West central Michigan vegetable regional report – September 3, 2014

Late-season diseases will challenge growers in the home stretch.

Asparagus purple spot development accelerated over the past two weeks at Oceana County locations.

Foliar disease in carrots was more evident in an Oceana County location this week. Accordingly, conditions for foliar disease have accelerated over the past two weeks.

Area cucurbit consultants reported an increase in aphid numbers in vine crops last week. Learn more about these diseases at “Virus Diseases of Cucurbits” from Cornell University. If these diseases are a perennial problem, consider planting varieties with resistance.

Onion harvest has been ongoing for the past two weeks in west Michigan.

In potatoes and tomatoes, late blight symptoms were evident at another Ottawa County location yesterday, Sept. 2, in tomatoes, and are widespread across the state. If you have tomatoes with late blight, remember that infected tissue will sporulate, producing inoculum that can spread to your neighbors’ plantings. Destroying these plantings with an application of an herbicide or through other means will help stop the spread to neighboring plantings.

This disease is widespread this year. Importantly, remember that this disease will infect tubers produced by infected potato plants, potentially causing storage problems. Learn more about consumption of fruit from tomato plantings with late blight at “Are tomatoes and potatoes with late blight safe for eating and canning?” from Michigan State University Extension.

Captures of corn earworm in sweet corn picked up in both an Ottawa County location and in MSU traps in southeast Michigan over the weekend. There is a moderate risk of another migration event tomorrow, Sept. 4. 

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