Michigan’s Thumb area field crop regional report – May 7, 2015

Planting remains in high gear for most of the Thumb region.


During the last week, warmer than normal temperatures coupled with dry field conditions were evident across most portions of Michigan’s Thumb region. Rainfall totals for the past week along the I-69 corridor averaged 0.40 inches of rain while points north of the mid-Thumb region had totals of less than 0.10 inches. With widespread rain forecast for next week, farmers are pushing to get as many fields planted as possible.

According to Michigan State University Enviro-weather, the regional growing degree day (GDD) totals from April 27 to May 6 with a base 50 for corn ranged from a high of 89 GDD in Lapeer, Michigan to a low of 64 GDD in Pigeon, Michigan and averaged 76 GDD. Alfalfa base 41 GDD from March 1 to May 6 ranged from a high of 331 GDD in Flint, Michigan to a low of 213 GDD in Pigeon, Michigan and averaged 251 GDD. The five-year averages for corn ranged from 73-84 GDD, and the five-year average for alfalfa ranged from 366-316 GDD.

Commodity reports

Along the I-69 corridor, corn planting continues across the region and is progressing at a rapid pace. Farmers are reporting nearly ideal planting conditions. The corn planting is approximately 40 percent complete and soybean planting is approximately 35 percent complete. In the northern portion of the Thumb, corn and soybean plantings are nearly 75 percent complete with excellent field conditions being reported.

Sugarbeet planting is 100 percent complete and fields are emerging with good stands being reported. Some farmers reported fields with sugarbeet seeds sitting in dry soil waiting for rain.

Alfalfa, barley and oat plantings are also progressing at a rapid rate with some farms reporting 50 percent complete up to 100 percent complete. Early planted fields have excellent emergence.

Most wheat is at Feeke’s growth stage 4-5 according to Michigan State University Extension educator Martin Nagelkirk. The window of opportunity for the second nitrogen application, herbicide and growth inhibitors is open and should be considered in the next week.

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

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

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