ISSUE 13   July 27, 2006


The varietal use report for wheat by the USDA National Agricultural Statistic Service, North Dakota Field Office was published this past week. Alsen is still the leading HRS wheat variety, though the percentage of the area planted to Alsen is down slightly from last year. Steele ND saw the largest increase in the area planted, up from 1.4% in 2005 to 9.3% in 2006. The increased use in Steele, ND was associated with a decrease in the use of Alsen in the northwest and north central regions of the state and a decrease in the use of Reeder in the southwest. Other varieties that increased in use in 2006 were Briggs (up mainly in eastern and central ND), Freyr (up from 1.6% in 2005 to 5.9% in 2006 with increases in most regions) and Oklee (mainly in east central ND). Major varieties with declining use in 2006 compared to 2005 included Alsen, Reeder, Granite, Knudson and Parshall.

The ranking in 2006 of the top four durum varieties, Lebsock, Mountrail, Ben, and Pierce, was the same as in 2005. Lebsock, Mountrail and Pierce, however, gained slightly in their use, largely at the expense of Ben.

Jerry continues to dominant the winter wheat area with 32.4%, virtually the same as in 2005. The use of CDC Falcon and Wesley increased significantly in 2006 while there was a slight decline in the use of Jagalene.

To obtain a copy of the varietal use report go to:

Joel Ransom
Extension Agronomist - Cereal Crops



Using soybeans as livestock forage may be an option for producers facing severe dry conditions in North and South Dakota.

Soybean forage will range from 16 percent to 21 percent crude protein and will have 75 percent to 80 percent of the energy of corn silage, according to Erik Loe, South Dakota State University Extension Service beef feedlot specialist.

"Use similar harvesting procedures as making haylage," Loe says. "Chop when the plant moisture content is approximately 65 percent. It is important to chop the silage when the moisture content is high, the earlier the better due to the higher percent stem moisture and the increase in processing to allow proper packing in the silo."

"The moisture content of the whole soybean plant typically remains near 70 percent until the pods are fully developed and the leaves start falling off," according to Ron Wiederholt, North Dakota State University Carrington Research Extension Center livestock waste management specialist. "Under moisture stress conditions, this may not hold true. Therefore, samples need to be taken to assure that whole-plant dry-matter content is appropriate for ensiling."

Research from Wisconsin suggests that soybean forage can be high quality.

Be sure that soybean forage is tested because of the possibility of high nitrate levels, Wiederholt and Loe added. Ensiling will decrease nitrates by altering the form of nitrogen in the forage. While nitrate is not toxic to animals, it can cause problems such as abortions and death at high levels.

The oil content of soybean forage will increase as the pods develop. Pods that are half- full will contain about 3 percent oil, increasing to more than 6 percent oil with full pod development before there is any leaf drop. Depending on pod development, the oil content of soybean forage will be higher than haylage or silage. The oil content should not be a concern when soybean forage is fed with other feedstuffs.

"It's also crucial to be aware of any feeding or grazing restrictions that are on the labels of the pesticides that were used on the soybeans," Wiederholt says.

More information on farming during extremely dry conditions is available at  or

Warning: Soybean fields that have been sprayed with synthetic insecticides often have grazing and haying restrictions for feeding treated soybean forage, straw or hay to livestock or dairy animals. If your soybean field has been treated for insect pests, please consult the insecticide label for details. Thank you.

Ron Wiederholt, Carrington REC, 701-652-2951
Erik Loe, South Dakota State Univ., 605-688-5460
Source: Rich Mattern, NDSU Ag. Communications

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