ISSUE 4    May 26, 2005


This spring is shaping up to be a very favorable small grain season. Cool temperatures and good moisture have been present almost everywhere, combined with reports of good stands. Some growers might want to consider topdressing with another 30 to 60 lb N if these conditions continue and preplant N rates were based on conservative yield estimates. To topdress, use of stream-bars and liquid fertilizer is strongly recommended. The application and its incorporation by rainfall needs to be completed before jointing for yield enhancement. The interval between 3-5 leaf is probably best, going up to the 6th leaf if rain will chase you out of the field. This application is a bit of a gamble because of the reliance on rain for it to be most effective. Look at the cost of the application, the chance of rainfall during the next week, the ability to get into the field and get the work done, compared to what might happen if you don’t do it. Good luck.



Most farmers understand the value of phosphate for small grain production, but sometimes the magnitude of its value is not fully realized. The following is a photograph sent to me by Blake Vandervorst, an agronomist with Duck’s Unlimited from a winter wheat field in north-central North Dakota. This is from a field testing low in soil P. The good wheat was fertilized with P, the poor-growing wheat has not. Same field, same planting date, same variety.



The ability to combine trips is a persistent quest of everyone in the farming industry. However, sometimes two trips are better than one. When micronutrients are needed for a crop like dry beans, the following needs to be done before filling the tank with 500 gallons of water and mix:

For preplant solutions-

The labels of herbicides and fungicides all clearly state that a jar test should be conducted with any additive beyond the label specifications. Spray water is not all the same. What worked for farmer A in one township may not work for farmer B in another township. It’s easier to clean out a jar than a spray tank. Trust me on this.

For post applications-

It is strongly recommended that micronutrient herbicide and fungicide applications be made separately. Metals in the micronutrients can result in lack of efficacy of the pesticide and sometimes aggravate other stresses within the crop, such as iron chlorosis.

Check with the pesticide representative to see if they have data on the addition of micronutrients. If they discourage it, there must be a good reason. If they do not have data and are unsure, it would be best to avoid the tank-mix and separate them.

Dave Franzen
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
(701) 231-8884



Sugarbeet fields were pummeled with sustained winds of over 20 mph during the past weekend. Growers were busy replanting damaged fields. The use of cover crops could play an effective role in reducing stand loss from wind especially in fields with a known history of ‘blowing’. Most growers use barley, oats or wheat as cover crops. Grass herbicides are used when sugarbeet are 2 to 4 leaf stage to kill the cover crop. The standing cover crop continues to provide protection from wind damage and erosion.

Mohamed Khan
Extension Sugarbeet Specialist

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