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ISSUE 3  May 21, 1998

North-Central ND

    Seeding has progressed rapidly the past week. As of May 20, 75 % of the small grains are in, with most growers finishing up this week. Central Renville county, southern Bottineau county and northern Pierce county received heavy rains/hail which has led to some crusting problems. Overall topsoil moisture is adequate in the north central region with southern Ward county and McLean county being the driest areas.

    Stands of small seeded crops (canola, flax, etc) are good to excellent. Spraying wild oat spots in broadleaf crops such as, field peas and canola, has begun. Planting of sunflower and dry bean is in full swing and already a large percentage of theses crops are planted. Tan spot can be found in winter wheat but no major problems being reported. Area rye fields will start to head out in the next week which is about two weeks ahead of normal.

    Crucifer flea beetle numbers have increased with warmer, sunny weather. Some feeding near the edge of fields have been observed. Continue to scout fields for flea beetle thresholds.

    Diamondback moth trapping network has been set-up in north central North Dakota to track their populations and movements as more moths migrate in the area. A total of 24 trap sites are being monitored weekly in Ward, Mountrail, Burke, Renville, McKenzie, Bottineau. Traps will also be monitored at the Carrington Research Extension Center. Low numbers of Diamondback moths are still being captured at Minot. Adult moths will lay eggs on alternate weed hosts until the more favored; cultivated cruciferous crops are ready.

    Orange Wheat Blossom Midge: Wheat being planted this week is still in the high-risk period of 200 to 600 DD. As of May 18, 1998, we have the following accumulated DD (using a base of 40F): Minot, Ward County = 541, Mohall, Renville County = 451, Bottineau, Bottineau County = 459, and Towner, McHenry County = 461, Rolla, Rolette County= 412, Columbus, Burke County = 403, and Turtle Lake, McLean County =524.

    Sunflowers, Field Peas, Dry Beans, Soybeans: Cutworm problems have been reported on sunflower in Bottineau County, and peas in Divide and western McLean Counties. The most common species are the dingy and red-backed cutworms in north central North Dakota. Other emerging crops that may be threatened by cutworms are dry beans, soybeans, small grains, and corn. Scout fields for signs of leaf feeding, wilting, or cutting. Then, confirm the presence of cutworms by digging under the soil surface several inches. Or, visit the field in the early morning or dusk to catch cutworms as they feed on plants. Remember that the most common mistakes with cutworms are observing the field infestation too late to treat, and misidentifying the cause of stand loss.

    Pastures and Field Crops: Grasshopper early instars (1st-3rd) are still being collected in the grassy field edges, winter rye, alfalfa, and spring wheat fields. Numbers are slowly starting to increase. Economically important species observed include: two-stripped grasshopper (Melanoplus bivittatus), and pasture grasshopper (M. confusus).

Ornamentals: Spider mites have been observed causing browning on pines and spruces in shelterbelts. Overall the north central area has an optimistic start. In 1996 and 1997 it had forgotten to rain in May which led to poor emergence and uneven stands. So far this spring, the area is still behind in overall precipitation, however it has tried to rain and emergence and stands of all crops are good to excellent. A good stand is half the battle to a good crop.

Kent McKay
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
Janet J. Knodel
Area Extension Specialist Crop Protection
North Central Research & Extension Center, Minot, ND

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