Upper Peninsula field crop regional report – May 30, 2014

Warmer, dryer weather this week has farmers scurrying to get crops in.

Barley emergence on May 28, 2014. Photo credit: Jim Isleib, MSU Extension
Barley emergence on May 28, 2014. Photo credit: Jim Isleib, MSU Extension


It has been much warmer and dryer over the last week and a half, with many days in this period suitable for fieldwork. Soil temperatures are warming and the outlook for the weekend is mixed with chance of rain on Sunday, June 1. Growing degree day (GDD) base 42 degrees Fahrenheit accumulation as of May 30 ranges from 323 GDD at Newberry, Michigan, to 427 GDD at Stephenson, Michigan.


Planting is behind schedule, of course, but Upper Peninsula farmers are busy getting small grains, corn and potatoes planted. Small grains and corn are 50-60 percent planted with the earliest planted fields emerging. Potato planting is well underway. Dry bean planting usually does not commence until the first week of June, and hopefully will not be delayed much. There is not much sign of significant alfalfa winter damage, thanks to the snow cover and lack of much freezing and thawing cycle this spring – it just stayed cold!

Planting on the clay soils in the far eastern and western areas of the Upper Peninsula is also delayed, but is always significantly later than on the well-drained soils in the central part of the region. Farmers on these clay soils may not be as late, relative to normal planting dates, as those on well-drained soils.

Armyworm and black cutworm trapping is underway on farms in Central Upper Peninsula and will provide advanced warnings of potential outbreaks. Western bean cutworm traps will be set up as the season progresses.

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

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