NDSU Crop and Pest Report


ISSUE 3  May 15, 2003


NORTH DAKOTA AGRICULTURAL WEATHER NETWORK - Valuable Resource for Crop Production and Pest Management


Since 1989, there has been a network of weather stations across the region that has been providing valuable meteorological data to growers, consultants, extension staff and researchers. The network has been developed and coordinated by NDSUís Dr. John W. Enz, Agricultural Climatologist. Through grants and cooperative agreements with various commodity groups, governmental agencies and universities, Dr. Enz has provided the leadership to expand the network from 6 weather stations to its current 66 stations distributed across North Dakota, the Red River Valley, and border regions of surrounding states. The locations are shown in the following figure.

Information that can be obtained from the NDAWN system include:

  • General Models with Air Temperature and Rainfall
  • Crop Water Use Maps
    Crop Water Use Tables
    Degree Days for Wheat Degree Days for Several Crops
    Insect Degree Days

  • Crop Disease Forecasting Models
  • Small Grain
    Potato Late Blight
    Canola Sclerotinia Risk

  • Crop Insect Response Forecasting Models
  • Wheat Midge Growing Degree Days

    Weather data is summarized in table format by hourly, daily, weekly, monthly, yearly, NWS monthly normals, and NWS daily normals. Weather variables that may be obtained include: air temperature (max and min), soil temp (bare and turf), wind speed (max and min), wind direction, solar radiation, rainfall, dew point, and others.

    The wheat growth model and the wheat midge models have been very useful in recent years. The NDAWN site now allows a person to select a specific weather station, enter specific planting dates, and receive output that summarizes temperatures, wheat growing degree days, expected growth stage, risk to midge infestation based on growth stage, and midge emergence based on degree days.

    There is also an option to summarize midge degree day accumulations over the entire state, similar to the maps that have been provided in this newsletter in recent years.

    The wheat development model submission form will be found under the applications menu. A direct link to this option is:


    To obtain wheat midge maps or wheat growth and midge development for individual planting dates, the submission form is located under the wheat midge growing degree days option that is found under the applications menu. A direct link to this option is:


    People are encouraged to visit the NDAWN website to become familiar with models and information that is available. We are also interested in hearing feed back on how to improve the accessibility of the data, or ways to make it more useful, such as additional models that would be helpful.

    For questions, suggestions, and just to let us know you found the NDAWN site useful, you can contact:

    Dr. John W. Enz, North Dakota State Climatologist
    North Dakota State University
    Soil Science Department
    233 Walster Hall
    PO Box 5638
    Fargo, ND 58105
    Phone: 701-231-8576
    Fax: 701-231-7861

    email: john.enz@ndsu.nodak.edu


    Phillip Glogoza, Extension Entomologist



    Cutworms and flea beetles were found in a few fields in Southern Minnesota and Minn-Dak, respectively. The number of insects was high enough to warrant insecticide applications. Asana was applied with the herbicide application and provided excellent insect control.

    Flea beetles overwinter as adults and emerge in late April to early May. Flea beetles tend to feed first on weeds then move to field crops. Of course, if there are no weeds, the beetles will feed on the crop host that emerges early - sugarbeet. Damage caused by flea beetles is more severe in hot, dry conditions.

    Cutworms inhabit the surface layers of soil and feed just above or below soil level, usually at night. During dry weather, cutworms feed just below the soil surface. When there is excessive soil moisture, as we are currently experiencing, cutworms will feed above the surface. When scouting for cutworms, look for wilting or dead plants, usually along the rows. Look carefully for disturbed soil near the base of wilting or cut plants. Cutworms will be found in the disturbed soil. Since cutworms feed mainly at night, the best time to apply an insecticide for control will be during late afternoon.

    Other insecticides labeled for flea beetle and cutworms control include Lorsban, Sevin, Lannate, and Mustang.

    Mohamed Khan
    Extension Sugarbeet Specialist

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