West central Michigan vegetable regional report – May 6, 2016

Asparagus harvest is finally almost here in west central Michigan.

Asparagus spear growth has been slow due to cool temperatures, but harvest is expected in the next two to five days in west central Michigan. Photo by Ben Werling, MSU Extension.

Asparagus spear growth has been slow due to cool temperatures, but harvest is expected in the next two to five days in west central Michigan. Photo by Ben Werling, MSU Extension.

Asparagus

Pre-harvest herbicide applications and mowing of rye covers were finished one to two weeks ago in Oceana and Mason counties. Harvest is expected to start either this weekend or next week. West Michigan consultants report crown planting is largely finished.

Slow growing spears can be more susceptible to cutworm damage. Learn more about this in “A tale of two cutworms: Cutworm control in asparagus” by Michigan State University Extension. Most growers apply chlorpyrifos pre-harvest to control this pest. If problem populations still develop, permethrin or chlorpyrifos can be used and have a one-day pre-harvest interval (PHI). Watch for common asparagus beetle emergence and egglaying over the next week as degree-days accumulate.

Carrots

Consultants report excellent conditions for carrot stand development. Are you a Michigan carrot grower? Consider signing up for alerts on aster leafhopper infectivity.

Celery

Planting was continuing in Kent County last week. Farm visits with growers of transplanted vegetables over the past two years, and in recent weeks, have highlighted the effect of greenhouse sanitation. Transplants of growers who are either removing dirt and sanitizing flats for the full suggested time or are using lighter, cheaper but new flats are visibly healthier, with more even height and white, healthy roots with less symptoms of root rots. Read more about sanitation in “Cleaning and Disinfecting the Greenhouse” by University of Massachusetts.

Are you a Michigan celery grower? Consider signing up for alerts on aster leafhopper infectivity.

Cole crops

Degree-day models predict cabbage maggot flies have emerged from overwintered pupae in the Michigan cities of Standale, Hudsonville and Sparta. Peak flights and egglaying are not expected to occur within the next six days based on degree-day models.

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