Rainfall beginning last Thursday night continued over much of southwestern North Dakota through the weekend. Rainfall totals for the weekend ranged from about 0.5 inches to nearly three inches in the Marmarth area. NDAWN location totals for southwest ND this past week ranged from 0.54 inches at Watford City to 1.62 inches at Hettinger. This rainfall pushed all NDAWN reporting locations except at Beach to above average levels for April in southwest ND. Air temperatures have been above normal, so accumulated growing degree days for wheat and barley are 25% higher than normal.
Precipitation during the weekend stopped field activities until Tuesday. Herbicide and fungicide applications are being made to winter wheat in the area. Corn planting began in far western ND last Thursday and has resumed in areas where soils have sufficiently dried to support equipment. Early seeded spring wheat is at 1 ½ to 3 leaf stage of development with a few fields yet to be seeded. Russian thistle in one field scouted was about 1 ½ inches tall and field pennycrest was in bloom. Alfalfa is about 5 to 8 inches tall.
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
Field work in the Mondak region has been underway since the middle of March due to the lack of snowfall and above normal temperatures. Many were waiting because they felt it was too early and worried about frost injury with some of the crops. Producers in the region got in several acres during the past week that ended with much needed rain. The region received anywhere from an half inch of rain to a little over an inch of moisture. We hit 91 degree on Thursday, April 24, which is a new record. With the cool temperatures the week before, very little damage was noticed to crops or alfalfa.
Durum, spring wheat and barley acres planted are at about 50% complete. Since seeding has been taking place for a while now, some producers in E. MT will be spraying their spring wheat crop soon. Peas and lentil acres planted are also around that 50% completion. Winter wheat stands look very good with only a couple fields having poor stands due to real late or early seeding. In the Yellowstone Valley, corn and sugarbeet acres are almost all seeded. Before our weekend moisture, many fields were being irrigated to get crops to germinated because of our dry conditions. Most of the seeding will be done in the region with another week of ideal planting conditions.
Area Ag Diversification Specialist
Williston Research Extension Center
Adults overwinter in crevices of bark and emerge in the spring to deposit eggs in the new leaves. Nymphs hatch from the eggs and feed on the leaves causing galls to form on the underside of leaves in the summer. Most galls do not harm the health of the tree but only cause aesthetic injury. Biological control with parasitoids (wasps) is important for control, so leaving the leaves on the ground in the fall will encourage parasitoid conservation since wasps overwinter in galls in leaves. No insecticides are recommended.
Janet J. Knodel
F. Adnan Akyuz, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor of Climatology
North Dakota State Climatologist
CUTWORMS, probably Army cutworms or Pale western cutworms, are being observed in row crops, such as canola, in southwest North Dakota. Cutworms belong to the moth family called Noctuidae. Larvae (worms) are dark colors (brown to gray) with various markings, and up to a pencil in width and 1½ inches in length when mature. Minnesota and Nebraska are reporting large numbers of adult cutworm moths at house lights during evenings. These moths will be moving our way with southerly wind flows. Cutworm larvae cause damage by cutting the seedling off at the ground or below the ground. Larvae can be found by digging in the soil around the base of freshly cut plants. When disturbed, larvae curl up into a ball. As damage continues, fields will have areas of bare soil where the crops have disappeared. Row crops are often more susceptible to cutworm damage than small grains, because cut plants do not grow back (grains compensate by tillering). Rescue foliar treatments are warranted when cutworms exceed the following action thresholds by crop:
Spraying timing is the most important aspect of controlling cutworms. Insecticides are ideally targeted at the young larvae, which are easier to kill than the larger larvae (>1 inch). Use the higher labeled rate of an insecticide for longer residual and apply insecticide at night when cutworms are actively feeding. There are questions about tank mixing insecticides with herbicides for early season weed control. When tank mixing early season herbicide burn-down with an insecticide, you will only get partial control, because cutworms will continue to emerge over a three week period and insecticide residual will not last long enough to kill the late-emerging cutworms. Assuming that the field is at action threshold for cutworms, the best insecticide timing is to apply insecticides right at crop emergence, so you get optimal residual and crop protection against cutworms. There also have been some questions about applying an at-plant insecticide, such as in-furrow or T-band application for control of cutworms. An in-furrow insecticide application is generally not as effective in controlling cutworms as a T-band application. Since cutworms crawl on the soil surface, a 5-7 inch T-band application over the seed furrow would provide better cutworm control.
For insecticides registered in North Dakota for cutworm control, consult the 2012 Field Crop Insect Management Guide at: http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/pests/e1143w1.htm
CEREAL APHIDS have already been observed on winter wheat near St. Paul in Minnesota (J. Wiersma, UMN Northwest ROC, Crookston). Incidences of aphids and barley yellow dwarf virus have been high in the southern states. So, it is not surprising that cereal aphids have already been blown up with our southerly wind flows and detected in winter wheat. As winter wheat is still in the susceptible stage (prior to completion of heading) for yield loss and virus transmission from aphids, it is a good idea to monitor any winter wheat for the presence of cereal aphids. Action threshold is 85% stems with more than one aphids present or 12-15 aphids per stem. As spring wheat starts to emerge, we will need to be more aggressive on scouting for cereal aphids earlier. Stay tuned for more updates.
FLEA BEETLES have been observed in volunteer canola and wild mustards since early April. Adults start to emerge in the spring as the temperatures warm up to 58F. Adults feed on the cotyledons and first true leaves of seedlings causing pitting and holes in the leaves. Damage is most serious to seedling plants and can cause seedling death and significant stand loss. Currently, commercially applied insecticide seed treatments in the neonicotinoid insecticide class have provided effective control of flea beetles. Seed treatments will provide at least 3-4 weeks of protection against flea beetles.
Adult flea beetles will emerge for a 3-4 week period in the spring. As a result, scouting is critical for any untreated fields, areas with a history of high populations of flea beetles, or any areas with delayed crop emergence due to cool wet weather (even if an insecticide seed treatment is used). Hot, sunny weather increases feeding activity and movement; while cool, damp weather slows feeding and favors crop growth.
If a rescue foliar insecticide application is necessary, the economic threshold is 25% defoliation on the cotyledons and true leaves. When flea beetle populations are high, more than one application may be required due to the short residual of insecticides, and the threat of re-infestation from surrounding areas.
Janet J. Knodel
Did the mite and virus survive the winter in any infected crop or volunteers? Most likely so, as the wheat curl mite survives in the crown of living plants, and the winter wheat appears to very alive. How do I know if the crop is infected? Look for typical green/yellow streaking or mosaic symptoms on leaves (see pictures). Nitrogen deficiency does not show up as the irregular color pattern on leaves that the wheat streak mosaic virus symptom causes, and often the WSMV disease also is initially in patches or along a field edge. What do I do to confirm the presence or absence of WSMV? The NDSU Diagnostic Lab will take samples and test leaves for the disease, using an immunological test. The turn-around time is about 48 hours and it is recommended that samples be sent in on Monday or Tuesday, so receipt of the sample and processing can be done by the end of the week. The NDSU Diagnostic Lab contact information is: phone 701.231.7854; contact person: kasia. email@example.com ; Lab Web: http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pdl.
Extension Plant Pathologist, Cereal Crops
Most decisions on variety or hybrid choice and appropriate seed treatments should have been made by now for most crops. The NDSU Extension Plant Pathology web site, at www.ag.ndsu.edu/extplantpath/ has links to several updated Fungicide Guides that provide information on seed treatment and/or foliar fungicide use for ND crops. Included at this site, under the publications column on the right of the home page, are links to the 2012 Fungicide Guide and the updated 2012 Wheat Fungicide Efficacy Table. Also included are links to several NDSU Extension plant pathology publications published in the last 12 months, including fact sheets on Anthracnose in Dry Beans (PP-1233), Bacterial Leaf Streak and Black Chaff in Wheat (PP-1566), Dry Bean Rust (PP-1601), and Sunflower Rust (PP-1557).
Extension Plant Pathologist, Broad-leaf Crops
Sugarbeet acreage in North Dakota and Minnesota will be slightly higher than last year. American Crystal Sugar Company will plant about 438,000 acres, Minn-Dak will plant 115,500 acres, and Southern Minnesota Beet Sugar Cooperative will plant 128,000 acres. Growers in western North Dakota and eastern Montana will produce 32,000 acres of sugarbeet that will be processed in Sidney, Montana. This means that North Dakota and Minnesota will plant an estimated 713,500 acres of sugarbeet which is about 57% of the total US sugarbeet acreage.
Growers can continue their efforts at improving efficiency by ensuring that planting is done in properly prepared seed beds, by using starter fertilizer, and using adequate seeding rate to start with a good plant population to give their crop a solid foundation. In 2012, growers will be able to grow Roundup Ready sugarbeet under the Compliance Agreement of their sugar cooperative which stipulates certain mandatory conditions. Growers have to ensure that fields are scouted at least every four weeks for bolters - which are sugarbeet plants initiated to produce seeds because of vernalization, which is not very common, and bolters must be removed. Growers need to keep records of scouting and removing bolters, and must inform management whenever bolters are found.
Growers planting Roundup Ready as well as conventional sugarbeet have to be timely with applying herbicides for the most effective weed control. Seeds should be planted into dry or moist seedbeds. The minimum temperature for germination is 38 degrees Fahrenheit; most soils at the four inch soil depth are currently at about 48 to 50 F at this time. Now is the ideal planting time (April 25) for avoiding an early frost and to obtain high yields.
Sugar price for refined sugar - the kind our industry produces - on the world market is currently about 30 cents per pound; it is expected that refined sugar price will remain favorable for growers for some time.
Growers are encouraged to adopt best management practices to have another profitable sugarbeet crop in 2012, and as always, implored to practice safety in their operations. Have a record producing sugarbeet crop!
Mohamed Khan, Extension Sugarbeet Specialist
NDSU & University of Minnesota
My name is Jared LeBoldus and I am an assistant professor in the department of plant pathology at NDSU. I joined the department in August 2011. I have a B.Sc. in forestry from the University of British Columbia and a M.Sc. and Ph.D. in forest biology and management from the University of Alberta. My areas of responsibility at NDSU are to develop research, extension, and teaching materials for tree, nursery plant, and turfgrass diseases. In general, my research interests are the integrated pest management of diseases in urban landscapes. I am also interested in how environmental conditions (e.g. Flooding and drought) affect disease resistance. I will be teaching a new course in the spring of 2013 called landscape plant pathology. This course will focus on the management of tree and turfgrass diseases. I also teach one third of introductory plant pathology in the fall semester each year. I am looking forward to getting to know ND and working with all of you. Please contact me if I can be of assistance.
Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology
Flax varieties need to be selected based on their yield potential, resistance to lodging, and their tolerance to diseases like Pasmo, rust, and wilt. Pasmo is a Septoria disease that infects stems which often girdle plants during a wet August. This girdling promotes lodging, which may result in reduced yields and poor seed quality. There are both brown and yellow seeded varieties of flax. The yellow seed coat variety ‘Carter,’ released by NDSU, has a good yield potential, good oil content, medium maturity, and has resistance to rust. It is also tolerant to flax wilt. Resistance to lodging in a variety is important especially if direct harvesting is considered as compared to swathing.
Seeding rate for flax is in the 35 to 50 lb per acre range with lower rates in drier regions. About 80 established plants per square foot is a good to excellent stand. Higher seeding rates will insure uniform ripening which is important for straight combining the crop.
Seedbed preparation for flax is similar to canola. The minimum soil temperature for germination is 45-50 °F, which is slightly higher than for canola or field pea. The seeding depth is 1 inch. Farmers should avoid seeding deeper than 1 ½ - 2 inches as this may lead to poor stand issues, especially when there is soil crusting. No-till flax has performed very well.
Yields dropped dramatically as flax was planted later in the season. Eight years of data at Minot demonstrated the loss of yield with a later planting date. The highest yields were obtained with early May planting. Planting the first week in June resulted in yields of only 68% compared with early planted flax. Flax, like any other cool season crop, responds well to early planting as the flowering will take place during cooler temperatures and the duration of flowering may increase.
Frost seldom kills flax seedlings. Just emerged seedlings can tolerate a temperature of 27 °F and after the plant has 2-3 true leaves temperatures in the lower 20’s °F can be tolerated if these temperatures are not maintained for a long period of time.
Flax responds to nitrogen fertilizer. As with any crop, adequate nitrogen will result in optimum yields, however high N levels may stimulate vegetative growth and increase the potential for disease and lodging. The general recommendation is a base rate of 80 lb actual N per acre. The base rate needs to be reduced by a N credit for a previous annual legume as well as by the lb N indicated in the soil test (0-24 inches).
Flax is relatively unresponsive to phosphorus fertilizer. Flax plant roots have a relationship with mychorrhizae and this helps the plant to utilize soil available P. Potassium should be applied according to the soil test and yield goal (see link below).
Flax generally is in a vegetative period for 40 to 50 days following planting. The flowering period can be up to 25 days depending on the weather conditions during flowering. Once the bolls have formed and fertilization has taken place, seeds will mature within about 35 days.
Flax tolerates fall frost very well and is resistant to shatter unless there happens to be a heavy Pasmo infection in the field. Pasmo can girdle the petals holding the boll and the boll may drop if harvest is delayed due to a long period of rain. Generally producers have a couple of options when harvesting flax. Swathing has been practiced for many years and is still used when weed growth is excessive and swathing is necessary to dry out the weeds for combining the flax seed. If the field is clean, many producers have gone to swathing and harvesting right behind the swather. As flax is swathed, it is susceptible to blowing. Each year there seems to be a problem with flax blowing causing it to roll up and shell out and often fields are rendered unharvestable if blowing is excessive. When swathing, use a roller to press the flax straw into the stubble. Flax is very tolerant of rains and flax dries up generally quickly following the rain. Flax can also be direct harvested. Pre-harvest treatment of flax with a pre-harvest herbicide is possible. It is important to treat when the seeds are turning color, from green to brown, and are loose from the boll. That means they are physiologically mature and any yield losses caused by application of a burn down herbicide will be minimal. Do not apply glyphosate to flax grown for seed because it may result in reduced germination of the seed and low vigor.
Flax Production in ND http://www.ag.ndsu.edu/pubs/plantsci/crops/a1038w.htm
Growing flax (Canadian pub.) www.agriculture.gov.sk.ca/Default.aspx?DN=0aa6663b-c240-4594-8889-9f54de340c2b
North Dakota Fertilizer Recommendation Tables and Equations http://www.ndsu.edu/fileadmin/soils/pdfs/sf882.pdf
Extension Agronomist Broadleaf Crops