West Central Michigan field crop regional report – May 29, 2014

We had nearly a solid week of planting progress this week in parts of West Central Michigan.


Sunshine and warm temperatures for most of the week moved planting progress forward in the West Central region this week. Rain showers did produce between 0.2 and 0.4 inches in some areas, but showers were not widespread. At Entrican, Michigan, air temperatures have ranged from the low 70s to low 80s for highs with nighttime lows in the low 40s and 50s for much of the week. Low soil temperatures are in the upper 50s to low 60s at a 2-inch depth.


Corn planting surged forward with 50-60 percent of the crop in the Montcalm, Michigan, area planted with producers in the Newaygo and Muskegon, Michigan, areas also making good progress this week. The early planted fields are at V2 and most of these fields are recovering from the stress period of cool, wet conditions that were experienced earlier in the month. Germination has been rapid on newly planted corn.

Black cutworm moth capture is still low this week, I did catch six in one trap indicating the pest is present and will need to be scouted for. There will likely be pockets and areas of significant cutworm activity over the next few weeks. Growers, scouts and crop consultants should begin scouting emerged crops for this and other early season pests.

Cereal rye cover crops are now in the boot stage with many fields fully headed out. Feekes growth stage is at 9-10. They will be difficult to control at this advanced stage.

Oat stands are generally good. Growth stage is highly variable. Emerged stands should be monitored for weed growth.

Alfalfa continues to grow well with most fields at 20-24 inches in height. Alfalfa weevil feeding is present in some locations at low levels.

Wheat is at Feekes 8 to 9 in most fields. Disease pressure remains low in the fields I observed this week. Annual weed pressure and nitrogen application are the biggest concerns at this time as it is getting far past the optimal time to apply N and weed growth is increasing in both winter spring annuals.

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

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