ISSUE 16    August 18, 2005

South-Central ND

During August, the south-central regionís rainfall ranged from 0.1 inch at Robinson to 3.1 inches at Wishek, as recorded at NDAWN (North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network) sites. Generally, the area north of I94 has been short of rainfall since July and moisture stress is reducing yield potential of corn and soybean.

The regionís winter wheat, barley and field pea harvest is essentially complete and 50-75% of the spring wheat acres have been harvested. Reports on field pea yields have ranged from 25 to 80 bushels/acre. Barley yield appear to be at least average, ranging from 40 to 100 bushels/acre. The majority of barley is feed quality due to high vomitoxin and protein. Spring wheat yield is highly variable across the region, with reports ranging from 12 to 65 bushels/acre. However, yield appears commonly at around the 40 bushel/acre level. Test weight and protein generally are adequate. High scab severity plus foliar disease has resulted in reduced yields compared to recent years. Vomitoxin levels are severely limiting any marketing efforts due to currently high discounts.

The regionís corn is in the milk to early-dough stages, which is well ahead of last year. For example, during May 1 to August 15 this year at Carrington, corn growing degree day units total 1510, which is about 300 units ahead the same period in 2004. Corn yield potential generally appears good to excellent south of I94. Soybean are in the R5- to R6-growth stages (seed formation). Soybean aphid can be found throughout the region, but densities generally are low and the window for economic insecticide treatment is rapidly closing as soybean reach the R6 stage. Bean leaf beetles can be found in southern counties including Dickey, LaMoure and McIntosh. Leaf defoliation (>20% average/plant before R7 stage) and pod-feeding by the beetles can reduce soybean yield and quality. Contact NDSU Extension Service ag agents or crop specialists for assistance in bean leaf beetle identification, field scouting techniques, economic thresholds and control recommendations.

Area sunflower appear in generally good condition and except for June-planted sunflower, are nearing or at the R6 (ray flowers wilted) growth stage. Red seed weevils are easily found this year and farmers that did not control the pests when at economic levels likely will be disappointed due to reduced seed yield and quality.

Greg Endres
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center

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