North Central Michigan field crops regional report-June 19, 2014

Evaluate your weed control program.


The region received some much needed rain over the last few days. The average rainfall varied, but most areas received at least 1 inch of gentle rain. The rain was timely for emergence of later planted soybeans and dry beans. While soil moisture is adequate, some areas could use additional rain.

Commodity reports

The corn crop is progressing despite the late planting. The early planted corn is V5 while some is just emerged. Many farmers have started applying nitrogen and making herbicide applications. There are no insect pest problems being reported at this time. When driving across fields, keep a sharp eye out for evidence of black cutworm feeding.

This is also a good time to evaluate your weed control program. We tend to wait until harvest to evaluate weed control from the cab of the combine. An evaluation should be done early in the season or three to four weeks after herbicide application. In this evaluation, farmers should look for any crop injury (phytotoxicity) and more importantly, how have the weeds responded to the herbicide. If weeds are not showing injury or susceptibility, determine why and take appropriate action. The concern is herbicide-resistant weeds, including Palmer amaranth, marestail and waterhemp to mention a few. Scouting early will give you a chance to prepare a rescue treatment if possible. The key is to scout fields early and often.

Soybean planting has wrapped up and most fields have good stands. The rains the last few days have brought the remaining soybeans out of the ground in areas that had some crusting or needed moisture to grow. The crop is in a wide range of growth stages with early planted fields in V5 down to emergence. Weeds are an issue in some areas and farmers are advised to get herbicide applications on as soon as possible to reduce competition.

The wheat crop has finished flowering and is filling the heads. The crop is benefiting from the cooler temperatures and the recent rain will help yields on the lighter soils. There has been very little disease pressure at this point in the growing season.

Harvest of first cutting alfalfa for silage is complete. There are still a number of farmers baling mixed hay. Most are very pleased with yields. Second cutting is nearly 12 inches tall in the early cut fields and looks very good. It looks like second cutting will be taken in about two weeks. There has been no potato leafhoppers found at this time.

Dry bean planting wrapped up just before the rain. The rain was timely and gentle and should make for good emergence. Early fields have emerged with good stands.

Oats and barley look very good. Herbicide applications will be made and soon as conditions permit. We are seeing weed pressure in some of these fields.

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

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