Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – July 20, 2016
Dry weather has been helpful for irrigated crops, but stressful for non-irrigated.
Conditions are very dry in many areas. Recent rains continue to be low and spotty. There was some wind and hail damage from the storm front on July 18. We have only had 1 inch of rain in the area over the past three weeks. High temperatures and sandy soils have led to stress in many non-irrigated sites. Production on irrigated sites is going well.
Cucumber beetles continue to be found in vine crops. Cantaloupe harvest has begun and early watermelon harvest is two weeks away. Early zucchini, yellow squash and cucumber fields continue to be abandoned. Michigan State University Extension advises growers to mow or apply herbicides to kill plants so they do not become inoculum sources for downy mildew. There are no reports of squash bugs or squash vine borers.
General tomato and pepper harvest has begun, as well as some early eggplant. Quality and size are excellent. Some tarnished plant bug feeding has been noted. No bacterial problems have been reported.
Sweet corn harvest has started. Some corn earworm damage has been found, so growers should be protecting those plantings that are silking.
Green bean and wax bean harvest has begun along with early onion and garlic for direct market sales.
Early potatoes are beginning to die down. Harvest is expected to begin in a couple weeks.
No virus symptoms have been noted, and growers are commenting on the low number of insects.