East central Michigan field crop regional report – May 2, 2013

Although the temperatures have greatly improved, wet soggy field conditions continue to keep field work at a standstill.

Weather

Rainfall for the month of April was 8.6 inches recorded at the Ithaca Enviro-weather station. This has prevented nearly all field actively. On May 1, the Ithaca station reported a high of 82.9 degrees and soil temperatures above 50 degrees at both 2 and 4 inches. Although fields remain soggy, the sunshine and heat will turn field conditions around rapidly.

Standing water
Field with standing water in Gratiot County, taken May 2, 2013. Photo credit: Dan Rossman, MSU Extension

Commodity reports

Wheat is in the Feeke’s stage 4-5. Nitrogen applications will likely get completed this week. Most fields have some type of damage due to winter ice or April flood conditions. There are areas with flat, heavier soils that will have a significant amount of the wheat worked up and planted to another crop.

Damaged wheat field
Damaged wheat field in Gratiot County, taken May 2, 2013. Photo credit: Dan Rossman, MSU Extension

Alfalfa is over 4 inches tall with four or more trifoliates. Most fields are now looking good even though winterkill has taken its toll in some locations and chickweed is coming on strong. It is likely that most alfalfa fields will be maintained. Planting of new seedings have been prevented and will likely be attempted this week.

Injured alfalfa
Winter killed alfalfa field in Gratiot County, taken May 2, 2013. Photo credit: Dan Rossman, MSU Extension

Sugarbeets will be the top priority when the conditions allow. Previously planted acres will be assessed and replanted as needed.

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

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