Southeast Michigan vegetables regional report – Aug. 21, 2013

Keep up with fungicide FRAC code rotation for appropriate management of pumpkin powdery mildew and to avoid resistance issues. Be on the lookout for insect pests.

Temperatures in the southeast ranged from 43 to 84 degrees Fahrenheit with an average of 63 F. In the following week, temperatures are forecasted to range from 55 to 85 F.

No precipitation events have been recorded at the Petersburg Enviro-weather station. This has contributed to slow down of disease epidemics in several vegetable crops fields. However, the dry weather and warmer temperatures promote insect pest population build up. Look out for aphids, mites and other insect pests and use thresholds to guide insecticide applications and timing. Consult the Michigan State University Extension publication E312 “2013 Insect, Disease and Nematode Control for Commercial Vegetables.”

The next precipitation event is forecasted for Thursday (Aug. 22). Current growing degree days (GDD) recorded at the Petersburg Enviro-weather station are 3,277, 2,607 and 1,999 (GDD base 42, 45 and 50 degrees Fahrenheit respectively).

Vegetable crops report

Sweet corn harvest continues and will be complete in approximately the next two weeks. Corn earworm moth counts are below threshold for both the Monroe and Lenawee county traps – only three and two moths caught over five days. Low risk of corn earworm is forecasted for our area.

No European corn borer has been caught in the Monroe County trap. No western bean cutworm counts were found on the Monroe or Lenawee county traps. The risk for this insect pest is forecasted as moderate in our area.

Bell, jalapeno and banana pepper harvest continues. Processing tomato harvest has started and will continue. Anthracnose symptoms on ripe tomato fruits are prevalent across fields.

Anthracnose symptoms on tomatoes
Anthracnose symptoms in tomatoes.
Photo credit: Lina Rodriguez-Salamanca, MSU Extension

Processing cabbage and small acreage of broccoli, kale and cauliflower harvest continues. Fall cole crop planting continues. Cole crop caterpillar activity will increase over the next two weeks. No cabbage aphids have been observed.

Harvest is completed on most cucumber, zucchini and yellow squash fields. Cantaloupe and watermelon harvest continues, but fruit quality issues (lack of firm fruit) have been reported.

Pumpkins are bearing 8- to 16-inch fruit. Symptoms of virus have been observed in south central Michigan. Growers using integrated pest management (IPM) are reporting adequate control of powdery mildew in pumpkins and watermelons with Hausbeck lab’s current recommendations. Always remember to alternate between FRAC codes (Fungicide Resistant Action Codes) and read fungicide labels.

Reduced inputs and certified organic growers are having a harder time keeping powdery mildew populations under control. For more information on tolerant pumpkin varieties and OMRI listed material, read “Managing Cucurbit Powdery Mildew Organically.”

Save the date for the 2014 Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Academy, held Feb. 18-19, 2014 in East Lansing, Mich.

Remember, this is that time of the year where you can build the soil health in your farm! Visit Midwest Cover Crops Council Cover Crop Decision Tool to learn more about planting cover crops to improve soil health and enhance weed control.

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