Michigan’s Thumb area field crop regional report – June 19, 2014

Improved growing conditions are reported after much needed rainfall in the region.


Widespread rain was welcomed by producers due to dry conditions in the majority of the area. Rainfall totals in the region ranged from 0.25-0.80 inches, according to Michigan State University Enviro-weather. The northern counties of the Thumb received less than the counties across the I-69 corridor and continue to have fairly dry conditions. Weather fronts from the South have likely brought potato leafhopper adults into the region.

Commodity reports

Wheat conditions are mixed. Wheat planted on time on land with a little slope looks good. Late planted wheat and wheat on flat land has spotty areas of thin, slow growing, or dead wheat. Growers have finished fungicide applications and reports of thin wheat earlier in the year are now showing good progress with anticipation of average to slightly below average yields.

Most growers have finished first cutting pure stands of alfalfa for dairy quality and mixed stands for beef and horses are beginning to be harvested in the region. Yields are reported to be near normal to slightly below normal levels, even though stands were thinned in many locations due to the wet conditions earlier this spring. Second cutting regrowth will need additional moisture to reach full potential.

Early planted sugarbeets show good growth with excellent stands and are nearing canopy closure. Late planted beets in some areas have thin stands due to dry conditions at planting and are in the 2-4 leaf stage.

Corn planting is now complete in the southern areas and planned acres are being converted to soybeans. Nitrogen applications are being done or complete in many areas. Weed control is a concern for producers that were postponed getting into the fields. Plants range from VE-V5.

Soybeans are still being planted in the Southwest part of the Thumb due to wet field conditions. However, most areas are finished planting and have excellent stands and growth ranges from V2-V3 stage.

Dry bean planting is complete in most areas and good emergence is being reported.

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

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