Central Michigan field crop regional report – May 14, 2015

Rain slows planting progress in central Michigan.


Rain over the past weekend halted planting progress across the region. Rainfall totals varied with some areas receiving over 2.5 inches in the last week. The rains are needed because the region is still about 2.39 inches short of the five-year average recorded at the Michigan State University Freeland Enviro-weather station. The warmer temperatures from last week have brought the region within 30 growing degree days (GDD) of the five-year average of 229 GDD.

Field conditions are very wet in some areas and Michigan State University Extension advises farmers to be patient and let fields dry out. Wet soils are easily compacted. Plant roots don’t grow well in compacted soils. Inadequate moisture and nutrients reach the plant and yield can ultimately be reduced.

Commodity reports

Corn crop is about 75 percent planted across the region. Most of the early planted fields have emerged. Most are reporting good stands with no disease or insect problems at this time. Continue to scout corn fields for insect and seedling disease problems.

Soybean planting will continue when field conditions allow. The crop is about 45 percent planted. Many of the early planted fields have emerged with very good stands observed. There is some concern that soybeans planted just prior to the heavy rains may have some crusting issues if temperatures warm up quickly. Scout soybean fields for insect and disease problems, especially bean leaf beetles.

Wheat is in Feekes growth stage 5-6 .Some early planted fields are a little further along. There are a number of fields that still need herbicide and nitrogen applications. Many fields are showing yellow striping that farmers are investigating. If you would like to have your wheat samples diagnosed, the Michigan Wheat Program offers free diagnostics.

If you are interested in learning more about this year’s wheat crop, there will be a Wheat Field Day May 27 at Hauk Seed Farm in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. MSU wheat specialists and industry representatives will discuss this year’s crop and weed, disease and insect management strategies. There will also be a demonstration of how UAVs or drones can assist famers in crop health imaging.

Alfalfa is growing rapidly with the rains over the past week. Crop height ranges from 10-18 inches tall with harvest about 10 days away. No reported problems at this time. The new alfalfa seedings are emerging quickly.

Oats and barley planting is wrapping up. Early planted fields have emerged very well with excellent stands being observed.

Follow crop progress and pest updates throughout the growing season from MSU Extension Field Crops News.

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

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