NDSU Crop and Pest Report


ISSUE 1   May 6, 2004

Southwest North Dakota

Weather conditions around the southwest corner of the state have been dry during the month of April. Rainfall reported by the North Dakota Agricultural Network (NDAWN) has ranged from 0.35 inches at Beach to 0.76 at Dickinson. The 105-year long-term mean at the Dickinson Research Extension Center for the month of April is 1.44 inches. Precipitation in November 2003 was 34% of the long-term mean. However, December 2003, January, February, and March were all above the long-term mean at 264%, 176%, 153%, and 163% respectively. Some producers have reported subsoil moisture conditions are the best that they have seen in two years. In areas where tillage has occurred or high disturbance seeding has been done, top soils have dried. In low disturbance seeding where adequate residue has been left in place moisture can be found within an inch of the soil surface. In May, June, and July, our three wettest months of the year, the total mean precipitation we can normally expect to receive at Dickinson is 8.13 inches.

Severe cutworm problems have been reported in the southwest corner of the state. Bowman County Agent, Brenda Rettinger said cutworms have been found in alfalfa, wheat, and barley fields as well as in pastures. The current area of infestation appears to be from Rhame to the Hettinger-Reeder area and south to the state line. Last fall the adult moth survey indicated that the Mott Regent area is at risk of cutworm infestations though none has been reported from that area yet. Producers should scout emerging and emerged fields for cutworm damage for the next two to three weeks. A clue that cutworms are present is missing plants. Producers can find larva by carefully removing the soil to a depth of two inches along the area adjacent to a row with missing plants. Additional information on cutworm control can be found in this issue of the ND Crop and Pest Report and the county extension office.

Army Cutworm
Army Cutworm

With dry weather, planting is progressing rapidly. Hettinger County is reporting that 90 to 95% of the wheat acres are sown while Stark County is reporting 75% is planted. Some producers have completed corn planting, ahead of the May 8 target for completion.

Roger Ashley
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
Dickinson Research Extension Center


Northeast North Dakota

Minimal rainfall the last two weeks has allowed field work and planting of cool season crops to progress at a rapid rate. Cool season crops are about 30-40 percent planted with lowest percentage centered around Ramsey county.. Seedbed moisture to date is adequate due to winter snow cover, late March rainfall and cool temperatures. Some concern is being expressed this week about seedbed drying in future days. Freezing temperatures were recorded most nights the last week. Corn planting is also progressing well. Winter wheat survived the winter well and attention is being given to spring nitrogen fertilizer application as yield potential is good. Earliest planted spring wheat is now emerging.

Terry Gregoire
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
Devils Lake Area Office

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