Central Michigan field crop regional report – June 11, 2015
Dry weather is causing some concern in central Michigan.
The region missed the rains predicted over the weekend and that is starting to cause some concern as fields dry out. Some farmers feel being a little short of moisture early in the growing season forces plants to develop good root systems that will benefit the crops when we get into the drier months of July and August. The region is closing the growing degree day (GDD) gap according to the Michigan State University Freeland Enviro-weather station. The GDD total as of today, June 11, is 697 GDD while the five-year average is 734 GDD, which gets us close to the five-year average. The bigger concern is rainfall totals. Current rainfall totals this year is 6 inches with the five-year average being 9.32 inches.
Corn has been growing rapidly with the warmer temperatures over the past week. Field activities include herbicide applications and sidedress nitrogen applications. Farmers are encouraged to scout fields for crop problems. This is a good time of year to look for micronutrient deficiencies, especially manganese and zinc. Stripping of young leaves are good indicators of these micronutrient deficiencies. Insects to be on the lookout for include armyworms, cutworms and stalk borers.
The last of the soybean crop was planted this week. There has been some replanting in lower areas of field that received some frost damage and where the crop was drowned out earlier in the season. Weed control applications are being made. Stands are generally good with no problems reported. Scout fields for insect pest such as bean leaf beetles and Mexican bean beetles.
Wheat is headed out and most fungicide treatments have gone on for foliar diseases. The crop continues to look very good with most farmers expecting above average yields. While corn and soybeans could use a rain, the dry weather is considered favorable for wheat development.
Alfalfa harvest is pretty much wrapping up. The regrow on the early harvested field is almost 6 inches tall. The dry weather this week is allowing farmers to get hay dry enough to bale. Potato leafhoppers have arrived in Michigan, so Michigan State University Extension advises farmers to scout fields for this pest.
Oats and barley are looking excellent. Crops got off to a good start, but the excessive rains and early cool temperatures caused slow growth and yellowing. Herbicide applications are being made. Yield prospects are very good. Farmers with malting barley are advised to monitor that crop closely to manage foliar diseases to insure producing grain of malting quality.
Farmers should wrap up planting of dry beans this week. The early planted fields have emerged with very good stands observed. Scout these fields for potato leafhoppers.