Southeast Michigan vegetable regional report – May 22, 2013

Several crops are showing signs of recovering from frost damage. Field operation and vegetable crop planting continues in the southeast.


In the last week, no precipitation was recorded at the Enviro-weather stations located in Hudson, Petersburg and Commerce Township. The station located in Romeo recorded 0.09 inches.

To tailor irrigation to the developmental stages of the crop, Michigan State University Extension irrigation educator Lyndon Kelley wrote an article that can guide you on adjusting irrigation through the season, titled “Efficient irrigation application volumes change throughout crop development.”

Temperatures in the southeast ranged from 39 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit in the past week. In the upcoming week, temperatures are forecasted to range from 39 to 78 F. Chances of frost exist, but not in our area. They are forecasted for the Upper Peninsula and the north and middle parts of the Lower Peninsula.

Vegetable crops report

Tomato fields that suffered significant frost damage have been replanted, but growers needed to outsource to transplants grown in greenhouses south of us. Pepper and tomato transplanting in the field continues. Specialty pepper transplanting has begun.

Potatoes and fresh market tomatoes that sustained some frost damage have started to recover and after a week, new growth has been observed.

Cucurbit crops such as cucumbers, zucchini and squash that were in low tunnels have uneven stands due to the frost, but most injured plants are showing signs of recovery. Some pumpkin fields have been planted.

Sweet corn is on the three to four leaf stage. Planting continues. Seed corn maggots are active and laying eggs – the peak flight has already occurred (we reached 769 GDD base 39 F).

Cole crops continue to grow and no major pest problems have been observed. We have reached 597 GDD (base 43 F), which indicates cabbage maggot flies are active and laying eggs. If you still have some acreage to plant, consider control measures such as oil insecticide application at planting or transplanting.

Get in the loop on the Food Safety Modernization Act. Catch up with the latest article by MSU Extension educator Phil Tocco, “Deadline extended to comment on Food Safety Modernization Act’s produce safety rule,” and make sure you have your voice heard during the public comment for this new ruling.

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