Southwest Michigan field crop report

A wet and cold spring has crop growth slowing down and producers feeling the pressure of the continuing wet conditions

Weather – wet and cold spring continues

Current normal accumulations of Base 42 GDD’s would be 9.8 this week, 12 next week. The normal accumulations of Base 50 GDD’s (warm season plants) would be 5.2 this week and 6.6 next week. We can use the “normal GDD’s per day” values to estimate the number of days it would take to catch back up to the 30-year average. In the case of Base 50 GDD’s in the Kalamazoo area, we are approximately at 68 GDD’s, about five to six day’s average days behind normal since March 1. 

 ACTUAL AND PREDICTED DEGREE-DAY  
                     ACCUMULATIONS SINCE MARCH 1 2011 (*)  
  
                     BASE 42 BE DEGREE-DAYS        BASE 50 BE DEGREE-DAYS  
 STATION  
   OR                  AS OF 04/21      BY      BY      AS OF 04/21    BY     BY  
 DISTRICT           2010  2011    04/26  05/01     2010  2011   04/26  05/01  
+—————————————————————————————————————————————-+  
S.W. LP NORMS             221     270    330                   98    124    157  
  ALLEGAN            405   165     192    257       195       67     75    105  
  BHARBOR           399   178     207    277       201       74     83    116  
  FENNVILLE          372   142     165    221       177       60     68     94  
  GRANDJUNC       437   184     214    286       226       80     90    125  
  GULLLAKE          485   156     181    243       258       63     71     98  
  HOLLAND            422   196     228    305       205       82     92    128  
  HUDSNVLLE        405   136     158    212       195       56     63     88  
  KALAMAZOO       438   186     216    289       220       68     77    106  
  NILES                   418   190     221    296       208      76     86    119  
  SOUTHBEND        451   223     259    347       224      92    104    144  
  WATERVLIET       405   165     192    257       195      67     75    105  
  WESTOLIVE         377   127     148    198       176      49     55     77  
+———————————————————————————————————————————+  
S. CENT. LP NORMS        210     260    320                  95    121    154  
  BCREEK              438     171     204    282       224     73     84    123  
  COLDWATER      400     156    186    258       201     66     76    111  
  THREERIVER      389      161    192    266       198     65     75    110  

Precipitation summary

The area has received somewhat heavier than normal precipitation levels over the last couple of weeks, particularly in the southern portion of the region, which is about 0.5 to 1.5 inches above normal for the month of April. With almost the entire area receiving at least 1.5 inches of precipitation last week, field operations are now at a complete standstill.

PRECIPITATION TOTALS SINCE  
  
                          04/15/2011     04/08/2011       03/25/2011       04/01/11  
                           (last week)  (last 2 weeks)   (last 4 weeks)   (since Apr.1)  
  
STATION    DIST       Actual   Actual   Dev.   Actual   Dev.    Actual   Dev.  
                                                           Norm.              Norm.               Norm.  
+—————————————————————————————————————————————+ 

ALLEGAN       SWL      1.77     2.38    1.02     2.96    0.18     2.96    0.80  
ALLENDALE   SWL      1.50     1.57    0.21     2.62   -0.16     2.62    0.46  
BHARBOR      SWL      1.95     3.13    1.77     3.42    0.64     3.42    1.26  
FENNVILLE    SWL       1.69     2.15    0.79     2.67   -0.11     2.67    0.51  
GRANDJUNC  SWL       1.69     2.30    0.94     2.77   -0.01     2.77    0.61  
HOLLAND       SWL       1.28     1.40    0.04     2.56   -0.22     2.56    0.40  
NILES              SWL       2.10     2.78    1.42     3.90    1.12     3.84    1.68  
SOUTHBEND   SWL      1.96     2.62    1.26     3.66    0.88     3.66    1.50  
WATERVLIET  SWL      1.77     2.38    1.02     2.96    0.18     2.96    0.80  
WESTOLIVE    SWL      1.52     1.63    0.27     2.49   -0.29     2.49    0.33  
CERESCO       SCL        1.50     2.64    1.41     3.15    0.58     3.15    1.12  
COLDWATER  SCL        1.25     2.59    1.36     2.98    0.41     2.88    0.85  
THREERIVER  SCL        1.89     2.71    1.48     3.55    0.98     3.55    1.52  

Field conditions range from wet to standing water across most of the region. With another week of wet weather expected, field operations have been slow to get started in southwest Michigan. Soil temperatures are ranging from the 50’s and lower 60’s to the 40’s at night. You can check the soil temperatures in your area on the web at Enviroweather weather stations, and then by clicking on the Advanced weather tab along the top of the page.

The 6 to 10 day outlook shows the southwest region to be in the above normal precipitation zone, with some moderation to near normal in the 8 to 14 day outlook.

Alfalfa growth has remained slow with crop heights in the 2 to 4 inch range. So far there have been no signs of first instar alfalfa weevil feeding. Competitive annual weed growth has been slow to start as well.

Wheat has also continued to be growing slowly. Winter annual weed growth has picked up a tick in the fields, and should be watched for competition in the next couple of weeks. The Purdue entomologists report that armyworm moth catches have been high in Kentucky and southern Indiana. The wet weather we are currently experiencing has significant potential to carry moths from this area up into southern Michigan.

Corn and soybean producers are beginning to feel the pressure of the continuing wet conditions and are looking to get some corn into the ground. Conditions are too wet to allow for field work, and are likely to stay that way for the rest of the week. Winter annual weeds continue to grow. Black cutworm moths are moving up through Indiana, with intensive moth catches reported as far north as Fort Wayne. The southerly winds are likely to carry black cutworm moths up into our area soon. After an intensive moth catch, eggs begin to hatch around 90 GDD’s with early instar leaf feeding occurring until around the 300 GDD mark. Scouting should begin as we approach 300 GDD’s Base 50 for larvae and clipping damage to corn or soybeans. Fields that have heavy winter annual weed growth are the most likely to have black cutworm egg deposition. Consider applying a burn-down herbicide program or light tillage if the winter annual weeds are likely to get too far ahead of the tillage and planting operations. There have been some concerns about switching to shorter day maturity corn in the far southern portions of the state if the wet conditions continue.

Christy Sprague has developed a  Palmer Amaranth Identification and Glyphosate Resistant Palmer Amaranth Control Guideon-line at the MSU Weeds web site. for growers in St. Joseph County to use, and for other growers in the area to review. She is recommending that growers consider using a pre-emergence weed control program followed by a post emergent program in corn and soybeans if you think that you have the weed species. MSU weed control educators would be interested in tracking pigweed species that are not readily controlled with applications of glyphosate in southwest Michigan this summer. Don’t forget, the MSU Weed Control Guide is available.

Chris DiFonzo has developed a factsheet for Brown Marmorated Stink Bugs. The insect was found in Elkhart, Indiana, and in Berrien and Eaton counties in southern Michigan last fall. Chris does not believe that the pest will become a problem in field crops right away in Michigan, but announced in a recent “Fonz Facts” e-mail that Colbalt, Lorsban (any crops on the label) and Acephate (soybeans and drybeans) have 2ee Labels for BMSB control in Michigan. For more information, visit Chris’s MSU Entomology web site.

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