Regional reports on Michigan vegetables – May 16, 2012

MSU Extension educators’ pest and vegetable updates for Michigan.

 This week’s regional reports:

Southwest Michigan – Ron Goldy, Michigan State University Extension

Southwest Michigan


High temperatures for the week ranged from 57 to 81°F and lows from 37 to 50°F. Soil temperatures are averaging in the mid-60s. Precipitation for the area was only 0.1 inches.

Field activity

Dry, favorable conditions have allowed for field activities to continue with no problems.

Crop reports

So far, no significant insect or disease problems have been observed in any of the vegetable crops.

Asparagus harvest continues with no serious difficulties.

Early planted peas are in in full bloom, no pods are evident.

Early planted sweet corn is at the two-leaf stage. Subsequent planting continues.

Pepper and eggplant transplanting has yet to begin in a big way.

Summer squash andzucchini under low tunnels are close to bloom. Direct seeding in unprotected fields has begun.

Tomatoes under tunnels are touching the tops of the tunnels and growers will be opening the tunnels soon. Transplanting in unprotected fields has begun.

Potatoes are 4 inches tall.

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West Central Michigan – Norm Myers, Michigan State University Extension

west centralWest Central Michigan


More rain has fallen south of Oceana and Newaygo counties, which have not really had significant rain fall in over a week. We have had some cool nights over the last week with frost on the ground on Thursday, May 10. Fortunately, this event was so short-lived that there was no apparent damage to any vegetable or fruit crop. The trend this week has definitely been toward warmer weather.

Oceana, Newaygo and Mason counties

Harvest of asparagus continues to pick up with the warmer weather, but quality may become a struggle if temperatures continue to rise and we get no rain. While loss to cold weather has been limited in the main asparagus growing area in northern Oceana County, southern areas have seen more damage and an Ottawa County grower told me he had been frosted off four times since he started picking in early April.

Prices in both the processed and fresh asparagus markets are very high and, currently, demand for both is very good. No major pest problems beyond a little common asparagus beetles.

Muck vegetable growing areas in Ottawa, Kent and Newaygo counties

Drier weather this week should have helped growers catch up somewhat with their planting schedules. MSU entomologist Zsofia Szendrei and I intend to visit muck areas in Kent and Ottawa counties on Friday (May 18) and collect samples to establish an aster yellow index established there.

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