Central Michigan field crop regional report – July 2, 2015

Favorable weather predicted for the coming week.

Weather

Scattered showers across the region left about 0.3 inches of rain this past week. Soil moisture is considered adequate on most soil types. Growing degree day (GDD) totals at the Michigan State University Freeland Enviro-weather station as of July 2 are 935 GDD, which nearly equals the 940 GDD total on this date in 2014.The warmer temperatures predicted over the next week will be welcomed for good crop growth.

Commodity reports

Corn is a little of a mixed bag with lots of variability depending on planting date, soil type and rainfall totals. Most corn will make the old thumb rule, “Knee-high by Fourth of July.” That saying may be a little outdated with better varieties and earlier planting dates; shoulder-high might be a better benchmark. There are reports of yellow corn and some striping. This may be due to the excessive rains in some areas. No significant insect or disease problems reported at this time.

Soybeans are just beginning to flower in early planted fields. There is concern that conditions are setting up for white mold problems just like the 2014 growing season. If farmers are considering making fungicide applications, closely monitor the growth stage in each field so applications can be timely. One of the keys for successful management of this disease is proper timing of fungicide applications. Michigan State University Extension field crop pathologist Martin Chilvers has an excellent article, “White mold of soybeans and foliar fungicides,” that can help in the decision making process.

Wheat harvest is right around the corner as most fields are turning. There is concern with the number of fields that have symptoms of Fusarium head scab. While not a good indicator of DON test levels, farmers should take precautionary steps during harvest until grain is tested. The July 2 issue of “Soft Winter Wheat: Notes and Observations for Michigan ” provides an excellent reference on steps to take to minimize DON.

Dry beans are planted with good emergence but variable stands due to flooding. Excess rains in some areas have caused concern with root diseases. No insect problems reported at this time. Western bean cutworm traps were set out last week.

Second cutting alfalfa harvest is underway with good yields reported. There are still a few farmers trying to get hay dry enough to bale. Scout alfalfa for potato leafhoppers.

Follow crop progress and pest updates throughout the growing season at MSU Extension Field Crop News.

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