Michigan's Thumb area field crop update – May 4, 2017

Wet weather continues to hold up planting.


During the last week, very wet field conditions were evident across most portions of Michigan's Thumb region. Rainfall totals for the Thumb the past week averaged approximately 1.36 inches of rain and ranged from a low of .91 inches in Emmett, Michigan, to a high of 1.77 inches in Linwood, Michigan.

The growing degree-days (GDD) that have been above average so far this spring will slow significantly due to the forecast of unseasonable cool weather over the next two weeks. The average high temperature is currently near 64 degrees Fahrenheit.

Commodity reports

The alfalfa crop continues to show strong growth with plenty of moisture for early growth. Some localized winter kill has been noted throughout the region, and growers may want to consider delaying harvest if the plants show slowed growth in your stands. Otherwise, the crop is rapidly progressing and current GDD (base 41 F average from March 1) range from 288 in Pigeon, Michigan, to 381 in Lapeer, Michigan.

Corn and soybean plantings are less than 10 percent across the region and will continue to be hampered with rain in the forecast over the next several days.

Some early planted oats have emerged in the last week and are off to a good start to the growing season.

Wheat continues to grow due to plenty of moisture. Early planted wheat is at Feeke’s stage 7 and later planted wheat is ranging from Feeke’s stage 5-6, according to Martin Nagelkirk, Michigan State University Extension wheat educator. Since the crop has continued to grow during the recent wet weather, carefully consider the growth stage and your current conditions when applying nitrogen, herbicides and fungicides.

Sugarbeet plantings are at approximately 50 percent, and for those that have emerged, farmers are reporting excellent stands so far.

For more information, contact me at 810-667-0341 or kaatz@anr.msu.edu.

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