Michigan’s Thumb area field crop regional report – June 13, 2013

Thumb region soil conditions vary from good in the northern Thumb to standing water in the southern Thumb.


Moderate to heavy rain was reported during the week to prevent field work from progressing. Areas of the Thumb received 0.4 inches of rain near Richville, Mich., compared to reports of nearly 1.9 inches of rain along the I-69 corridor according to Michigan State University’s Enviro-Weather. Some non-tilled fields already wet from earlier rains have standing water that will further delay planting progress in the lower Thumb region. Growing degree day (GDD) base 50 degrees Fahrenheit accumulations at several locations range from a low of 489 near Verona, Mich., to a high of 590 near Richville, Mich.

Commodity reports

Corn is approximately 95 percent planted and with the weather delays, farmers with unplanted fields are considering switching to soybeans. Most fields are emerged and have good stands; however, the crop has been showing slow growth. The earliest fields are at approximately growth stage V-5 and the later planted fields are at approximately growth stage V-3.

Some fields have significant grass and broadleaf pressure and will need to be sprayed as soon as field conditions improve enough for field work. Many fields are yellow and there are scattered reports of purple corn. Producers have reported that they will start to sidedress nitrogen when field conditions are suitable.

Soybeans are approximately 70 percent planted in the southern Thumb to approximately 90 percent in much of the Thumb. Soft, moist soils have allowed for good emergence and the earliest planted fields are at the third trifoliate stage. Weed pressure is increasing and weed control measures will be applied soon after field conditions improve.

The alfalfa forage crop is approximately 75 percent complete for most of the Thumb where dairy quality hay was harvested as haylage and stored in bunk silos. Other legume/grass and grass forages are less than 50 percent harvested as growers wait for better drying weather to make baled hay.

Alfalfa yields have been above average and lodging has been reported, making it difficult for producers to harvest at normal heights. Grass fields have reported yield reductions of 30 to 40 percent compared to normal.

Wheat fields are headed and at Feeke’s stage 10.5. Applications of fungicide were completed before the rains this week. Disease pressure has been slight in most fields.

Dry bean planting has started and will continue once field conditions improve.

Sugarbeets have had minimal amounts of replanting this season and progress has been slowed due to the rain in the area. Seedling and root diseases are prevalent and the crop is struggling.

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

Did you find this article useful?