North Central Michigan field crop regional report – July 10, 2014
Examine nodules on your soybeans.
The region received from 1-5 inches of rain over the past week. In many areas there is still water standing causing some crops to drown out. Many fields are at “field capacity” in terms of their water- holding ability. Temperatures have remained cool. The forecast is for cooler and wetter than normal conditions in the near future.
The corn crop is making good progress despite the later planting and cooler temperatures. Most of the crop made the “knee high by the fourth of July” benchmark. Some of the early-planted fields will be tasseling early next week. The rains over this past week have flooded some of the low lying areas. There is some concern about applied nitrogen and if it has remained in the root zone with all the rain. Farmers are advised to monitor the crop for nutrient deficiencies. There are no reported pest problems at this time.
Soybeans are flowering and filling the rows in the early-planted fields. The saturated fields are causing some concerns with the crop. There are reports of failures of the inoculant that was applied at planting. This failure is due to saturated conditions. If you have fields that are yellow, consider digging a few plants and assess nodulation. Healthy plants should have about seven live nodules. A live nodule will have pink fluids when squeezed. If you have poor or no nodules, you might consider a nitrogen application if your stand is good. The N rate should be about 50lbs per acre. This could insure optimum yields.
The wheat crop is turning, but we still have a couple of weeks before harvest. You could call the crop “interesting” this year. The disease pressure seems to be relatively low at this time and we are not seeing many signs of head scab. The yield potentials are all over the board with some early-planted fields expected to be above average. That will be offset by some to the poorer stands that will be well below average. The crop overall is expected to be below average in yield.
Harvest of second-cutting alfalfa by farmers on aggressive cutting schedules is over half done. These farms chop all their hay so weather is not usually a factor. Farmers that are trying to get hay dry enough to bale are having a battle with the weather. Hay growers are reporting very good quantities but the quality will be low because of later cutting and poor drying weather. New seedings are doing very well with the adequate moisture. Some farmers that are harvesting mixed and grass hay are still working on first cutting.
Oats and barley are headed out and most fields look very good at this time.
Dry beans are all planted and emerged. The rains of the past week will have the biggest impact on this crop. Fields that are not adequately tiled have water standing and the crop will be lost in these areas. The saturated soils are ideal for root diseases and other related problems. Leafhopper pressure has been low at this point. Scout fields for this pest.
Other Michigan State University Extension field crops regional reports from this week: