Central Michigan vegetable regional report – May 20, 2015

Planting and field work progressed through much of central Michigan this week.

Weather

Air temperatures were highly variable this week with highs in the lower 60s to low 80s. Low temperatures ranged from the low 60s to the low 30s with only scattered, patchy frost observed in the northern portions of the region Wednesday morning, May 20, 2015.

Rainfall totals for the week were generally light with most areas receiving between 0.2-0.5 inches Friday morning, May 15. Soil conditions remain variable with some soils too wet to work, however most are dry and field work is progressing.

Crops

Potato planting continues with early plantings emerging. A few volunteer potatoes have been observed emerging in areas that were protected from last winter’s extreme cold temperatures. Volunteer potatoes, whether they are in the field or in cull/rock piles, are important for growers to be very conscious of this year due to the late blight outbreak in the 2014 growing season.

Table beets, potatoes, peas, onions, sweet corn and a variety of other crops have emerged at many market gardens. Generally, stands are good as rainfall and temperatures have been adequate for germination and emergence and little soil crusting has occurred. Most who do not have row covers or other frost protection have held off transplanting frost-sensitive crops until this latest frost threat passes. Many will begin transplanting in the next few days.

Sweet corn planting continues. Emergence is slow due to relatively cool soil temperatures. First plantings are at V1. Some yellowness and even reddish leaves have been observed in these early plantings, much of this is due to cool weather and slow growth and is not attributed to nutrient deficiency or pest issue.

Asparagus spears continue to emerge and growers continue to harvest.

Insects

We continue to catch only low numbers of true armyworm and black cutworm moths this week. Low catch numbers do not mean there is zero threat, however. Michigan State University Extension still recommends scouting for these pests as decisions on pesticide applications should be based on scouting reports and observations of larvae activity.

Remember that proper pest identification is an important part of pest scouting.

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