Regional reports on Michigan vegetables – July 11, 2012

MSU Extension educators’ pest and vegetable updates for Michigan.

This week’s regional reports:

Southwest Michigan – Ron Goldy, Michigan State University Extension

Southwest Michigan
Southwest Michigan


Weather has been was extremely hot and dry. Highs ranged from 83 to 100 F and lows from 58 to 74 F. There was no precipitation for the region. At the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center (SWMREC), we have only had 0.72 inches of rain since June 1 and have had 18 days over 90 F since May 1. Generally, we only have 12 all season. Conditions continue extremely dry with non-irrigated fields showing significant stress.

Crop reports

Sweet corn harvest has begun from row-covered fields. Harvest from non-covered fields will begin next week.

Pepper transplanting was delayed due to hot weather but it is now complete; staking and tying continues. Early planted peppers have 3-inch diameter fruit. Blossom end rot is showing up in some fields, not surprising given the recent hot weather.

Harvest of cucumbers, summer squash and zucchini continues. Squash vine borers continue to be caught, so growers should continue protective sprays. Some growers have reported problems with fruit and flower abortion due to high temperatures, reducing bee pollinating activity and the time flowers are receptive.

Mites are showing up in some watermelon plantings. Watermelon and cantaloupe fruit set have been hindered due to hot weather. There are early set fruit that occurred prior to the hot weather and then there is a gap due to lack of fruit set during the hot weather.

Tomato staking, pruning and tying continues. Harvest has begun from tunnel-grown plantings. Blossom end rot, tomato hornworm and mites are present in some fields. Hot temperatures at night may also reduce fruit set due to flower abortion.

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Central Michigan – Fred Springborn, Michigan State University Extension

Central Michigan
Central Michigan


Scattered thunder showers over the week that included the Fourth of July brought some relief to dry crops in several parts of the region. Reports of 0.75 to 1.5 inches of rainfall are fairly common for the week; southwest Isabella County received over 4 inches and hail. Not everyone received rain, however, with some areas on the southern edge receiving less than 1/10. Wind damage is evident throughout the entire region from the storms regardless of rainfall amount. High air temperatures ranged from the upper 80s to over 100 F over the two- week period. Low air temperatures were in the upper 50s to mid-70s. Soil conditions remain quite dry in many areas.


Potato tubers continue to develop and are somewhat ahead of normal in size. Colorado potato beetle summer adults have emerged. Potato leafhopper adults and nymphs are present in significant numbers.

Summer squash andzucchini harvest have begun with fruit growing rapidly.

Pickles are in various growth stages from emergence to blossom and fruit set.

Early planted dry bean fields and early snap bean fields are blossoming and setting pods.

Western bean cutworm pheromone trap catches are increasing rapidly with some traps now catching 30 to 40 moths per night. This may likely be a significant issue for later sweet corn plantings as well as dry beans. We are also catching low numbers of corn earworm.

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Southeast Michigan – Lina Rodriguez Salamanca, Michigan State University Extension

Southeast Michigan
Southeast Michigan


Monroe and Lenawee counties had several small rain events that together added a total of 0.31 and 0.78 inches of rain respectively. Temperatures remained high ranging from 53.5 to 102 F (in the early morning).

Crops and pests

Cucurbit crops. One squash vine borer moth was found on the Washtenaw County trap, while the trap in Monroe County did not have any squash vine borers. Cucurbit fruit harvest continues.

In the Monroe County spore trap, cucurbit downy mildew counts reached 13 spores in a day. Protect your cucurbit crops following MSU’s Mary Hausbeck’s spray recommendations for downy mildew.

Tomatoes and peppers are bearing fruit. Green beans have suffered some flower abortion due to the heat. Cabbage harvest continues.

Sweet corn. In addition to the corn earworm, European corn borer and fall armyworm traps, western bean cutworm traps were set up. The counts of insect pests in the traps are in the table below. Monitoring will continue. Keep up-to-date with the count at Corn earworm in sweet corn trapping map.

Insect pest


Corn earworm

Fall armyworm

European corn borer

Western bean cutworm











*Five moths July 2-6 and two moths July 10
**Seven moths July 2-6 and two moths July 10

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