Saginaw Bay area vegetable regional report – September 3, 2014

Multiple harvests and second plantings are going into September. More precipitation is anticipated.

Extended forecast for September indicates above normal precipitation, with the first few weeks carrying the brunt of the rainfall.

In my Michigan State University Extension visits to the major Macomb, Lapeer and Bay county vegetable areas, my best estimates of crop progress are below.

Sweet corn second plantings are in and about knee-high. First plantings went for two weeks longer than usual in some places. Corn earworm numbers usually increase this time of year, and some traps are reflecting this. Some growers successfully time their plantings to have and sell Bt sweet corn at this point in time because they handle the pest pressure better.

Onions are laying down in some places and harvested in others.

Carrots are being sequentially harvested.

Cabbage second plantings are small. Some first plantings are not being harvested due to pest and nutrient disorders.

Red beets are on their later plantings.

Melons and watermelons are well picked through, and later varieties will continue to produce as vines senesce and get stomped on by workers.

Summer squash and zucchini second plantings are flowering and setting fruit.

Winter squash and pumpkin fruits are developing to their full sizes and gaining some color. Some virus symptoms are showing up, along with their aphid vectors.

Pickling cucumber second planting fields are nearly all harvested.

Field-planted tomatoes, peppers and eggplants are being picked every day if they don’t have late blight. The disease hit homeowners badly over the last two weeks. Late blighted tomatoes should not be canned because their pH is elevated beyond a safe canning pH.

Potatoes are senescing or have been sprayed off and protected from late blight with a tank-mix of Reglone and Super Tin with a surfactant. If plants are still alive after two weeks, another fungicide application is going on to keep late blight off the tubers.

Please contact me at or 989-758-2500 ext. 202 to grab any suspected disease samples, or send the diseased plant parts to Michigan State University Diagnostic Services.

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