West central Michigan field crop regional report – May 21, 2015

Planting and field work progressed through much of west central Michigan this week.


Air temperatures were highly variable this week with highs in the lower 60s to low 80s. Low temperatures ranged from the low 60s to the low 30s with patchy frost observed in the northern portions of the region Wednesday morning, May 20. Low soil temperatures are in the mid- to upper 50s.

Rainfall totals for the week were generally light with most areas receiving between 0.2-0.5 inches Friday morning, May 15. Soil conditions remain variable with some soils too wet to work, however most are dry and field work is progressing.


Corn planting continues with more than 90 percent planted. Many livestock producers still have a significant amount of corn to plant as the late spring did not allow for early manure applications. Emergence has been somewhat slow due to relatively cool soil temperatures. Early planted corn is at V1 to V2. Some yellowness and even reddish leaves have been observed in the early plantings, much of this is due to cool weather and slow growth and is not attributed to nutrient deficiency or pest issues.

Wheat is at Feekes 7 to 8. Few significant disease issues are present. There are nitrogen (N) deficiency symptoms in a few fields and injury from late N applications can also be observed.

Cereal rye is heading

Alfalfa is 18 to 24 inches. Alfalfa weevils are present in many fields and will deserve monitoring if cutting will be delayed into June. No potato leafhoppers have been observed.

Soybean planting continues with more than 60 percent planted. Several fields have begun emerging.

Dry bean planting has not yet begun as soil temperatures remain cool. Rapid germination and emergence is important to avoid root rot infection. Michigan State University Extension recommends waiting until soil temperatures reach a consistent 60 degrees Fahrenheit or above and moisture conditions are suitable before planting dry beans.


We continue to catch only low numbers of true armyworm and black cutworm moths this week. Low catch numbers do not mean there is zero threat, however. MSU Extension still recommends scouting for these pests as decisions on pesticide applications should be based on scouting reports and observations of larvae activity.

Remember that proper pest identification is an important part of pest scouting.

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

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