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Hard red spring (HRS) wheat was planted on 6.8 million acres in 2008, up from 2007 (6.3 million acres), but down from historic highs. The cool spring and summer were favorable for high yield in regions of the state, particularly in eastern North Dakota, where moisture was not limiting. Drought was severe and persistent in much of western North Dakota, significantly reducing yield. Fusarium head blight (FHB) was moderate and appeared late, causing minimum damage in eastern North Dakota, and other diseases generally were not problematic.
Durum was planted on 1.7 million acres in North Dakota in 2008, up from the previous year but down from historic highs. Most durum is grown in northwestern North Dakota. Conditions in that region in 2008 were generally dry, so yields were lower than the long-term average. The most commonly grown varieties in 2008 were Lebsock, Mountrail and Ben, occupying 26.7 percent, 21.0 percent and 10.3 percent of the acreage planted, respectively. Divide and Pierce were the next most important varieties, with each being planted on about 8 percent of the area.
The livestock industry is working hard to minimize stress to animals during all stages of production. The recent renovation of the livestock-working facility at North Dakota State University’s Carrington Research Extension Center (CREC) may provide ideas to producers developing their own working facilities. The objectives of the renovation were to reduce stress to animals during processing, increase the labor efficiency and safety of herdsmen, and to enhancing research capability. The renovation plan was developed by the CREC livestock research faculty and staff, with the help of Tim Olson, CATL Resources, and manufactured by Ray Barnhardt of RB Mfg. and Sales. The new design was created to work within the existing physical setting, namely building size and orientation, animal entry point and access points for people. This publication is a synopsis of the renovation and functionality of the CREC animal working facility.
The area planted to winter wheat during the 2007-08 growing season, 650,000 acres, was the largest since 1985. Except for the eastern part of the state, little protective snow fell during the abnormally cold winter. Nevertheless, winter survival was generally adequate, except where drought in the fall resulted in poor germination. Drought persisted during the spring and summer in the western third of the state, dramatically reducing yield. The cool spring and cooler than normal summer were favorable for high yield potential in regions where moisture was not limiting. Disease pressure was generally low. Leaf rust appeared later in the season and caused less damage this year, compared with 2007. Generally scab was not problematic on winter wheat.
Fusarium head blight (FHB), or scab, is a fungal disease that can occur on all small-grain crops grown in North Dakota, but is seen most commonly on spring and winter wheat, durum and barley. FHB can cause signifi cant yield losses and quality reductions. Yield losses in all crops occur from fl oret sterility; additional yield and quality losses can occur when shriveled, light test-weight kernels are produced as a result of infection. Quality reductions also may occur if fungal toxins (mycotoxins) are produced in infected seed. The toxins are unacceptable for certain end uses, so toxin-containing grain is downgraded at the market.