Central Michigan vegetable regional report – May 14, 2014
Persistent wet conditions further slow progress in Central Michigan.
Light rain followed by thunderstorms and heavy rain kept most vegetable growers from the fields this week with only limited field work getting done on Sunday, May 11. Very little work has been done on the heavy loam soils, especially those without improved drainage, as they have remained too wet to work since the very beginning of the season. At Entrican, Michigan, air temperatures have ranged from the low 70s to low 80s for highs with nighttime lows in the low 40s to low 50s for much of the week. Low soil temperatures are in the low 50s at a 2-inch depth.
Rainfall totals have been variable with most areas receiving well over 2 inches this week.
Potato planting made little progress this week and has fallen further behind the normal pace and schedule. I have not observed any emergence of the crop or volunteers.
Sweet corn planting has begun, but is off many grower’s intended schedule. Early field planted sweet corn is beginning to emerge in some locations.
Many market gardens are also behind schedule. Several small scale growers are waiting to transplant vegetable crops such as tomatoes out of fear of cold injury. Direct seeding is also behind schedule for several with most of the progress being made on the sandy, well-drained soils
Asparagus harvest has picked up this week with several of the small growers in Central Michigan indicating a large first pick.
Black cutworm moth capture is low this week at four per trap. Michigan State University Extension warns growers to continue monitoring given the large flight in states south of Michigan, most notably Indiana, and the large number of weedy fields present that would be attractive to egglaying. Black cutworm is a serious pest to many vegetable crops including sweet corn.