Central Michigan vegetable regional report – September 2, 2015

Late blight is infecting potatoes and tomatoes in several areas in Montcalm County.

Weather

Air temperatures fluctuated from the mid-60s to upper 80s and low 90s for highs this week in Michigan’s central region. Average relative humidity levels have been in the mid-80 percentile to the mid-90 percentile. Soil moisture is adequate in nearly all areas with rainfall from scattered showers.

Crops

Potato harvest of table stock potatoes continues for fresh markets sales and chip potatoes are being harvested for direct shipment to the chipping plants. Crop consultants are reporting to Michigan State University Extension that late blight in numerous commercial fields in Montcalm County. Fungicide applications are continuing on a five-day schedule on fields that are still growing. Harvest of chip potatoes for storage will begin in approximately 10 days to two weeks and defoliation of these fields is ongoing.

Tomato harvest is ongoing in many market gardens as well as home gardens. Late blight is becoming common in unprotected tomato plantings in Montcalm County. Most market gardeners are harvesting tomatoes this week. Growers should continue applying preventative fungicides to tomatoes.

Sweet corn harvest is winding down and finished for many growers. Late plantings that are not protected with insecticides do have some damage from western bean cutworm.

Insects

Potato leafhopper adults and nymphs are still present in many susceptible crops. Numbers are relatively low and expected to decrease.

Japanese beetle adults are present in low numbers with far lower numbers of the insect being observed than in previous years.

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