Southeast Michigan vegetable regional report – June 5, 2013

Insect presence and activity has increased in the southeast region. Scout regularly for damage and keep in mind action thresholds in planning insecticide application.


Our area had 0.6 inches of rain in three rain events in the past week. Temperatures in the southeast ranged from 43 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit with an average of 66 F. We experienced cooler nights at the beginning of this week, according to Enviro-weather. In the following week, temperatures are forecasted to range from 53 to 78 F, with 40 to 60 percent chance of rain, but as scattered light showers.

The growing degree days (GDD) recorded on the Petersburg Enviro-weather station indicated the current year is behind by 66, 45 and 15 DD base 42, 45 and 50 F respectively (see table below).

Growing degree days recorded at the Petersburg Enviro-weather station.

Weather station

Current GDD base:

42 F

45 F

50 F









Commerce Township








Average of stations in this region




Average 5 years Petersburg station




Data summarized from Enviro-weather

Learn more about growing degree days and how they can predict insect pests, especially how to use it in your operations, from the Michigan State University Extension article “Accessing growing degree days with Enviro-weather.”

Vegetable crops report

Cabbage and other cole crop insect pests are active. Cabbage maggot damage is now evident as uneven stands (Photo 1.). Flee beetle populations are increasing in cabbage and are moving to other cole crops like radishes.

Cabbage maggot damage
Photo 1. Cabbage maggot damage. Red circle surrounds
a maggot emerging from the roots.
Photo credit: Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca, MSU Extension

Cabbage worm and diamond back moth caterpillars are active and causing damage; some fields reached threshold and insecticide application was necessary. In other fields, the damage is below 5 percent. To learn more about caterpillars in cole crops, see the MSU Extension bulletin “Caterpillar Pests in Cole Crops.”

Early cabbage, broccoli and green (kale, mustard) harvest have begun and will continue.

Peas continue to flower and the first pods are forming, while green beans and snap beans continue to grow. Bean leaf beetles are active and have caused defoliation (30 percent) in a small commercial operation.

Cucurbit crop planting continues; early-planted zucchini and yellow squash are bearing 3- to 5-inch fruit. Watermelons and cantaloupes have striped cucumber beetles.

Tomatoes for fresh market are flowering or bearing small green fruit. Pepper transplants that suffered moderate frost damage are not fully recovered from the damage. Potatoes continue to grow with no major disease problems. Colorado potato beetle adults have started to emerge.

Early planted sweet corn continues to grow, but at a slower rate than last year. Low risk of corn earworm continues to be forecasted to move from the southern states, according to

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