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ISSUE I  May 7, 1998

North-Central ND

    General field work began across the north central area in late April, two weeks earlier than the previous two years. Planting became widespread by the first of May. The main focus of planting has been canola/mustard, peas, lentils, and crambe. Canola and small grains planted in late April have emerged with good stands being reported. Soil temperatures have been very warm (Upper 50's) resulting in quick emergence. The warm soil temperatures have brought on the weeds. Wild oats and kochia have been the most prevalent, however Canada thistle and foxtail are already showing up as well. Some early April seeded crop is already being sprayed for wild oats in central McLean county.

    Top soil moisture is a major concern. The north central region is still waiting for it's first significant spring rain. Questions on how deep a crop can be seeded and concerns over seeding into a dry seedbed are general across the region. There is considerable acreage now being seeded into dry top soil with concerns over uneven emergence, much like last year.

    Crucifer flea beetles started emerging from overwintering sites during the week of April 20th. Pitting and leaf feeding can be easily seen on volunteer canola. It's important that growers and consultants scout fields frequently (daily) for flea beetles as canola seedlings emerge.

    Dingy cutworms have been observed in last year's sunflower fields and are actively feeding on volunteer plants. Damaged sunflowers were readily evident suggesting a relatively high population in some fields. Sunflower beetles have just emerged from hibernation and can be found walking around in last's year sunflower fields. Adults seldom feed on the cotyledons, but the first true leaves may be severely damaged or completely consumed.

    Wireworms were first found last week (April 27) in baited grain traps (adult beetles). Wireworms can damage crops by feeding on the germinating seeds or young seedling. Susceptible crops include small grains, corn, potatoes, sugar beets, and vegetables.

    Wheat midge Degree days (DD) are now in the high risk period of 200 to 600 DD for wheat planting. As of May 3, we have the following accumulated DD (using a base of 40F) in the northwest region of ND: Minot, Ward County = 304, Mohall, Renville County = 248, Bottineau, Bottineau County = 247, and Towner, McHenry County = 245.

Kent McKay
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems

Janet J. Knodel
Area Extension Specialist Crop Protection
North Central Research and Extension Center
Minot, ND

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