Crop & Pest Report - All
According to NDAWN, rainfall during September 1-9 ranged from 0.1 inches (Harvey and Oakes) to 2.5 inches (Fingal). Crop damage from hail occurred during a September 4 storm primarily along Hwy 200 in Wells County. As of September 9, accumulated growing degree day (GDD) units for corn planted on May 15 ranged from 1733 (Carrington) to 2012 (Oakes). Compared to the 5-year average for the period of May 15 to September 9, GDD units were minus 116 (Wishek) to plus 10 (Marion). Current frost potential adds additional concerns of late-season crops reaching maturity.
The region’s cereal harvest may average about 65% completed. Small grain yields generally are excellent but the continued wet and most recently cool weather will further challenge seed quality during the balance of harvest. Dry bean and flax harvest recently started.
Corn stages generally range from dough to dent (R4-5). Most soybean fields are in the late seed formation to initial maturity stages (R6-7) with some early maturing varieties mature (R8 stage). Early planted sunflower are at R8 stage (back of head yellow with green bracts).
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center
Weather/Crop Phenology Maps
Associate Professor of Climatological Practices
This past week we received about a 0.50 inch of rain. Harvest has been slow but this past weekend producers were able to cut spring wheat. Most of the barley and field peas have been harvested. Yields were scattered but overall an average to slightly about average. The small grains have disease, discoloration and protein issues. Initial yields have been above average. Corn and soybeans in the valley and region could use some more heat units before a frost.
Area Ag Diversification Specialist
Williston Research Extension Center
European Corn Borer
Low to average densities of European corn borer larvae have been observed mainly in fields of non-Bt corn, silage corn and sweet corn in the north central region of North Dakota. Scouting and pest management strategies for European corn borers probably need to be followed if one is growing non-Bt corn in the next crop season. For more information about European corn borer and management options, please refer to the NDSU Extension publication European Corn Borer Management in North Dakota.
Area Extension Specialist/Crop Protection
NCREC, Minot, ND-58701
Weed Control in 2014, a Reflection on the Cropping Season
It’s the time of the year when many growers are preparing for fall harvest. It’s also the time of the year when growers begin to look ahead to 2015. I am writing to remind you there is some extremely important data to be collected in fields; data that needs to be collected ahead of combine harvest. That is, notes on weed species and density and if possible, maps that are spatially accurate and demonstrate where you observed tough weeds in fields in 2014.
These data are critical as growers develop a weeds management strategy for each field in their farming operation. Ahead of the 2015 season, use your scouting data, field notes and maps and your 2015 cropping plans to develop a comprehensive weeds management strategy after carefully considering the ‘biology’ of the ‘tough weeds’ challenges in your fields. Learn about germination and emergence habits of weeds and temporally when seeds may begin to germinate and emergence in fields. And above all, study the various herbicide options in-crop, giving careful consideration to mode of action, application timing, possible tank-mix partners to augment control and any potential rotational restrictions various herbicides may have for future crops planted in the field rotation.
Unexpected weather will always provide a wrinkle to the weeds management strategy. Develop a backup plan in the event that your strategy needs to be adjusted due to unforeseen circumstances. And finally, don’t be afraid to reevaluate the weeds management strategy over time. Adjustment based on actual data is a good thing. Here’s to a safe and productive 2014 harvest and best wishes for 2015.
Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist
NDSU & U of MN
2014 Sugarbeet Growers Survey
The 46th annual sugarbeet production practices survey will be mailed to sugarbeet growers in September. This survey is being conducted by the North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota Extension Services under the direction of Tom Peters, Mohamed Khan and Mark Boetel. Sugarbeet growers will be asked questions about various products and practices related to the 2014 sugarbeet crop. We suggest sugarbeet growers may find it helpful to gather their planting and pesticide application records to assist with answering questions. The survey should take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. We ask sugarbeet growers to complete and return the survey by December 7, 2014. Sugarbeet growers, thank you in advance for your help in providing valuable information about your production practices in 2014. The responses will assist us in shaping our extension and research programs to meet your needs and improve the industry.
Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist
NDSU & U of MN
Fall Nitrogen Application
Here are my recommendations for North Dakota N application.
For anhydrous ammonia or any significant N source outside of the companion N in MAP or DAP, none should be applied before October 1. After October 1, consult your own soil thermometer and when the soil temperature at 4 inches measured between 6 and 8AM falls to 50 degrees F, it is OK to begin anhydrous ammonia application. This doesn’t guarantee that conversion of significant ammonia to nitrate will not happen, but the risk is low in most years. For banded urea, wait yet another week. For broadcast urea, wait two weeks after the anhydrous ammonia date.
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
Deep Sampling for Sugar Beet
If you are a sugar beet grower (tough year, eh?) and your consultant still has a working 4 foot soil sampler, by all means have them use it. Some consultants have a sampler that goes down to 42 inches, and that is good, although not exactly textbook. However, many of the newer soil samplers can only go to about 2 feet. In my work over the years, in fields where good N management has been used over a rotation, credits are taken for beet tops as recommended, and there is no 2nd party that grows potatoes or another crop with wild N application abandon, the levels of nitrate below 2 feet rarely reach above the assumed 30 pounds N per acre. So taking our RRV recommendation for the 2 foot depth would be a valid method of determining rate. If a grower begins to farm new land with only a history of a 2 foot sample, the likelihood of higher nitrate than the 30 pounds per acre assumption would be high. In that case, taking a deeper sample would be justified and I think very important. It is unfortunate that manufacturers do not make a deeper sampling probe for a commercial unit, but there it is. In most cases 2 feet is fine. In new land, knowing deep might mean the difference between profit and loss.
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
Fall Soil Sampling
Years ago, there was a formula that NDSU published that offered an adjustment for nitrate levels in soil samples obtained before the end of September. One of the efforts I made when it came time to revisit some recommendations was to go back to the database and see if that formula explained what the data presented. I found that the much of the original data came from periodic sampling through a year across North Dakota. After the first of August sometimes the nitrate stayed the same through the fall, sometimes it went down and sometimes it went up. The direction of up, down or sideways was not related to later rainfall. Faced with the importance of nitrate sampling and that often if a person waits until November for the test to ‘stabilize’ (which really doesn’t happen), the fields can get too wet and the sampling doesn’t happen, I determined that it is best to sample early and make sure you get a number. The real number could change later, but it is impossible to predict how much. But it is better to get a real field number than ‘guess’ at one. I have worked this gig for over 20 years and I can’t out guess it. Sampling is the only way. As soon as the combine goes through the small grain/canola/other early crop, it’s time to sample.
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
Pre-harvest Sprouting and Falling Numbers
Many reports indicate that the 2014 small grain yields will be some of the largest ever. Moderate temperatures and adequate rainfall coupled with improved management practices and varieties have enable these record or near record yields. Unfortunately, much of the crop remains in the field awaiting harvest. The recent rains have delayed harvest further and have increased worries about low test weight, pre-harvest sprouting and low falling numbers. High test weight in wheat is usually associated with high flour yield and sound kernels, therefore the milling industry prefers grain with high test weight and low test weight grain fetches a lower price at the elevator. Repeated wetting and drying of matured grain causes the seed coat to loosen and the kernel surface to wrinkle, causing a reduction in test weight. All varieties are susceptible to test weight loss when weathered. However, those varieties with the highest non-weathered test wet are likely to maintain a relatively higher test weight when weathered than other varieties. Durum is generally thought to be more susceptible to this type of weathering than bread wheat.
Grain that sprouts before harvest is heavily discounted at the elevator because of its limited utility in the traditional milling and baking applications. Pre-harvest sprouting occurs when the mature kernels are repeatedly wetted or when they are exposed to a prolonged wet period. Generally upon reaching physiological maturity, seeds are dormant for a short period to ensure that the embryo does not begin to grow until the seed dries enough to further prevent germination. This period of after-ripening dormancy can vary between varieties, so some varieties are more susceptible to sprouting than others. Sprout damage can be visible if the process is far enough along at harvest that the radicle and coleoptile emerge from the effected seed. Sprouted kernels are counted during the grain grading process and result in dockage.
Even if no visible spouting can be see, the grain may still be subject to heavy discounts or rejection at the elevator if the physiological processes of germination have proceeded sufficiently to impact the quality of the endosperm. One of the first enzymes activated during germination is alpha amylase, which breaks down the kernel’s endosperm into the chemicals needed for the growth and development of the nascent seedling. Unfortunately, the degraded starch in seeds with high alpha amylase activity is of very poor quality for baking. Grain with this type of damage can be identified with the falling numbers test. This test measures the rate at which a plunger descends through a slurry of flour and water in a test tube. The slurry made with flour degraded by alpha amylase will be less viscous so the plunger will descend more rapidly than in a slurry made with flour from sound kernels. A falling number greater than 350 indicates very low alpha amylase activity. Falling numbers between 200-300 seconds indicate that some level of sprouting has occurred. Falling numbers less than 150 indicate that the grain was highly sprouted and is not likely to be usable for bread-making applications.
At this point in the season there is little that one can do to manage the weathering and sprouting damage that might occur in fields that have not yet been harvested. Selecting varieties that that are more resistant to weathering may be a strategy for future years if differences are noted in the varieties grown this year. Since pre-harvest sprouting has not been a widespread problem for several years, we have limited data available on varietal differences for this trait in published university sources.
Extension Agronomist for Cereal Crops