Regional reports on Michigan vegetables – June 20, 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


Temperatures for the week were above normal with highs from 72 to 93 degrees Fahrenheit and lows from 46 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. Precipitation ranged from nothing to 0.6 inches for the area. Conditions continue to be extremely dry. Non-irrigated fields are showing significant stress. Since May 1, the Southwest Michigan Research and Education Center has received 0.52 inches of rain and PET values have totaled 3.8 inches, so we are 3.3 inches behind just for the month. Conditions have also been windy, causing damage to large-leafed plants such as zucchini and squash.

Crop reports

Sweet corn has responded to the increased temperatures as long as the field is irrigated. Growers using row covers have removed the covers and the plants are close to silking. Subsequent planting continues.

Pepper transplanting continues as does staking and tying. Early planted peppers are growing well and setting flowers. Fruit are 0.5 inches in diameter.

Harvest of cucumbers, summer squash and zucchinis continues from tunnel-grown fields. Transplanted fall squash is sizing fruit well. Direct seeding continues. No squash vine borers have been caught.

Watermelon and cantaloupe transplants are runnering off the plastic, flowering and setting fruit.

Tomato planting will finish this week. Staking, pruning and tying continue. Fruit on early, tunnel-grown plants continues to size well. Fruit on non-protected, early plantings are 2 inches in diameter.

Pea harvest is coming to an end and there are reports of hopper burn on beans.

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West Central Michigan – Norm Myers, Michigan State University Extension

West Central Michigan
West Central Michigan


Oceana, Mason and Newaygo counties received substantial rains over the last few days, with amounts in many areas topping 3.5 inches. Muck growing areas in Kent and Ottawa counties have been largely missed by these rains. High winds have hampered spraying in all areas over the last few days.

Oceana and Mason counties

Asparagus growers began shutting fields down late last week and continue as the wind allows. Most packers and processors are finished receiving. Recent rains should help activate lay by residual herbicides and should promote good, strong fern growth.

Early planted processing zucchini are nearing bloom, so we should begin picking well ahead of schedule on that crop. Processing squashes and Halloween pumpkins are growing rapidly with the additional moisture and the heat.

In carrots, aster leafhopper indexes appear to be dropping in Oceana County and near Fremont, Mich., so thresholds are increasing. MSU’s Zsofia Szendrei believes that this may be due to a change in generations. The threshold in Oceana County is now five per 100 sweeps and in Fremont, Mich., is 10 per 100 sweeps.

Muck vegetable growing areas in Ottawa, Kent and Newaygo counties

Samples of aster leafhoppers collected last week in celery growing areas in Kent and Ottawa counties continue to be highly infected with aster yellows and thresholds remain low there. Onion thrips are becoming increasingly common in onion fields and Szendrei advises growers to use a penetrating surfactant with all insecticides targeted at this crop. It is also important to avoid including a fungicide with a spreader-sticker with your onion thrip insecticide as this will hamper control. She also noted that two-spotted spider mites are now present on celery and should be treated with Agri-Mek if found to be a problem.

Editor’s note: Norm Myers is retiring and this is his last report for MSU Extension. We will miss Norm’s generous sharing of his expertise and his diligent support of Michigan’s vegetable industry. Congratulations, Norm!

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Central Michigan – Fred Springborn, Michigan State University Extension

Central Michigan
Central Michigan


Much needed rain fell in most of the central region over the past few days. Montcalm County received 1.2 inches and Gratiot County received 0.25 to 0.5 inches. High air temperatures ranged from the upper 70s to the low 90. Low air temperatures were in the mid-50s to mid-70s. Low soil temperatures at 2 inches are in the mid-60s.


Dry bean and pickle planting is in progress. Dry bean planting is approximately 60 percent complete in the central region. Germination and emergence has been rapid in most cases, many fields have first true leaves.

A good share of potato fields is covering the rows. Hilling continues in later planted fields. There are no reports of late blight in Michigan. Preventative applications of fungicides have begun in potatoes. There are more reports from eastern states of late blight on tomatoes or potatoes. Colorado potato beetles can readily be found on most volunteer potatoes in a wide range of growth stages. Potato leafhoppers are present in low numbers.

We continue to catch low numbers of western bean cutworm moths in pheromone traps.

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Southeast Michigan – Lina Rodriguez Salamanca, Michigan State University Extension

Southeast Michigan
Southeast Michigan


The Petersburg Enviro-weather station measured 0.12 inches of rain on June 12 and 0.83 inches on June18 for a total of 0.95 inches of rain in southeast Michigan. The lowest temperature was 41.8 degrees Fahrenheit (June13) and the highest temperature was 93.5 degrees Fahrenheit (June 19).


Potato plants are flowering. Peppers and tomatoes are bearing flowers, and in some fields, fruits are developing. The pea harvest is coming to an end. Green beans are bearing flowers and forming pods. Cabbage, zucchini and squash harvest continues.


In the Monroe County spore trap, cucurbit downy mildew counts increased during the period from June 6 to 8 and decrease from June 9 to 11. No cucurbit downy mildew has been confirmed in Michigan; however it has been confirmed in Ohio.

Potato leafhoppers were observed on eggplant, peppers and potatoes in different farms in Lenawee and Monroe counties. Thrips were observed in onion and pepper fields. One armyworm moth was caught in the traps in southeast Michigan.

Degree-day (DD) models and pest status



DD Status 6/19/12



Potato and other vegetables

Variegated cutworm

DD 1407

First generation eggs and larvae present

Inspect fields

Cucurbits, Sweet corn, Snap beans,

Seed corn maggot

DD 1937

First generation flight complete

Cole crops

Cabbage maggot

DD 1576

Peak adult flight of the first generation flies


Squash vine borer

DD 1022

Squash vine borer moths flying and laying eggs*

Scout fields for eggs and damage

*No squash vine borer moth was present on the southeast Michigan traps.

For farmers growing non-BT corn, the risk of corn root worm is currently high in our area ( The risk of corn earworm is low in our area, but moderate in the Corn Belt and migration is predicted over the following weeks into our area.

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