Southwest Michigan vegetable regional report – May 1, 2013
Growers are behind in field preparation and little planting has been done in the southwest region.
Temperatures have been significantly below normal and precipitation has been above normal. At the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center, there have been 51 base 50 growing degree days (GDD) from April 1 to April 24, making it the coolest period since 1997. Average GDD for this time is 96 with a range from 49 in 1997 to 162 in 2005. The area has received 4 to 5 inches of rain during April. Recent warmer and sunny conditions have been well received by producers.
Due to earlier weather conditions, growers are behind in field preparation and very little plastic and drip tape has been laid. Activity has greatly improved on drier sites the past few days. Standing water is still present in many low-lying, flat fields.
Little planting has been done at this time except for some of the earliest sweet corn on better-drained sites. Asparagus emergence has been delayed, giving growers ample time for weed control applications. Michigan State University Extension says emergence is expected by the weekend or early next week on the sandiest sites.