Central Michigan vegetable regional report – August 20, 2014
Late blight is widespread in much of the central Michigan region.
Most areas of the central Michigan region received 0.5 to 1.5 inches of rainfall during the storm events on Tuesday, Aug. 19. Up until the recent rain event, soils were becoming very dry and irrigations systems were running on a regular basis. High temperatures have been in the upper 60s to low 80s for the two-week period ending Wednesday, Aug. 20. Humidity levels have been moderate with only five of the last 14 days registering average humidity levels over 80 percent.
Late blight continues to be found in commercial potato fields as well as home gardens in Montcalm County and much of the surrounding area. Regions downwind should take note and apply preventive fungicides to tomatoes and potatoes. Michigan State University Extension advises commercial growers to read up on fungicide recommendations for tomatoes and fungicide recommendations for potatoes. Home gardeners are encouraged to apply fungicides with chlorothalonil as the active ingredient at labeled rates before symptoms appear.
Early harvest of potatoes has begun for direct shipment out of the field. Yields are variable.
Sweet corn harvest continues with very low insect pressure. Corn earworm flight is very low. Western bean cutworm flight is ongoing at low levels and larvae have been reported in harvested sweet corn ears.
Downy mildew is present in pickling cucumber fields in Montcalm County. Fungicide applications should continue on fields yet to be harvested.