Central Michigan field crop regional report – June 27, 2013

Warm, dry weather is just what the central region needed to finish planting.


Rainfall totals for the past week ranged from one- to three-tenths of an inch. The warmer and drier weather is just what was needed to allow farmers to wrap up planting. Growing degree day (GDD) totals from the Freeland Enviro-weather station are 906 GDD, with the five-year average being 1023 GDD. Crop conditions are much improved as a result of the warmer, drier weather.

Commodity reports

Corn has improved tremendously over the past week. Growth has been rapid with the warm temperatures and the color has greatly improved as the crop has been able to root deep enough to pick up starter fertilizer as well as applied nitrogen. Sidedress nitrogen and herbicide applications are wrapping up this week. Consider tissue testing in problem areas of fields if nutrient deficiencies are suspected.

Soybeans are getting their second and third trifoliate leaves and solid seeded fields are canopied. Growth has been very good with the improved weather. Scout fields for seedling diseases. No significant insect populations at this time; Michigan State University Extension advises growers to continue scouting fields for problems. Make herbicide applications in a timely manner to avoid yield loss due to competition.

Wheat is in the grain fill period. You can detect some slight changes in color in early planted fields. Some stripe rust and Septoria are reported in the region. Now is the time to consider planting a cover crop after wheat harvest. There are a number of resources available to assist you in selecting a cover crop species to meet your farm’s goals. Two good resources include “Cover crop choices following winter wheat” and visiting the Midwest Cover Crop Council website.

Harvest of first cutting alfalfa is wrapping up as farmers are able to make dry hay with the more favorable conditions. Second cutting is 12 to 14 inches tall in the early cut fields. Scout fields for potato leafhoppers. There are reports of low level of this pest in most fields. Second cutting should begin next week for famers on aggressive cutting schedules. Scout new seeding for leafhoppers.

Dry bean planting is wrapping up with rapid emergence. Stands are very good. Scout fields for disease and insect problems.

Oats are heading and barley will be heading soon. No problems are reported at this time.

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

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