Regional reports on Michigan vegetables – May 9, 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

High temperatures for the week ranged from 61 to 85°F and lows from 47 to 63°F. Soil temperatures are averaging in the low 60s. Precipitation for the area was nearly 2 inches.

Field activity

Field work continues at a good pace. Most of the rain for the week occurred on May 3, restricting activity on May 4. Otherwise, field preparation and lying of plastic continues. Few, unprotected transplants have been set out. Growers are waiting until after the low temperatures expected on May 10 before setting out unprotected plants.

Crop reports

Asparagus harvest is about 50 percent complete for some growers. Significant weed growth has occurred in some fields, especially lambsquarter and pigweed. This is probably a result of the good growing conditions these weeds experienced in 2011.

Peas are in early bloom.

Unprotected planting of tomatoes, cucumbers and squash will be set out later this week. Tomatoes under protection are at the pruning stage. Yellow squash and zucchini transplants in tunnels are putting out early flowers and will probably be in bloom next week.

Sweet corn planting continues.

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Central Michigan – Fred Springborn, Michigan State University Extension

Central Michigan
Central Michigan

Weather

One to 2 inches of rain fell in the central region of the state in the past week, stopping field work on the heavier soils and in areas that received the larger amounts of rain. Progress did continue on the lighter soils between rain showers this week. Temperatures have improved for plant growth; high air temperatures were generally in the mid-60s with a high of 83 recorded at Entrican, Mich., on Thursday (May 3). Low air temperatures were in the 40s to low 50s. Low soil temperatures at 2 inches have climbed into the high 40s to low 50s.

Crops

Potato planting has continued between rain showers. I have not observed any planted potatoes that have emerged, but there are reports of emerged volunteers.

Sweet corn planting is underway on the lighter soils.

I continue to catch low numbers of true armyworm moths in pheromone traps, though I did not catch any black cutworm moths this week. Given the high numbers caught in Indiana this spring, growers are advised to regularly scout fields and plantings that may be threatened by these pests.

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West Central Michigan – Norm Myers, Michigan State University Extension

West Central Michigan
West Central Michigan

Weather

Mason County was hit by very heavy rain and hail last week. Areas north of US-10 had up to 5 inches of rain, south of US-10 had a more manageable 2.5 inches. Oceana County and northern Newaygo had amounts mainly between an inch and 2 inches and fieldwork has resumed there. Vegetable growing areas of Kent and Ottawa counties have received more than 2.5 inches in a series of rain, which has delayed vegetable planting, but hasn’t resulted in serious flood damage.

Oceana, Newaygo and Mason counties

Harvest of asparagus got into full swing last weekend. With the cool weather, growers are on an every-other-day picking schedule. Purple spot is pretty common under these growing conditions, but so far hasn’t impacted quality, at least for processing. No common asparagus beetles have been seen since the warm weather in March, but will probably show up during the first 80 degree+ day.

Early plantings of carrots are now emerging and, in general, stands look very good in spite of the cool weather. Planting is nearing completion in our area. Aster leafhopper numbers are very high and have been since early April.

Planting schedules for processing zucchini are being moved up somewhat because processors are anticipating a light, early cherry crop and will be able to begin processing sooner than normal.

Carrots are more advanced in Newaygo County with a true leaf showing. Peas were damaged somewhat by the cold temperatures on April 27, but appear to be growing out of any damage just fine.

Muck vegetable growing areas in Ottawa, Kent and Newaygo Counties

Earliest planted onions are going into their second true leaf, although some growers are still planting or replanting wind-damaged onions. The earliest plantings of sweet corn are emerging, but rainy weather is making keeping up with a planting schedule difficult. Celery is now going in without row covers, and celery growers are also struggling to hold to their planting schedules due to the wet soil conditions.

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