Saginaw Bay area vegetable regional report – June 11, 2014

Planting is slowing down and harvest is starting in early, cool season crops.

This root maggot fly in a Bay area onion patch is being used as a host by a naturally occurring fungus.

This root maggot fly in a Bay area onion patch is being used as a host by a naturally occurring fungus.

Rainfall and growing degree day (GDD) base 50 degrees Fahrenheit accumulations as of June 11, 2014, from Michigan State University Enviro-weather stations at the following Bay and Thumb area vegetable growing regions are as follows:

We are caught up on GDDs in most regions.

Migratory pests are harder to predict with GDDs. Cold fronts with southerly and southeasterly winds can bring them into Michigan over the coming weeks and months. The major pests to be aware of that arrive this way are potato and aster leafhoppers, corn earworms and tomato fruitworms, spotted cucumber beetles and southern corn rootworms, soybean aphids, fall armyworms, western bean and black cutworms, and cabbage loopers.

In my Michigan State University Extension visits to the major Macomb, Lapeer and Bay county vegetable areas, my best estimates of crop planting progress are below.

Sweet corn is at 90 percent and in various stages in all regions, tassels emerging in some. I am deploying pheromone traps for European corn borer.

Cabbages and greens are in except for late cabbage. These are growing through some heavy flea beetle pressure in some areas. Look for a “shot hole” appearance to the leaves. Some pests have been spotted in Southeast Michigan, but pressure to date has not been bad.

Multiple sequential lettuce seeds are underway. First harvests are right around the corner.

All carrot seedings are finished. Barley nurse crops are being sprayed off in the fields planted first.

Onions are nearly 100 percent in all regions, transplants are farther along with five to eight leaves and seeded fields are about 3-6 inches tall. Onion thrips have not reached threshold, and some rain will set them back.

Colorado potato beetles can be found in potato fields now laying eggs. Larvae are most easily controlled and the first generation can be timed for 50 percent egg hatch. Rimon is a product that does not work well on older larvae and adults, but can be used effectively as the first control application. This timing gets harder later in the season. The threshold is one larva or adult per plant threshold. For more information, see “Colorado potato beetle insecticide resistance management.”

String, bush and wax beans are at 80 percent for field seeded and transplanted beans in the Bay area, and 40 percent in the Thumb area. Greenhouse beans are climbing. Potato leafhoppers and aphids haven’t been spotted yet, but perhaps we’ll see some aphids transplanted by this weather from the South.

Melons and summer squash are 90 percent transplanted in the Bay area, with certain varieties vining out and flowering. Zucchinis and yellow squash are setting fruit. About 70-90 percent is transplanted in the Thumb area, along with the first cantaloupe seedings. Striped cucumber beetles are out and reaching threshold in some places. Look for feeding damage and protect seedlings.

For tomatoes and peppers, later harvest tomatoes are transplanted. Early transplants are sometimes flowering and setting fruit. Greenhouse tomatoes are ripening fruit. Transplant stress on the lower leaves is common.

Slicing cucumbers are the same as melons in the field. Greenhouse hand-picks are flowering and fruiting.

Pickling cucumbers are at 25 percent in the Bay area. About 5 percent of the pickles going in this year are seedless varieties. Greenhouse hand-picks are flowering and fruiting.

For table beets, radishes, turnips and celery root, 50 percent of celery root is in and radishes are being harvested.

Winter squash and pumpkins are underway. The Saginaw Valley Research and Extension Center pumpkin variety trial was planted on Monday, June 9. Varieties include Cronus, Racer, Racer Plus, Camaro, Mustang, Corvette, Gladiator, Apollo, Expert and Charisma.

Strawberries are at harvesting June-bearers. 

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