The region’s NDAWN stations indicated generally 2 to 4 inches of rain during the past week (May 15 to 21), with ranges of 2.3 inches at Oakes to 8.1 inches at Jamestown. The rain has cooled soil temperatures, which ranged from the upper 40s to mid 50s (4-inch depth) on May 21. The rain helped replenish our subsoil moisture levels that will provide benefits well into the season, but we currently need dry and warm conditions for planting and establishing our crops.
Winter wheat growth continues to be slow. Alfalfa at the Carrington REC has a height range of 6 to 9 inches. Small grain and corn planting progress is highly variable. South of I94, corn planting began the first week of May and the crop is emerging. The majority of corn acres are planted south of I94, while only 5 to 25 percent of the intended corn acres north of I94 have been planted. Wheat planted the first half of May is emerging. Planting of small grain and grain corn will likely stop at the end of the month. Soybean planting has also begun south of I94.
During the past two weeks at the Carrington REC, winter annual weeds including sheperdspurse have been flowering and Canada thistle has been emerging. Also, foxtail started emerging late last week.
Carrington REC barley field seeded on May 11
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
The last rainfall event left a varying amount of moisture across the area. Rainfall ranged from 0.55” in one area of Divide County to almost 4” at the North Central Research Extension Center in Minot and in some areas of Pierce County.
Early planted small grains have begun to emerge. Due to the cool temperatures, winter wheat in the region has been progressing slowly. As of late last week most ranged from 1.5 to 4 leaf stage. Some producers were able apply nitrogen to promote tillering before the rain.
On average, producers in the area are close to 1/2 completed. However, some producers have not been able to begin planting because of excess soil moisture in certain locations.
Producers who had planned for corn are mostly finished planting this crop. The majority of peas and lentils have been seeded. In order to plant these crops most producers have put off planting their small grains, including hard red spring and durum wheat.
Very little soybean acres have been planted. Opportunity to plant soybean, sunflower and flax still exist and we may see a switch to some of these crops. This will provide growers in the area an opportunity to still plant a profitable crop this season. However, any additional moisture will again disrupt planting and may have producers looking towards prevent plant options.
Rainfall has stimulated growth in pasture areas substantially.
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
Abundant rainfall occurred throughout southwestern North Dakota beginning last Thursday morning through late Tuesday night. Many areas report between 2 to 4 inches received with an area in Bowman County reported by Andrea Bowman as to receiving as much as 7 inches. Much of the precipitation has been absorbed by the soil but Shelby Hewson, Slope County agent reported a flash flood occurred northwest of Marmarth causing a cattle producer lost some cows and calves.
Prior to this past rainstorm producers had completed 75 to 90% of small grain planting over most of southwestern ND while only about 50% of small grain planting was completed in Oliver and McLean Counties. Corn planting is about 45 to 50% complete. Depending on how quickly soils dry and favorable weather planting may resume as early as Sunday or Monday in far western ND but the chance of showers is expected to increase through the Memorial Day holiday so planting could be delayed further. When fields do finally dry sufficiently in addition to completing planting early seeded crop may be ready for post emergence weed control and foliar fungicide applications.
Cool weather has slowed the accumulation of insect degree days (base 48oF) and as of the writing of this report (May 22) there are about 150 AIDD’s. About 300 AIDD’s are required for hatching and emergence of the alfalfa weevil. With warmer weather forecast over the next week expectations are that we may reach that point about June 5.
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
Final Planting Dates for Multi-Peril Crop Insurance
The late start to field work in the northern counties of North Dakota and Minnesota just became a bigger problem with the high rainfall amounts received in the last few days. We are fast approaching the final planting date for many crops in this region.
The final planting date for corn is May 25th in all but 4 southeastern counties in North Dakota. The final planting date for wheat, barley and sunflowers is June 5th for counties along and north of Highway 2 in North Dakota. June 10th is the final planting date for soybeans and flax for all counties in North Dakota.
If fields are too wet to plant on or after the final planting date, producers have the option to take prevented planting on those fields and accept prevented planted insurance coverage. If the decision is to take prevented planting, the producer must notify his/her insurance provider within 72 hours of making that decision. Producers always have the option to continue with planting past the final date but, doing so results in a lower insurance coverage level. For most crops, the insurance guarantee is reduced 1 percent per day that the crop is planted after the final planting date.
While the reduction in the insurance guarantee is important, more critical is the actual loss of yield potential from late planting. Weather conditions for the rest of the growing season will determine how much yield loss will occur due to late planting. There are estimates from research on various crops that indicates the average yield loss due to planting later than the optimum time frame.
Another option is to switch from the intended crop to another crop that can still produce profitable yields when planted at a later date. For most of North Dakota and northern Minnesota, this usually means soybeans, sunflowers or flax. Unless rain continues to keep producers out of the field for another couple of weeks, most will find it advantageous to change their cropping plans rather than risk significantly lower yields from planting an early season crop too late.
Extension Farm Management Specialist
Previously, updates on glyphosate-resistant kochia were sent via the AgDakota list serve. Last summer there was widespread concern in eastern North Dakota that glyphosate was not killing kochia. Last fall kochia seed samples were requested from the entire state and around 80 seed samples were treated in the greenhouse with either glyphosate or fluroxypyr. Results from a non-replicated run indicated that 12% of samples had at least one plant that regrew after 3x glyphosate (Roundup PowerMax) and 25% of samples had a survivor produce new branches after 2x fluroxypyr (Starane Ultra). Number of surviving plants ranged from 1 to all plants within these samples.
The first run of three greenhouse studies to characterize kochia response to fluroxypyr has been completed. Observations indicate about an 8x level of resistance to fluroxypyr is present in five or six of the 80 samples. These samples represent areas across eastern North Dakota. Two other samples with survivors are responding quite similarly to the susceptible check and may not be statistically different once a second run is completed.
Weeds typically are easier to kill when plants are smaller, but many have observed that very small, or “puffball”, kochia is very difficult to kill with any herbicide, including glyphosate. One greenhouse trial demonstrated that fluroxypyr was most effective when applied to 1 to 2 inch tall kochia. Most kochia smaller than this survived and regrew, while larger kochia showed herbicide symptoms and also had less kill of plant foliage.
Treatment of kochia that was 2 to 3 inches tall with alternative herbicides indicate some options for consideration. Sharpen at 1 fl oz/A or Gramoxone/Paraquat with MSO adjuvant was very effective and only a few larger plants produced regrowth. Aim had good activity, but again larger plants were not completely killed and regrew quickly. Application of fluroxypyr with dicamba as in the premix Pulsar improved activity compared with fluroxypyr alone. Plants were still green but with very little new shoot production. Surprisingly, atrazine at 0.38 lb ai/A was variable in effectiveness as individual kochia plants were either completely dead or unaffected. Kochia has become resistant to atrazine in other regions of the country but has not been documented in ND. With low atrazine rates used in ND (0.38 lb ai/A) and use limited only in corn it was thought that atrazine resistance to kochia would be delayed for many years. We ask that growers watch carefully for kochia escapes from any herbicide mixture containing atrazine and notify us if plants survive. HPPD herbicides used in corn (Callisto, Impact, and Laudis) may not kill kochia if used alone and is the reason why we recommend always adding atrazine at 0.38 lb ai/A to these herbicides and most other POST herbicides used in corn.
Greenhouse work will be repeated and several field studies have been established to focus on PRE as well as POST control of kochia. Starting with a clean seedbed is important so the activity of Sharpen or Gramoxone was encouraging for areas where tillage has not been used. PRE treatments are not expected to be the entire solution but could help reduce establishment and widen the POST application window. Combinations of effective active ingredients will be necessary to control kochia, especially at locations where herbicide resistance has occurred and where kochia is taller than desired at application.
Research Weed Science
Extension Weed Specialist
Foxtail Barley Control
Question: Do you have any information on control of foxtail barley is seeded crops and prior to seeding?
Answer: Foxtail barley is showing up more often in crop fields, and we are trying to build information on control options. It was presented as the 2013 Weed of the Year in the ND Weed Control Guide on page 137 In small grains, the ALS-inhibiting grass herbicides give suppression to moderate control in crop. Reduced seed production often is all that can be expected from Everest/Sierra, Rimfire, or GoldSky if the plant is well-established. Olympus more completely prevents seed production and can kill some of the stand, but check your rotation as Olympus has crop rotation restrictions for many crops and many crops other than small grains may be injured the next season. Olympus would have rotation crop concerns at least similar to Everest/Sierra. I don’t have or know of specific information, but the seed is very small so many PRE herbicides should be effective, especially PrePare or Olympus which are labeled PRE in cereals. Some non-selective grass herbicides, such as Select Max, claim control but selective options for cereals, such as Tacoma, Discover, or Axial, are not effective.
Research Weed Science
Exit Tree Rows, Enter Soil Loss
Over the last 20 years of wetness, the elimination of tree rows has progressed. There has been little wind erosion during the wet years. On May 14, however, many growers were given a little taste of what it must have been like at the beginning of the 1930’s. Forty to fifty mile per hour winds raised dust clouds in eastern North Dakota and ditches were filled with the coarser particles of wind-driven soil.
This winter, I was asked to present a talk to the Governor’s Historical Society Conference on the history of fertilization in North Dakota. At first I thought how boring it would be to show a chart of fertilizer use over the last 50 years and talk about it for an hour; but then I realized that the state had a deeper history of plant nutrients, particularly phosphorus. As the second most applied fertilizer nutrient in the state behind nitrogen, phosphorus is an economic factor in all of our crops both organic and inorganically grown.
In the 1880’s to early 1890’s a large business in phosphorus export was active, fueled by settlers gathering buffalo bones from their farms and taking them to rail depots across North Dakota for shipment to bone meal fertilizer factories on the east coast. Although the Northern Pacific railroad records of the exact tonnage of bones hauled from North Dakota were lost in a fire years ago, records from Kansas of bones collected from the remains of the southern buffalo herd suggest that millions of pounds of bones were exported. That would be the equivalent of two years of fertilizer phosphorus application at the present grower rate.
Our largest export of phosphorus, however, was during the 1930’s, when dry weather catalyzed winds carried away the surface 6-12 inches of topsoil from half of the acres in North Dakota. Scientists in the eastern US took samples of the dust that settled on land in New York and analyzed the dust for plant nutrient content, including P. From their analysis and from the tonnage of soil that left North Dakota in the wind, the phosphorus lost during the 1930’s was the equivalent of 40 years of phosphorus application at present rate. If one examines wheat yield records in the 1920’s during decent growing years compared to decent growing years in the late 1930’s, early 1940’s, the yields were reduced by one-half after the soil loss. Certainly the loss of organic matter from the topsoil was part of the cause of lower yields, but the loss of plant nutrients, including nitrogen and phosphorus was also catastrophic. Nitrogen and phosphorus and zinc and other nutrients were mobilized and deposited over a period of thousands of years of prairie-grazed soil formation. In under 10 years, about half of it was gone.
Tree rows sap water from up to 50 feet or their center; however, they also greatly decrease the risk of wind erosion. Growers have told me that with conservation tillage, the need for tree rows was diminished. This is probably true. However, many growers who have never seen significant wind erosion consider the tree rows as a pest and take them out without changing their low-residue tillage habits. Near Borup, MN last week on May 14, I witnessed a line of ex-tree rows stacked waiting to be burned while the ditch was filling up with black silt and sand. I am astonished how many growers think that most of the wind erosion ends up in their ditch, and all they need to do is scrape it out and put it back onto the field. The ditch silt is only a small fraction of the soil lost. Most of the soil lost to wind travels for hundreds and thousands of miles. Ocean researchers track the buildup of sediment on the ocean floor over time. Wonder where the sediment comes from? Your fields.
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
NDSU Potato Blightline to Operate in 2013
The Plant Pathology Department at North Dakota State University will again be providing the potato Blightline service at no charge to the potato industry of North Dakota and western Minnesota in 2013. Even though late blight was not prevalent in 2012 in our area, some late blight was found late in the season, and there is a chance that late blight will be present in 2013 if conditions are favorable. The NDSU Blightline is the first place to go to get the most recent blight updates and management information.
This will be the 19th year that this service has been provided by NDSU and sponsored by Syngenta Crop Protection. The hotline uses weather data collected from weather stations throughout our area to forecast the occurrence and spread of late blight in fifteen non-irrigated and twelve irrigated production areas in ND and western MN. The data is processed by the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) and analyzed by a computer program (WISDOM) to forecast when conditions are favorable for late blight to occur. Additionally, the program provides forecasting information for the development of early blight of potato.
The forecast information is used by plant pathologists Gary Secor and Neil Gudmestad to make late blight management and fungicide recommendations. The recommendations are made Monday, Wednesday and Friday of each week during the growing season. The first late blight hotline will be Friday June 1st, and it is anticipated that the Blightline will continue through mid-September depending on disease pressure. The Blightline will also be used to confirm reported late blight sightings and serve as clearing house for national late blight information. In addition to late blight forecasting, the hotline also provides cumulative P-values for early blight disease forecasting and management recommendations. Finally, it serves to alert growers of other disease and insect issues, as well as posting messages of general interest such as potato field day dates.
The hotline recommendations can be accessed by phone or website.
The toll free phone number is 888.482.7286
The NDAWN website for potato disease forecasting contains colored maps of ND to pictorially illustrate the late blight severity values (both two day and seasonal), favorable day values and P-day values for early blight throughout ND. Once there, go to applications and then click the potatoes drop down box.
Current and archival information on late blight and other potato diseases, and research trial data, can also be found.
You can also connect to the latest blight hotline news and message update reminders by text messaging type BLIGHTND to 97063, or on Twitter follow @SyngentaSpuds.
A national website for late blight of potatoes and tomatoes can be viewed.
Growers and scouts are encouraged to send suspect late blight samples to NDSU for positive identification. Late blight is a community disease and proper identification and prompt notification is important. Leaf samples should be placed in a slightly inflated zip-lock plastic bag without a wet towel and sent to:
Gary Secor, NDSU Dept 7660, Box 6050, Fargo, ND 58108. Our phone number is 701.231.8362 and email address is firstname.lastname@example.org. We wish you a successful potato year.
NDSU Plant Pathologist, Potato Crops
U.S. Fhb Alerts Available
If you want to have Fusarium head blight alerts sent to your email or mobile phone this summer, you may sign up for those free alerts
If you have signed up in the past, you should already be signed up. The commentary for those alerts for ND will be provided by Marcia McMullen, Emeritus Professor, NDSU.
Extension Plant Pathologist, Cereal Crops