Field pea fits well into small-grain rotations. The green- and yellow-seeded varieties are used for human consumption as dry split peas. Field peas also are used as protein concentrates for livestock and pigeon feeds. In North Dakota, pea yields are similar to hard red spring wheat yields. Field pea stems grow to a length of 33 to 36 inches, and the plant reaches maximum height at the early pod fill stage. A cool growing season (a mean temperature of 55 to 65 degrees) is necessary for optimum pea yields. Hot weather during flowering may result in a reduced seed set.
Clubroot is caused by Plasmodiophora brassicae. The pathogen survives in the soil and infects the roots of canola and other Brassicae plants (such as broccoli, cauliflower, Shepherd’s purse and wild mustard), causing a galling and swelling, and giving them a “club” appearance.
Canola is a major oil crop in the northern Great Plains, particularly in North Dakota. In 2013, North Dakota accounted for approximately 67 percent of the canola acreage planted in the U.S. This publication summarizes canola variety performance at the various North Dakota State University Research Extension Centers. The relative performance of the varieties and hybrids is presented in table form. Give special attention to yield results of those trials nearest to your production area when evaluating varieties or hybrids in these trials.
Durum was planted on 795,000 acres in North Dakota in 2013, down from the 1.4 million acres planted in 2012. Average yield is estimated at 38 bushels per acre, up from the yield of 32 bushels per acre recorded last year.
Hard red spring (HRS) wheat was harvested from 5.06 million acres in 2013, down from 5.75 million acres in 2012. The average yield of spring wheat was 46 bushels/acre (bu/a), up slightly from the yield of 45 bu/a recorded last year.
Barley, oat and rye varieties currently grown in North Dakota are described in the following tables. Successful production of these crops depends on numerous factors, including selecting the right variety for a particular area. Characteristics to evaluate in selecting a variety are: yield potential in your area, test weight, straw strength, plant height, reaction to problematic diseases and maturity. Selecting varieties with good quality also is important to maintain market recognition. Because malting barley is purchased on an identity-preserved basis, producers are encouraged to determine which barley varieties are being purchased by potential barley buyers before selecting a variety. When selecting a high-yielding and good-quality variety, use data that summarizes several years and locations.
Installation of subsurface (tile) drainage systems in the upper Great Plains, especially the Red River of the North valley, has increased since the late 1990s. A wet climate cycle, along with increased crop prices and land values, are the major reasons this technology is being put to use. As a relatively new practice in this region, many questions are being asked about tile drainage. This publication attempts to provide some answers.
Grain drying, as used in this publication, refers to the removal of some of the moisture from grain by mechanically moving air through the grain after it has been harvested. Grain in the field dries naturally as the crop matures, giving up mois-ture to the air until the grain moisture is in equilibrium with the moisture in the air (equilibrium moisture content). Conditions become less favorable for grain to dry to moisture contents considered safe for storage as the harvest is delayed into late fall.
Corn for silage sometimes is sold standing in the field and farmers frequently ask how to determine a fair price for the standing crop. EC1343 provides some guidelines for estimating the value of a standing corn crop.
Saline soils have salt levels high enough that either crop yields begin to suffer or cropping is impractical. Excessive salts injure plants by disrupting the uptake of water into roots and interfering with the uptake of competitive nutrients. Several factors contribute to the development of saline soils in North Dakota, but a high water table is a prime requirement. Recognizing how and why salts accumulate is the first step in farming profitably on land interspersed with saline soils. Preventing further encroachment of salinity and addressing remediation strategies are other steps.
Safflower provides three principal products: oil, meal and birdseed. Safflower oil consists of two types: those high in monounsaturated fatty acid (oleic) and those high in polyunsaturated fatty acid (linoleic). This publication provides background information on how to grow safflower in ND, from land selection, fertilizer management, variety selection, seeding, weed management to harvesting and marketing the crop. Safflower is an annual oilseed crop adapted primarily to the central grain areas of the western Great Plains.
High-quality silage is achieved when lactic acid is the predominant acid produced because it is the most efficient fermentation acid and will drop the pH of the silage the fastest. The faster the fermentation is completed, the more nutrients will be retained in the silage.
Thistles are especially troublesome following cool, wet summers and falls, when seed production and seedling establishment are high. An integrated weed control program that combines chemical, cultural (such as crop rotation or grass competition), mechanical and biological methods is most likely to be successful.
Canola is an important crop in North Dakota. It is grown for its oil content for both food and fuel purposes. Nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) requirements of canola and mustard are similar to those of small grains. Sulfur (S) requirements for canola are higher than most crops. Soil test results direct fertilizer rates for N, P, K and S. Soil cores should be taken from 0 to 24 inches deep and divided into 0- to 6-inch and 6- to 24-inch samples. P and K should be analyzed on the 0- to 6-inch sample, while N and S should be tested on each depth.
Stressed crops resulting from unfavorable weather conditions require special management considerations. Yield and quality of frost and drought-damaged crops usually are maximized when harvested as silage.
The alfalfa weevil, Hypera postica (Gyllenhal) (Coleoptera: Curculionidae), is found throughout the U.S. and is the major insect pest of alfalfa in North Dakota. Loss of plant biomass, especially leaf tissue, can be severe. Leaf feeding by alfalfa weevil also reduces nutritional quality and digestibility. Depending on the year, yield loss due to alfalfa weevil can approach 100 percent, especially under drought conditions.
Silage can be made from many different crops, although the ability to make good silage is limited at times. In North Dakota, corn is a widely used crop for silage. Worldwide, corn silage is one of the most important forges used for livestock.
Leafy spurge is an exotic perennial weed that infests over 800,000 acres in North Dakota. Although leafy spurge can be successfully controlled with herbicides, treating large acreages is not cost-effective. In fact, approximately 40 percent of the leafy spurge infested rangeland has a carrying capacity below the herbicide cost break-even point. Using biological agents to control leafy spurge has become an economic alternative in many locations in the state.
Leafy spurge is the most difficult noxious weed to control in North Dakota and infests all 53 counties in a variety of environments. Leafy spurge is found in pasture, rangeland, cropland, roadsides, shelterbelts, and other non-cultivated areas. Cultivation will control leafy spurge in conventional cropland, but the weed can become the dominant species in reduced-till cropland, pas-ture, and rangeland if not controlled.
Soybean is unique in nutritional needs in the state compared to other crops. Inoculation, fertilizer application and iron deficiency chlorosis are explained.