Southeast Michigan vegetable update – Aug. 26, 2020

Harvest continues in southeast Michigan.

Pumpkin field
Pumpkins continue to take on color. Photo by Mindy Tape, MSU Extension


The last week was hot, though some portions of our region, especially in Washtenaw and Wayne counties, got some rain. Some areas received rain today, Aug. 26. Friday and Saturday should bring rain, as well as a break from the heat. The next couple weeks will have rain every seven to 10 days. Looking into September, models are predicting a Canadian-origin air mass moving into our area this weekend, bringing cooler than normal temperatures. The longer-term models are calling for a warmer than normal fall.

Enviroweather got a face lift! Take a look and give us feedback.

The table below shows rainfall totals for the Michigan State University Enviroweather stations in southeast Michigan, as well as degree-days calculated using the Baskerville-Emin Method. Degree-day average for Commerce and Hudson is over five years, while Deerfield is over four years. Rainfall is in inches. For a refresher on degree-days and how to get this information in your area, see “Accessing growing degree days with Enviro-weather” from MSU Extension.

Rainfall and degree day totals as of Aug. 26


Degree days (base 42)

Degree days (base 50)

5-year degree day average (base 50)

Rainfall since April 1





12.2 (+0.38)





10.36 (+0)





18.07 (+0)

General notes

We are in the window for planting many fall-planted cover crops. The potentially warm fall will provide an opportunity for lots of biomass. The Midwest Cover Crop Council Cover Crop Selector Tool is helpful in narrowing down cover crop options.

Many weeds are setting seed now. It is a good time to remove them before these seeds can make it into the seedbank. This is especially true in organic systems.

Crop reports

Pumpkins continue to take on color. See “Pumpkin management in the final stretch” to check if issues you may be seeing are worth managing. Michigan hasn’t seen the clade of downy mildew that infects pumpkins and winter squash.

In sweet corn, pests are still active but at low numbers. On the corn earworm front, I caught an average of less than one moth a night in Monroe County and 2.1 moths a night in Lenawee County over the last week. The third generation of European corn borer is flying. Fall armyworm has been found in other parts of Michigan.

Business management survey

The MSU Extension business management team is looking to expand their programming to vegetable growers. To share your ideas and topics that are most important to you, please complete this brief, three question survey.

Reach out

Please contact me at or 517-264-5309 with questions, concerns or to schedule a field visit. I have the ability to visit fields on a limited basis.

Great Lakes Vegetable Producer’s Network

The Great Lakes Vegetable Producer's Network is a live weekly roundtable discussion during the growing-season for commercial vegetable producers in the Great Lakes and Midwest region. It is broadcast live via Zoom at 12:30 ET/11:30 CT every Wednesday from the first week of May to the first week of September. Listen live or later. If you have a pressing vegetable production issue that you would like discussed, simply email it, along with your phone number, to

Next week will cover pumpkin management in the final stretch.

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