Central Michigan field crops regional report – June 4, 2015

With most crops planted, the focus turns to pest management.


Farmers enjoyed a little break as most of the corn and soybeans are planted in central Michigan. Scattered showers over the weekend slowed field work ahead of dry bean planting, but as of today, June 4, farmers are able to get back into the fields. Parts of the region received light frost two mornings this week, but temperatures did not get low enough to cause any significant damage. The region is still lagging behind the five-year averages for growing degree days (GDD) and rainfall based on the Michigan State University Freeland Enviro-weather station. Current GDD total is 463 with the five-year average being 520 GDD. Current rainfall total is 6 inches with the five-year average being 8.85 inches. Many farmers are expressing frustration with the large swings in temperatures, frost in the morning one day and 80 degrees Fahrenheit the next day.

Commodity reports

Corn is planted and emergence has been very good but slow. The crop ranges from spike to V-5. Stands are very good and farmers are getting the sidedress nitrogen applications made. There is some flea beetle feeding. Michigan State University Extension advises farmers to scout fields for insect pests such as flea beetles, wireworms, seedcorn maggots and cutworms. There have been no black cutworm moths caught in traps at this point.

Soybeans are 99 percent planted with the first herbicide applications going on this week. Stands are generally good with some replants reported in early planted fields that received some of the driving rains last month. Some slug feeding has been observed in high residue situations. If you think you might have some frost injury to your soybeans, there is a very good article from University of Minnesota Extension about this issue, “Frost injury to soybean.”

Wheat is heading across the region. We are fast approaching the time when foliar applications for Fusarium head scab should be applied. There is an excellent MSU Extension article, “Using fungicides to suppress Fusarium head scab in wheat,” that includes a fact sheet on managing this disease. Timing is critical for proper disease suppression. No armyworm moth catches this week.

Alfalfa harvest is well underway with farmers taking advantage of a nice weather window for harvest. Most first cutting is being chopped for silage, which makes harvest go quickly. There is some reported alfalfa weevil feeding, but most are making the reports based on what they are seeing on the cutting bars of their haybines. Cutting is the best way to manage this pest. No reported leafhoppers at this time.

Oats and barley continue to progress with many fields losing the yellow coloring from last week’s rains and cool temperatures.

Farmers will continue to plant dry beans this week as field conditions allow.

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

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