Central Michigan vegetable regional report – May 1, 2013

Cool, wet weather makes for a slow start to the 2013 season in central Michigan.


Cool, wet weather prevailed for most of April. Much of the area reported 8 inches of rainfall from April 8-25. This heavy rainfall left soils saturated and low areas of many fields with standing water. In addition, a half-inch of snow was observed on the morning of April 24 in many areas.

Very limited field work has occurred, except for early fertilizer application and some tillage and planting on the higher sandy fields of Montcalm County. Soils in Gratiot County remain very wet with virtually no field work occurring. Until this week, air temperatures have struggled to reach 60 degrees with several days recording a high temperature of less than 40. High soil temperatures have been in the mid-40s with lows dipping down into the mid-30s. This week, we have experienced highs near 70 and greatly improved soil temperatures on the drier, sandy soils.

Crops and pests

Cover crops have been slow in development this spring as with all other crops. Winter rye is at approximately Feekes stage 5. As temperatures begin to warm, Michigan State University Extension says development will likely begin to rapidly occur and may be a logistical challenge for some growers to get the rye cover killed in a timely fashion

Only a very small acreage of potatoes has been planted.

There has been very limited activity on planting most other crops, including peas and sweet corn, due to soil conditions.

No true armyworm or black cutworm moths have been captured in pheromone traps so far this season in Montcalm County.

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