Central Michigan field crops regional report – June 20, 2013

Hail adds to this year’s challenges in central Michigan.


Parts of the region received an additional inch of rain over the past week. This brings the total rainfall from March 1 to over 21 inches this spring. These rainfall totals are more than double the normal expected during this time period. The forecast for warmer and drier conditions should allow planting to wrap up over the next week.

In addition to the rains this week, parts of the region were hit by hail. Farmers that had hail damage are advised to contact their crop insurance representative and assess potential loss due to this event. There are a number of good sources of information to asses hail damage, including the recent Michigan State University Extension article “When to assess hail damage to crops.”

Commodity reports

Corn is planted. There are a few farmers replanting some areas of fields lost to flooding. The crop ranges from just emerging to early planted corn at V9. Stands vary widely and growth has been slow. Sidedress nitrogen is being applied. With all the rain, nitrogen management will be critical for optimum yields. Farmers are advised to nitrate test fields of concern.

Soybeans are still being planted in some areas. Most early planted fields have the first and second trifoliate leaves emerged. There have been a number of fields replanted. Many fields planted around Memorial Day (May 27) and then receiving over 3 inches of rain are fields with most of the emergence problems. Weed control needs to be applied as soon as possible. Scout fields for seedling diseases and insect problems.

Wheat is done flowering and is in the grain fill period. There continues to be very light disease pressure and is benefiting from the cooler temperatures. The crop got off to a slow start with many farmers feeling wheat may be their least profitable crop this year. However, with the problems with corn and soybeans, some feel wheat may be their best.

Alfalfa harvest is wrapping up with farmers wanting to make dry hay taking advantage of the warm, dry weather harvest window. Regrowth of second cutting is 4 to 6 inches tall. Scout these fields for potato leafhoppers.

Dry bean planting is progressing as field conditions allow. Early planted fields have emerged with good stands. Scout these fields for potato leafhoppers.

Oats and barley are approaching the boot stage with very good stands.

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

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