Regional report on southeast Michigan field crops – September 1, 2011

Pest and field crop updates for southeast Michigan.

Southeast Michigan
Southeast Michigan

Weather has been seasonal, but we could actually use some rain. Temperatures have been great for accumulating growing degree days to help late planted crops catch up on development. The “f” word (frost) has already been mentioned and when we are likely to have a killing frost.

Alfalfa third cutting is finishing up now. New seedlings should finish up for southeast Michigan by the middle of September to allow sufficient time for the plants to grow enough to overwinter.

Corn is in the milk to dough stages, with farmers reporting good ear fill. Now we just need enough precipitation to get good kernel fill. Western bean cutworm numbers have declined dramatically. Corn earworm damage is more severe this year. Silk feeding by corn rootworm adults has also been reported.

Gray leafspot and anthracnose leaf diseases are spreading on susceptible hybrids. Last year, several fields had sever dieback from anthracnose, a very common disease, though not in field corn. Early corn silage chopping will begin the Labor Day Holiday (September 5).

Cover crops are going in at an astonishing rate. The late spring forced changes of crop plans, resulting in more subsurface drainage and now cover crops. The “hot” cover crop being planted now is oilseed radish.

Soybeans are in the R5 pod fill stage. Plants will continue to grow and fill pods. A year ago the dry, late summer conditions saw harvest beginning on September 7. Soybean aphids are still present, though at very low numbers. Grasshoppers, Japanese beetles and bean leaf beetles are present and feeding on leaves, though not at threshold levels. Deer feeding damage has also been reported. Weed control in most soybean fields has been terrific this summer. Sudden death syndrome and soybean cyst nematodes are easy to find in several fields in the area.

Wheat planting will begin roughly one month from today. I expect farmers to plant the same or higher acreage of wheat as it is a cheaper crop to raise than corn.

There are three more Extension field days in southeast Michigan. The first is in Washtenaw County at the Jerry Kuhl farm on Tuesday, September 6, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. The address is 2834 Peckins Road, Chelsea, Mich. (view map). Two corn and three soybean plot projects will be featured as well as the new aphid resistant soybeans.

The second is in Monroe County, hosted by Herb Smith and Alan Matthes, on Wednesday, September 7, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. This plot is located at 5634 Dunbar Road, Monroe, Mich. (view map), and will feature three soybean plots and the new aphid resistant soybeans.

The third and final field day is in Lenawee County at the MSU Soybean Variety Trials on Tuesday, September 13, from 4:00 to 6:00 p.m. This plot is hosted by Dave and Jason Woods and is located on Holloway Road, south of Britton and north of Deerfield, Mich. (view map).

For more information about any of these field days, contact Ned Birkey at 734-240-3172.

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