Southwest Michigan vegetable update – June 14, 2017

Irrigation pumps continue to run overtime.

Weather

Temperatures were above normal with highs ranging from 75 degrees Fahrenheit to 93 F. There was no rain across the area for the week. We have had less than 1 inch of rain over the last 24 days. Soils are hot and dry.

Field activity

Planting of most transplanted crops will mostly be complete over the next seven to 10 days. However, with the dry conditions some growers have delayed laying plastic so that will delay transplanting in those fields unless we get rain soon. Direct seeding of non-irrigated crops should be postponed until we receive some rain. Germination will not occur anyway until we receive moisture and many herbicides will not be activated leading to poor weed control.

Crop reports

Earliest planted peas are being harvested.

Harvest has begun from transplanted, tunnel-grown zucchini and yellow squash. Cucumber harvest from low tunnel, transplants will begin over the next seven to 10 days. Direct seeding of these crops continues.

Stakes continue to be set out in tomatoes, peppers and eggplant. Second ties are going on the earliest planted tomatoes. Tomato and pepper transplanting will be completed over the next 10 days. Many peppers continue to show poor growth, presumably from the cool, windy weather.

Hops are climbing 15-20 feet up the strings.

Sweet corn grown on plastic in low tunnels is silking. Directed seeded sweet corn will emerge in three days if it has sufficient moisture. Preemergent herbicides should be applied quickly after planting.

Miscellaneous

Mite populations continue to increase and could become a significant concern for later in the season. With no rain to incorporate herbicides, growers can expect poor weed control from those products needing water for activation.

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