Central Michigan field crop report
Planting progresses between intermittent showers.
Each year, farmer’s plant at an incredible pace and this year is no different. In spite of wetter than normal conditions and scattered showers, Central Michigan farmers are making good progress. Over the past week the region has received rain on Tuesday (May 10) and Thursday with a combined total of nearly one inch. Soil temperatures are beginning to warm up with mid-day readings in the mid-50s. The growing degree day totals (base 50) are about 140 with 240 being the three-year average. Fields are drying out at different rates causing disruptions in normal planting sequences.
Corn and soybean planting is going on simultaneously as farmers race to plant both crops. Corn is nearly 30 percent planted and soybeans are 15 percent planted this week. Planting conditions are variable at best and weeds are going to be an issue. It will be critical to get herbicide applications made as many weeds are getting beyond ideal size to control effectively.
The wheat crop in Feekes’ 6 and well beyond the stage when 2,4-D can be used for weed control. Scout fields to identify weeds before selecting the appropriate herbicide. Most of the nitrogen has been applied. Stands are variable with no disease problems reported. Continue to scout fields for problems.
Oats and barley are planted and the early planted oats is emerging. Stands are good but weeds are growing rapidly and will need to be controlled soon.
Alfalfa is 8 to 10 inches tall and doing very well. We have accumulated enough growing degree days for alfalfa weevil to hatch. Scout fields for alfalfa weevil tip feeding. New seedings are beginning to emerge and are still in the unifolioate leaf stage.
Planting of sugarbeets is nearly complete. Several of the early planted fields have been replanted. Emergence has been slow.