In May, we should be scouting corn fields for weeds, stand uniformity, seedcorn maggots, white grubs, armyworms and other stand-reducing pests.

Soybean planting is slightly ahead of average in central Michigan. Good progress is being made with the excellent planting conditions. With the speed of planting this spring, some famers are slowing down planting soybeans just to spread flowering dates and reduce the risk of white mold infections later in the season. No reported pest problems at this time.

The wheat crop continues to look very good. Most of the crop is in Feeke’s growth stage 4-5 with some early planted fields approaching Feeke’s 6. There are no disease or insect problems at this time. Farmers are encouraged to get herbicide applications out in a timely manner. Scout fields for insect and disease pests.

The oat and barley crops are planted and the early planted fields are emerging nicely. No reported problems at this time.

Alfalfa fields wintered very well and are growing quickly with the favorable temperatures. New alfalfa seedings are planted with some emergence.

Follow crop progress and pest updates throughout the growing season from MSU Extension Field Crops News.

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

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