Southeast Michigan vegetable regional report – May 14, 2014

Hail and wind hit Southeast Michigan, and rainy conditions are in the forecast and may delay planting.

Weather

In the past week, rainfall recorded in Southeast Michigan averaged 1.9 inches with an average of 21 hours of rainfall.

Rainfall summary for Southeast Michigan via Michigan State University Enviro-weather

Station

Rainfall total (inches)

Hours with rainfall

Commerce Township

1.7

22

Hudson

1.5

19

Petersburg

1.8

21

Romeo

2.5

22

Average for region

1.9

21

Relative humidity has ranged from 48 to 98 percent, except on Sunday, May 11, it dropped to 25 percent. Up to 18 hours of humidity was recorded on May 12. On May 10, 11 and 13, an average of 10 to 14 hours of humidity was recorded. This type of humidity can be conducive to development and spread diseases in the field. Scout fields for disease symptoms; early detection and proper identification are important steps to managing diseases properly.

Rain events with fast winds and 1-inch hail occurred May 12-13. Air temperatures in the southeast have ranged from 48 to 83 F with an average of 65 F. Based on the average of the southeast MSU Enviro-weather stations, we currently have reached 198 growing degree days (GDD) base 50 F.

Regional rainfall summary for Southeast Michigan via MSU Enviro-weather

Station

GDD42

GDD45

GDD50

Petersburg

443

351

228

Commerce Township

368

285

177

Romeo

374

287

174

Hudson

419

330

214

Average for region

401

313

198

Weather outlook

Temperatures for the following week are forecasted to range from the mid-40s to low 60s. The next chance of precipitation is forecasted for today, May 14, and tomorrow, May 15. Friday and Saturday, May 16-17, have a 45 and 53 percent chance of precipitation, respectively. Sunday, Monday and Tuesday, May 18-20, have low precipitation chances.

Vegetable crops

Spring planting of cole crops is almost complete for the majority of growers in the area. Scout for flea beetles; look for adult in the foliage of cole crops. Inspect whole plants sampling in an “X” or “W” transect throughout the field. If the average count of beetles per plant is in the range from two to five, an insecticide application should be considered.

Cabbage maggot adults are active and laying eggs. Michigan State University Extension advise avoding planting cole crops; wait one to two weeks from the cabbage maggot peak flight, which occurred May 9, or use soil insecticides treatments at planting. For additional information on management of cole crops, read MSU entomology specialist Zsofia Szendrei’s article on cole crop insect management.

Seed corn maggot adults continue to be active and laying eggs – peak flight occurred on May 2. This pest can cause problems in sweet corn and cole crops. Sweet corn and potato planting continues. Some acreage of cucumber and squash has been planted, and watermelon planting is next in line.

As rainy conditions may continue to delay planting, remember to scout transplants in the greenhouse for insects and diseases. To keep seedlings healthy, remember to follow the integrated pest management (IPM) tactics for effective disease management in the greenhouse – a list can be found at the end of my May 7 regional report. It’s especially important to water transplants sparingly and early in the morning to allow foliage to dry during the day. Proper ventilation in the greenhouse is key to ensure airflow and to avoid humidity build up. Transplants benefit from hardening before transplanting in the field to minimize transplanting stress.

For more information on commercial vegetable production, contact Lina Rodriguez Salamanca at 517 264 5310 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address).

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