Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – August 6, 2014
This is the time of year that downy mildew and powdery mildew start to show up in the area. Vine crop producers need pay particular attention to their crops so that neither of these diseases gets out of control.
According to the Michigan State University Benton Harbor Enviro-weather station, the area received 0.8 to over 1 inch of rain for the week. Temperatures were near normal with highs from 71 to 83 degrees Fahrenheit and lows from 53 to 63 F. We are at 1,621 base 50 growing degree days (GDD), putting us 125 units behind 2013 and 300 behind the five-year average.
Vine crops. Virus symptoms are beginning to show up in some fields. Cucumber mosaic virus and zucchini yellows mosaic virus has been identified. There have been no reports of downy mildew so far in the area, but powdery mildew is increasing.
Pumpkins are doing quite well, but Michigan State University Extension advises growers to pay particular attention to protecting leaves at this time so fruit can continue to mature and don’t lose their leaf cover and get sunburned. Some early planted pumpkins are turning orange.
General watermelon harvest is seven to 10 days away.
An increase in aphid populations has been noted on peppers.
In general, insects are at a surprisingly low level. Mites are present but in low numbers, and no squash bugs in any quantity have been seen.