SOUTH-CENTRAL ND CROP SCOUT REPORT (July 31-August 2)           


The NDSU Extension Service annual crop scouting program in south-central North Dakota finished up this week.  The emphasis was again placed on disease and insect presence in small grain. On July 31-August 2, 32 fields (1 barley, 1 winter wheat, 2 durum, and 28 spring wheat) were checked in LaMoure, Dickey, Griggs, Foster, Eddy, Benson, Wells, and Sheridan counties. This week’s scouting was focused mostly on the head diseases appearing in the area.  The usual leaf diseases were still visible in the fields that are not completely ripe (leaf rust, septoria, and tan spot).   Leaf rust is at moderate to high incidence and severity have been from 2-30 %.  Scab is now visible in most fields in the area.  The northern and western part of the scouting area are the ones hit the hardest (from 8-76% incidence and 7-59% severity).  Black chaff has appeared in 18 of the fields while gloom blotch has been detected in 4 fields.  Many of the fields have moderate to heavy lodging.  Grasshoppers and aphids were found at low levels around the scouted area.


As stated before, this the last scouting report for the year.  I do hope the information provided helped you in your agricultural endeavors.

(Jerry Schneider)





Field pea growers should have a goal of producing high-quality peas to receive a premium price for their crop in the human food or seed markets. If quality problems exist, including bleached, split, cracked, or earth-tagged (dirt attached to seed that cannot be removed) seed, the livestock feed market will likely be the only option.

Field pea may be swathed before combining or straight (direct) combined. Peas are normally swathed to preserve quality if a there is uneven crop maturity or heavy weed pressure present. If green peas are swathed, timely harvest is essential, because green pea are more susceptible to bleaching in the swath than if left standing. Bleaching is caused by rainfall at maturity, high humidity, bright sunshine, and warm temperatures.

When swathing peas, the seed needs to be at physiological maturity. At this stage of growth, the majority of pods (>75%) should have turned from green to a yellow color. The crop matures from the bottom pods upward. Swathing will normally result in increased harvest losses, but swather modifications make the procedure easier and will reduce harvest loss. Vine-lifters enable producers to get under the pea vines and lift them over the cutting knife. Many growers use a pickup reel as well. Peas should be swathed during higher humidity conditions (e.g. early morning or evening) when the pods are tough to reduce shattering losses. Combining should not be delayed after swathing, because pea swathes are susceptible to movement by wind.

A substitute for swathing is an application of a preharvest herbicide as a harvest aid. This strategy provides uniform drydown of the field pea crop, hastens the harvest operation, and preserves seed quality. Glyphosate (numerous tradenames) is labeled as a harvest aid and provides control of perennial weeds. The herbicide should be applied when field pea is at physiological maturity and at least 7 days before harvest with broadcast application (14 days or more preharvest interval with spot treatments). Do not apply to pea grown for seed. Gramoxone Max has a Section 18 label as a harvest aid for pea grown for seed. Apply Gramoxone Max at 0.83 to 1.25 pints/acre (approximately $3.50 to 5.50/acre) with NIS at 0.25 % v/v in 20 to 40 gal of water/acre by ground or 7 to 10 gal of water/acre by air. Do not apply within 7 days of harvest. Refer to labels for additional details required for use of glyphosate or Gramoxone Max.

Straight harvest or combining of field pea is possible, depending on pea cultivar, harvest equipment, and weather conditions. The first choice for direct harvest of short- to medium-vine and semi-leafless pea varieties is a combine header with a floating cutter bar or flex head. Also, attachments such as lifter guards and pickup reels reduce losses and improve harvest efficiency. Direct harvesting of weak- and prostrate-vine cultivars is most efficient with an aggressive pickup attachment and a lead coulter.

Field peas should be combined with seed moisture of 16% to 20%. At this moisture level, the seeds are firm and no longer penetrable with a thumbnail. Harvest should occur during humid conditions to minimize seed shatter. However, pea vines must be dry or harvest will be extremely slow and difficult. Seed that is too dry will be susceptible to seedcoat breakage or peeling.