During July 10-16, Edgeley, Dazey, and Harvey received 0.5 to 0.75 inches of rain while other areas received 0 to .10 of an inch as recorded at NDAWN sites. Daily water use of crops is high. As an example, estimated daily crop water use on July 16 in south-central ND for corn and wheat (May 15 emergence), soybean (May 29 emergence), and sunflower (June 5 emergence) was about 0.3 to 0.4 inches.
The small grain crop condition generally is poor to very poor south of I94, especially westward from Highway 281. Cool-season crops generally are in fair to good condition north of Highway 200. Across the region, July rains have improved the condition and outlook for corn, soybean, dry bean, and sunflower. However, significant rains will be needed during the next 4- to 6-week period to maintain yield potential, especially for corn and beans. Timely rains are needed as subsoil moisture is rapidly being depleted.
Herbicide application continues in soybean and dry bean. Many growers are struggling to manage weeds in flowering beans, which is the crop stage that limits herbicide use but is also the stage when stress from weed competition and lack of moisture needs to be minimized. In southern counties, winter cereal and barley harvest has started. Haying is in progress, including small grain fields and CRP in drought-stricken counties. Growers should continue monitoring and treating (if needed) cropland for grasshoppers. Also, soybean should be scouted for the soybean aphid.
Growers in Wells, Eddy, and Foster counties with mid- to late-May seeded wheat, which is in the heading- to flowering stages, are struggling with decisions to apply fungicides for leaf disease (especially rust) and scab. According to the NDSU small grain disease forecasting model, during July 3 to 15 for flowering wheat at Carrington, conditions favorable for tan spot infection were present 10 of 13 days and favorable conditions for leaf rust occurred 4 of 13 days. Disease forecasting models including Fusarium head blight can be viewed at the following website: http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/cropdisease/cropdisease.htm
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center