East Central Michigan field crop regional report – April 10, 2014

The long, cold winter is now behind us. A period of warm, dry weather is needed before field work will begin.

A field in Gratiot County with dry soil on the surface, taken April 9, 2014.

A field in Gratiot County with dry soil on the surface, taken April 9, 2014.

Weather

The snow has melted without flooding or soil erosion issues. Fields are starting to appear dry on the surface, but are still far too wet underneath to begin any field work. Warm temperatures in the 50s and 60s the second week of April are a welcome change. We are still about two weeks behind normal and the forecasts appear to be calling for cooler weather throughout the rest of April. It looks like it will be a few weeks before we can start planting, so we will need to be patient.

Commodity reports

Wheat appears to have survived the winter in good shape. There are some brown leaves or leaf tips, but Michigan State University Extension advises this is common. Most fields are starting to have a healthy green color and new growth is expected soon. Nitrogen application has been delayed on most fields.

Wheat field
Good wheat field in Gratiot County, taken April 9, 2014.

Sugarbeet planting has not yet begun. Warm weather expected on April 12 may tempt some to begin.

Alfalfa has broken dormancy with new growth just starting to be seen. It appears to have survived the winter in good condition. No heaving has been observed.

Alfalfa new growth
Alfalfa field in Gratiot County showing new growth, taken April 9, 2014.

All photos: Dan Rossman, MSU Extension

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

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