Central Michigan field crop report
Select fields carefully before tillage and planting.
It has been nearly a full week with no measurable rainfall across the region near Isabella County. The standing water is gone in most areas and the rivers are back within their banks. Soil temperature is beginning to warm up, reaching the low 50’s in the afternoon, but retreating to the high 40’s overnight. Field activities are starting to pick up on the light textured soils. Farmers are advised to use caution when selecting fields to plant. Many fields appear to be dry on the surface. However, many fields are at field capacity for water when you dig just a few inches down.
There are just a few acres ofcorn and no soybeans planted at this time. Planting is just on the very sandy and well drained soils. Weeds are taking over many fields and will need to be managed with a burndown herbicide application or tillage prior to planting.
The wheat crop is in Feekes’ growth stage 4-5. Over the last two days, growers have been able to apply herbicides and nitrogen where field conditions allow. There has been some urea applied by airplane. It will be important to assess the growth stage of your wheat before selecting a herbicide. The crop will be at or past Feekes’ growth stage 6 by early next week. At that point, 2,4-D products cannot be used. Nitrogen applications can be made up to Feekes’ 6 with little, if any, yield loss likely.
Alfalfa is progressing as expected. Stand height is 6 to 7 inches. Some areas of fields have been lost over the past week due to standing water. There are reports of some crown rot in northern areas. If you suspect crown rot, it is advised to have samples sent to the MSU Diagnostic Lab to confirm.
Oats and barley planting is underway as field conditions allow.
Sugarbeet planting is going full speed ahead. There is concern with the delayed plantings.