Michigan’s Thumb area field crop regional report – July 10, 2014

Thunderstorms throughout the region have provided plenty of moisture for crops to grow.


Along the I-69 corridor, producers have reported heavy rains with up to 4 inches since Sunday evening (July 6) with most areas reporting at least 2 inches. Further north into the Thumb, rain has been much less with a low of 0.6 inches reported at Pigeon Enviro-weather station. To check for rainfall near your location, go to Michigan State University’s Enviro-weather website for detailed information. The growing degree day (GDD) is near normal in the region with below normal temperatures predicted in the next 10-14 days.

With the large rainfall events, producers are seeing the advantage of tile in their fields. Standing water between the tile lines or in fields with no tile may have residual moisture issues that ultimately affect crop yields.

Commodity reports

Sugarbeets have continued to add size and things are going positive. Early beets are doing well and the late planted beets continue to catch up. Fungicide applications are being applied for Cercospora leaf spot. Rizoctonia incidence has been low so far and the cooler temperatures been helpful in keeping the disease below normal.

Alfalfa harvest has been a challenge for dry hay. Dairy-quality dry hay will be a premium again this year with an abundance of low-quality hay available. Fields that are still waiting to be cut for first cutting are fully mature and some regrowth may be present in these fields. Most of these fields will be a challenge to be cut and need to be cut one-way and may have regrowth in the hay cut which will affect second cutting by delaying harvest. Others are currently cutting second cutting and have had a difficult time with the rains harvesting dry hay.

Wheat is maturing and producers expect it will be 1-2 weeks later than normal before harvest begins. Some fields recovered from winter injury better than expected and, overall, wheat yields may only be off a few bushels from past years. Annual weeds growing up into the crop canopy will be a significant challenge in some fields at harvest. Fusarium head scab levels are low to moderate, so DON levels are expected to be fairly low. 

Corn and soybeans are showing good growth. Corn is in the V5 – V10 stage while soybeans vary in size and maturity and range from V3 – R1 growth stages. Late planted fields in the lower Thumb are showing uneven growth due to dry conditions during germination.

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

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