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Extreme Temperatures, Pests Stressing Michigan Vegetables
Michigan Ag Connection - 06/22/2022

Widespread storms brought high winds and heavy rainfall across the State, according to Marlo D. Johnson, director of the Great Lakes Regional Office of the National Agricultural Statistics Service. There were 5.6 days suitable for fieldwork in Michigan during the week ending Sunday. None of the State is currently experiencing abnormally dry weather.

Winter wheat was progressing nicely as growers continued to apply fertilizer. Emergence continued to be notable across all crops.

In the Lower Peninsula, corn and soybean planting neared completion.

Dry bean planting in the Thumb Region made significant progress despite the stormy conditions.

Alfalfa and other hay cuttings continued as weather allowed.

Other activities during the week included equipment maintenance, spreading fertilizer, and spraying pesticides.

Very warm weather mid-week had growers applying supplemental irrigation in new plantings and to small fruit. Fruitlets continued to size well and growers were evaluating additional needs for thinning in apples and peaches.

Cranberry fruitworm emergence was high in the West Central.

Apples in the West Central ranged from 20 to 30 mm depending on variety; fruitlet growth was substantial last week. The apple crop on the Ridge appeared to be very promising with most fruit ranging in size from 20 to 25 mm with early varieties pushing 30 mm. Codling moth activity was variable and directly tied to temperature. Apples in the Northwest were approaching the size where chemical thinning was not possible.

Peaches were around 35 mm in the Southwest; pit hardening was a week or two away.

Tart cherries were straw colored in the Southwest; a blush was just starting to show. In general, the crop looked very good.

Extreme weather conditions and high pest presence put a strain on Michigan vegetable producers as field activities continued. Intense heat led some growers to adjust their schedules to get an earlier start to their days, and severe storms caused variable damage to some vegetable crops across the State.

As pest pressure has increased in onions, carrots, and cucurbits, producers have begun prioritizing scouting activities.

The State's first cucurbit downy mildew spores for the 2022 growing season were identified in the East, but no outbreak on cucumbers or any other crops had been reported in Michigan to date.

Early tomato plantings were being pruned, and the first trellis strings were being installed.

Meanwhile, asparagus harvest was wrapping up in the Southwest, but severe purple spot had been detected in some fields due to a period of extended wetness.


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