In Michigan 62 percent of the soybean crop is rated good to excellent and 71 percent of the corn crop gets that rating. Bart Marshall, Channel Seeds Field Sales Representative in Michigan’s southern 15 counties, says the crop is off to a good start.

“It’s been a bumpy weather kind of spring,” he said. “We’ve had a lot of heavy intermittent rainfalls, so the crop was a little sketchy getting put in and getting applications on the crop of herbicides to get things controlled, which we’re still in the process of, but in the last week to 10 days, the heat, we’ve had a little bit of drought stress here in Southern Michigan for a little while and that caused some nice rooting down of a lot of the crops, but the crop health and the growth, everything is reaching to what we call the vegetative stage.”

But, there have been a multitude of in-field challenges this year.

“We’ve had struggles with giant ragweed control. We’ve had struggles trying to kill thistles. We’ve had some insects pop up with black cut worm and some slugs and some grubs, so it’s just hard to address all of those pests here at the last minute as the crop gets to the point that it will be mostly too tall for a lot of the tools farmers like to have to spray.”

Marshall says tar spot has also arrived in Michigan.

“It’s not blowing up yet, but the experts that we work with will say that it can be in the corn plant for 2 weeks before you actually see it and can identify it, and I think with the reports that are coming out of Northern Indiana and essentially across the state line for Michigan, and we have some limited reports of tar spot showing up, it’s going to be on top of everyone’s mind. I would encourage farmers if they haven’t got their fungicides purchased, start talking to your retailers or your airplanes, whoever you use, and start getting prepared for a potential shot, at least one shot of a fungicide here in the next 10 to 14 days if you could ever get it to line up.”

Weather will play a key role in how intense the tar spot gets. Hear more from Bart Marshall on that, early wheat harvest, and double-crop soybean opportunities in the full MAT and Channel Seeds growing season update: