East central Michigan field crops regional report – July 25, 2013
Crops are starting to struggle after last week’s hot temperatures and minimal precipitation.
According to the Freeland Enviro-weather station, the high temperatures for July 14 through July 20 averaged nearly 93 degrees Fahrenheit with only 0.37 of an inch of precipitation during the same period. Crops are starting to show signs of dry conditions in some areas.
Wheat harvest is nearly complete. Yields have been variable, but overall better than anticipated. Wheat quality also is variable. A few areas experienced elevated levels of vomitoxins. Straw has become a valuable part of wheat production. Straw baling is in full swing.
Corn planted early has tasseled and is silking. According to Michigan State University Extension, moisture is critical at this stage to insure good pollination. Later planted corn is still struggling to grow. A rain is needed soon to insure good corn yields.
Soybeans are in bloom. Soybean aphids are still a concern. All soybean fields need to be scouted on a regular basis to monitor aphid populations. Lady beetles and other natural biological controls are active and can possibly help keep aphid levels below harmful levels. If a field reaches threshold levels and will be treated for aphids, be careful to have the sprayer set up to have excellent coverage of all the foliage.
Alfalfa second cutting is nearly complete. Leafhoppers are present in many fields. Scout regrowth for potato leafhoppers and be prepared to treat, especially if dry conditions continue.
Other Michigan State University Extension field crop regional reports from this week: