Southwest Michigan vegetables regional report – July 31, 2013
Recent weather has been conducive for spread of downy mildew and powdery mildew.
According to Michigan State University Extension via Enviro-weather, temperatures for the week at the Southwest Michigan Research and Extension Center averaged below normal with highs from 65 to 78 degrees Fahrenheit (average is 81) and lows from 48 to 58 F (average is 57). As of July 28, 2013, we are at 1,627 base 50 GDD which is slightly ahead of normal, but significantly behind the 1,723 of 2012. The area received no rain to 1 inch during the period.
Recent weather has been conducive for spread of both powdery and downy mildew on vine crops. Virus symptoms are also increasing on many vine crops, especially pumpkin and cucumbers.
Mites have increased on many crops, especially in areas that have received little rainfall.
Harvest of eggplant and green bell peppers began last week. Blossom end rot has occurred in both of these crops, probably in response to the warm temperatures two weeks ago.
Corn earworm continues to be active in sweet corn and tomatoes.
Harvest volumes have increased on most crops as more fields come into production. Early planted vine crop fields are being abandoned. Some growers do not have enough labor to keep up with harvest, so cooler weather has been welcome. Cooler temperatures have also helped growers keep up with irrigation demands.