Wheat watchers week of May 6, 2024

See how the wheat crop is progressing across the state this week.

A sectioned-off map of Michigan with the designated wheat watcher zones.
The Michigan wheat watcher zones. Map source: https://gisgeography.com/michigan-county-map/

This report will come out weekly until most of the state hits flower and then will switch to bi-weekly until most of the state has reached harvest. This report is only possible because of our agribusiness and farmers who participate as wheat watchers. If you are interested in being a wheat watcher, especially if you see your area isn’t represented, please reach out to Michigan State University Extension  field crops educator Jenna Falor  at  falorjen@msu.edu.  

Overall, this week reporters are seeing wheat stands in good condition ranging in Feekes growth stage 5-9.  

Southwest region 

We had three wheat watchers reporting from southwest region: one from St. Joseph County near Centreville, one from Allegan County near Wayland and the is from Barry County near Hickory Corners. Wheat is reported to be at Feekes 8 in Barry County. The watcher in St. Joeseph County is seeing Feekes 10 across the area. The watcher in Allegan County is reporting that aphids are being found, well below thresholds, and powdery mildew is present as well. In Barry County, they are seeing some insect damage on leaves but nothing at threshold. In St. Joseph County, they are reporting powdery mildew and a little bit of rust starting to appear in fields with heavier soils as well as some aphids being present. All there watchers have reported some recent rains across the area. 

If you are interested in receiving southwest Michigan crop updates, MSU Extension field crops educator Nicolle Ritchie puts out a weekly update through MSU Extension Field Crops News. 

Wheat plants
Photo by Nicolle Ritchie, MSU Extension. 

Southeast region 

We had no watchers reporting from the southeast this week. 

East central (Thumb) region 

We had two wheat watchers reporting from the Thumb in Huron County near Ubly and Elkton, respectively. Wheat has reached Feekes 5-7 across most of the area. Most herbicide, T-1 fungicides and growth regulators have been applied within the past week. Some people have begun their second application of spring fertilizer. There has been some rain across the area but most of it has been light this past week and hasn’t slowed down much. Overall, wheat is looking good across the area. 

Central region 

We had three wheat watchers reporting from the central region: one in Isabella County near Mount Pleasant, one in Ingham County near Mason and one in Saginaw County near Frankenmuth. Wheat is at Feekes 7-9. The watcher near Mason is seeing Feekes 8-9 across the area. The watchers near Mount Pleasant is seeing Feekes 7-9 and Frankenmuth is reporting Feekes 7. The watcher near Frankenmuth reported that herbicide and fungicides have been going out this past week and Mount Pleasant area is wrapping up applications. There has been some powdery mildew and annual weed pressure reported near Frankenmuth. 

If you are interested in viewing the central Michigan crop updates, MSU Extension field crops educator Monca Jean puts out a weekly, live update through the MSU Extension Field Crops Facebook page. 

West central region 

We had no wheat watchers reporting from west central this week. 

North region 

We had no wheat watchers reporting from the northern area this week. 


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