North Central Michigan field crop regional report – June 12, 2014
Growing degree days are near normal in North Central Michigan.
After the wet spring and delayed planting, is just seems wrong to say we could use a rain, but that is the situation early this week in the region. Nearly ideal planting weather since Memorial Day, May 26, 2014, allowed farmers to get crops planted. In some cases the crops were planted in less than ideal soil conditions and the gentle rains the afternoon of June 11 was just what was needed for good emergence. The region received about 0.5 inches of rain with greater amounts falling further south. Growing degree day accumulation from March 1 is near normal based on information from the Michigan State University Linwood Enviro-weather station.
The corn crop is planted and most have emerged with very good stands. The light rains over the past two days will help emergence in some of the problem areas of fields. The early planted corn is in V3, but most of the crop is just emerged. There are no reported insect or disease problems. Farmers are advised to scout fields for insect problems. Be especially aware of black cutworm because moth catches have been high enough to cause some concern about this pest. There are many weedy fields that will need herbicide applications as soon as possible.
Soybeans are planted with quick emergence and good stands. There is some slug feeding. Michigan State University Extension advises farmers to scout fields for insect pests. There are a number of fields that have high weed populations that will need to be controlled soon to prevent competition for moisture and nutrients.
The wheat crop is flowering and looking better all the time. There has been light disease pressure and virtually no insect problems at this time. Most of the fungicides were applied on Monday and Tuesday of this week, June 9-10. Farmers that are considering planting a cover crop after wheat are advised to start getting your seed lined up as wheat harvest will be here before you know it. If you are not sure what to plant, consider visiting the Midwest Cover Crops Council website and use their decision tools to help select the right cover crop for your conditions and needs.
Alfalfa harvest is complete for the dairy farmers that chop first cutting. Yields are reported as average with no quality reported at this time. In some cases, the new regrowth is nearly 6 inches tall. The farmers that are putting up mixed hay are about halfway through harvest. Most are pleased with their yields. The weather has cooperated and many have been able to get hay dry enough to bale. There are no reports of leafhoppers or other insect problems at this time.
Oats and barley continue to look very good. The alfalfa seeding under these crops are progressing as well.
Dry bean planting is just getting under way. We expect most of the dry beans will be planted after this weather front passes through.
Other Michigan State University Extension field crop regional reports from this week: