Southeast Michigan vegetable regional report – June 12, 2013

Recent rains resulted in patches of flooded areas in vegetable fields. Insect activity has remained the same or declined compared to last week, preventing any crop damage.


Our area received 1.89 inches of rain Sunday night (June 9) and Monday (June 10). Temperatures in the southeast ranged from 48 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit with an average of 62 F, according to Enviro-weather. In the following week, temperatures are forecasted to range from 59 to 77 F, with chances of rain today (June 12), tomorrow (June 13) and Sunday (June 16).

The growing degree days (GDD) recorded at the Petersburg Enviro-weather station indicated the current year is behind by 140, 109 and 68 GDD base 42, 45 and 50 F respectively (see table below) when compare with the previous five years.

Growing degree day (GDD) summary (data summarized from Enviro-weather)

Enviro-weather station

Current GDD base:

42 F

45 F

50 F









Commerce Township








Average of stations in this region




Average five years at Petersburg station




Vegetable crops report

Processing tomato and pepper fields are flooded in low areas (see photos below). Several processing pepper fields that suffered moderate frost damage are starting to recover. Staking has begun on fresh market tomato fields. Bell peppers and tomatoes in raised plastic beds have started to bear flowers. Michigan State University Extension specialist Mary Hausbeck discusses in her article “Recent rains favor Phytophthora crown and root rot of peppers” how to protect pepper fields from Phytophthora crown and root rot.

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Flooded areas in processing pepper and fresh market and processing
tomatoes fields. Photo credits: Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca, MSUE.

Potatoes continue to grow and more Colorado potato beetle adults have been observed and will continue to emerge. Variegated cutworm overwintering will be emerging soon (in 31 GDD base 45).

The late blight forecast for the Petersburg/Dundee Enviro-weather station has accumulated 12 disease severity values (DSV=12, or yellow risk). This means the highest labeled rate of protectant fungicide is recommended. To get personal recommendations, visit the Late Blight Risk Monitoring website and enter the date of emergence.

Cabbage caterpillar (cabbage worm and diamond back) activity has decreased and no additional damage has been observed. Collard green, lettuce and other salad green harvest continues.

Pea harvest will soon begin. Beans started in hoop houses or low tunnels are flowering. Early planted pea harvest is done and fields are going to be prepared for the next planting.

Cucurbit crop planting continues. Zucchini and yellow squash are flowering and in some fields, plants are 5 to 8 inches while cucurbits in tunnels are bearing 3-inch fruit. No cucurbit downy mildew has been observed in early-planted cucurbits. Cucurbit downy mildew spore counts remained low in the Monroe County spore trap, even though outbreaks of cucurbit downy mildew were reported in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Early sweet corn continues to grow and is now 8 inches tall. Low risk of corn earworm continues to be forecasted to move from the southern states, according to Corn rootworm risk is high in Ohio, Indiana and Illinois, but not in our area.

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