Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – July 6, 2016
Harvest activity is increasing, but so are insect and disease pressures.
Due to the favorable weather conditions, plants are generally growing well and field activities are able to continue without any interruptions. The widespread rain the morning of July 6 was needed for many non-irrigated crops since previous recent rains have been spotty.
Harvest volume of zucchini, yellow squash and cucumbers has increased as more fields come into production. Watermelon and cantaloupe are flowering and setting fruit. Michigan State University Extension advises vine crop growers to scout fields for early signs of downy mildew, especially if weather conditions are cloudy, cool, wet and windy. Squash and pumpkin growers also need to be aware that this is squash vine borer season and plants need to be protected.
Early sweet corn is tasseling/silking, indicating harvest is about three weeks out.
Peppers and eggplant are setting and sizing fruit well. Aphid and tarnished plant bug populations are increasing, especially in peppers. Early planted, protected tomatoes are seven to 10 days from harvest.