Northeast Michigan field crop regional report – June 16, 2016

Timely rainfall is keeping Northeast Michigan fields in good condition.

Weather and rainfall

Precipitation has been timely in Northeast Michigan, as 0.47 inches of rain fell at the Hawks Enviroweather station this past week. Significant rainfall events occurred on Friday, June 10, and Wednesday, June 15. Skies will clear today as a high pressure air mass begins to move into our region, bringing in hot and dry conditions for the weekend. There is a slight chance for scattered showers Monday, June 20, but as of today, it does not appear significant enough to deliver substantial moisture. The remainder of next week is expected to remain dry and sunny. NOAA 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks suggest that our region will likely experience near to slightly above average precipitation in coming weeks.

Growing degree days (GDD)

Temperatures have been up and down from one extreme to the next this past week, with daytime highs ranging from 62 to 86 degrees Fahrenheit. Nighttime lows have mirrored this pattern, ranging from 38 to 57 F. GDD accumulations since March 1 total 1527 base 32 F, 899 base 41 and 470 base 50. Most of Northeast Michigan remains zero to three calendar days ahead of the 30-year average for GDD accumulation, with the exception of areas near the lakeshore that are slightly behind normal. Temperatures are expected to increase dramatically this weekend, with highs reaching the mid- to upper 80s tomorrow through Monday, June 20. Daytime highs will then decline slightly beginning next Tuesday, June 21, averaging in the mid-70s through the remainder of next week. The 6-10 and 8-14 day outlooks from NOAA call for near normal temperatures in the medium term.

Commodity reports

Harvest of first cutting alfalfa and mixed hay has been progressing tentatively in our region, as weather allows. Plants are 20 to 30 inches tall and in the early bud stage of growth. Timothy is heading and daisies are blooming in pastures. Warm and mostly dry conditions predicted for the next seven days should allow producers to get most dry hay acres knocked down for curing and baling next week.

Winter wheat in Northeast Michigan is flowering. Scattered stripe rust infestations have been reported over the last week, with susceptible varieties most at risk. Fungicide applications are ongoing to treat any foliar diseases present and also as a preventative measure to protect the crop from Fusarium Head Blight. Concern about stripe rust has significantly increased the number of acres treated over previous years. Still, the majority of this year’s wheat crop is in very good to excellent condition, and the state average yield is projected to set a new record at 81 bu/ac.

Most of the corn crop in Northeast Michigan has emerged and ranges in development from one to four true leaves (V1-V4). Growth slowed some with cooler temperatures this past week, but recent rainfall and warmer temperatures forecasted for this weekend should push crop development along nicely. Early cover crops of crimson clover and annual ryegrass were interseeded into V3 corn last week as part of a project investigating how timing of interseeding affects soil health, weed pressure and corn yield. Black cutworm and true armyworm numbers remain low this season, with no moths trapped at our monitoring site near Rogers City this week.

Soybeans are approximately 95 percent emerged in our region. Earlier planted stands are showing one or two fully unrolled trifoliate leaves (V1-V2). Later planted fields are in the cotyledon (VC) stage. Post emergence herbicide applications continue to be made in soybeans and corn, but herbicide activity has lagged. Where weed pressure is lower, deer have found the soybeans and are effectively terminating many young plants as they browse. Some no-till soybeans emerging in high residue conditions are also showing signs of feeding by defoliating insects, but should quickly outgrow the damage.

Potato growers in Northeast Michigan have completed planting, and most fields have emerged. Some producers have already made their first pass post-planting to cultivate and inject fertilizer. As forage cutting continues, potato leafhoppers will begin to migrate into potato fields. Blackleg is still being reported in Southern Michigan. Growers are encouraged to scout fields for stunted, chlorotic or wilted plants, particularly if seed was sourced from the East Coast where recent infections are thought to have originated.

Dry bean planting is mostly complete in our region. Our local dry bean variety trial was planted in Hillman, Michigan, last Friday, June 10. A dry bean field day is being planned for mid-August to allow growers an opportunity to evaluate the trial. Herbicide application and trapping for Western bean cutworm will begin in the next couple of weeks.

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