Wheat Watchers Week of May 8, 2023

Wheat Watchers Week of May 8, 2023
May 12, 2023

By Jenna Falor

This report will come out weekly until we are through flowering across much of the state and then frequency will be bi-weekly through harvest. This report is only possible because of our agribusinesses and farmers who participate as wheat watchers. If you are interested in being a wheat watcher, especially if you see your area isn’t represented, please reach out to Jenna Falor, Michigan State University Extension field crops educator, at falorjen@msu.edu.

Overall, reporters are seeing wheat stands in good condition ranging in Feekes growth stages 5-7, with a few fields hitting Feekes 8. All reports have the first round of spring nitrogen application finished with some areas starting their second spring applications of nitrogen. The cold weather has stalled or postponed herbicide applications across the state.

Southwest region

One wheat watcher reported in this region and fields were scouted throughout St. Joseph County. The crop was reported as averaging at Feekes 7 with one field having three nodes visible. Spring fertilization has largely been completed and many of the fields already have an herbicide application. The wheat continues to look very good with no signs of disease. The focus in the area has switched to other fieldwork with warmer weather and trying to work between the rains.

If you are interested in receiving southwest Michigan crop updates, MSU Extension field crops educator Eric Anderson puts out a weekly update through MSU Extension Field Crops news.

Southeast region

We had two wheat watchers reporting in, both located in Monroe County near Ida, Michigan. Both of our reporters are seeing Feekes 6-8. One watcher is reporting flag leaf is emerging and almost all fertilizer applications are complete. The other who is seeing Feekes 6-7 is finishing up herbicide applications and a second application of 28% is ongoing this week. Cold weather lately has slowed development and the recent rainy stretch may have damaged some lower lying or poorly drained fields. However, the warm weather at the beginning of this week is causing wheat growth to progress quickly.

East central (Thumb) region

We had two wheat watchers reporting from the Thumb, both from Huron County near Bad Axe and Ubly, Michigan, respectively. The average Feekes Stage was 6. Herbicide applications have been slow due to the wet weather but as the temperatures have warmed, more sprayers have been out in the fields the mid part of this week. Some diseases are starting to show up with powdery mildew being reported across the area. One grower near Vassar, Michigan, in Tuscola County has reported Septoria. With the warm weather forecast, we are expecting to see wheat development progress quickly. Overall, watchers are reporting the wheat crop looks excellent.

Central region

We had four wheat watchers reporting in from the central region. They were from Bay County near Auburn, Michigan; Saginaw County near Saint Charles, Michigan; Gratiot County near Alma, Michigan; and Carson City, Michigan. Gratiot County watchers report wheat at Feekes 5-6, Saginaw County reporting Feekes 5-7 and Bay County reported Feekes 7. Most of the spring applications of nitrogen have been applied across the region or will be within the next week. Herbicides have been going on and either wrapped up this past week or will most likely wrap up this coming week. Fungicides and growth regulators are starting to be applied. Many fields are experiencing light weed pressure if a good fall herbicide program was applied.

As far as disease pressure, the Saginaw County reporter is not concerned, no disease or insects present. In Gratiot County near Carson City, thick canopies have promoted plenty of powdery mildew and there is concern it will progress rapidly over the next week. In Gratiot County near Alma, there are patches of black cutworm flight and some true armyworm flight is starting. No disease concern from Bay County near Auburn.

Weather recently across the area has been great for wheat growth and light rains have incorporated nitrogen applications. Growing conditions have been a little cool but the increasing temperatures lately have been welcome and moving the crops along.

Updates on moth counts and crop conditions are given live each week on Wednesdays at 12:30 p.m. on the MSU Extension Field Crops Facebook page by Monica Jean.

West central and north region

We had no wheat watchers reporting from the west central or northern areas this week.

Extra notes From Dennis Pennington, MSU wheat systems specialist

Septoria and powdery mildew are starting to appear. Most wheat is Feekes 6-7, very limited amount of flag leaf emergence. Overall, the wheat is looking very good compared to recent years.

This article was published by Michigan State University Extension. For more information, visit https://extension.msu.edu. To have a digest of information delivered straight to your email inbox, visit https://extension.msu.edu/newsletters. To contact an expert in your area, visit https://extension.msu.edu/experts, or call 888-MSUE4MI (888-678-3464).

Source : msu.edu
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