ISSUE 9 June 29, 2006
During the past week (June 21-27), rainfall recorded at NDAWN sites located in the region ranged from less than 0.1 (Jamestown, Lisbon, McHenry and Robinson) to 1.75 inches (Valley City). Rainfall is needed throughout the region. Based on NDAWN estimates, the regionís average water use on June 27 ranged from 0.2 to 0.3 inches daily for wheat, corn, soybean and sunflower. Tornadoes threatened the Edgeley area on June 23, and hail occurred in Barnes County during the past week.
Winter wheat is beginning to mature, and April-planted barley and spring wheat are in the seed-fill stages. Flag leaves of spring wheat generally continue to be free of leafspot disease, but the threat of this disease remains. For example, conditions have been conducive for tan spot infection during 7 of the past 10 days (June 18-27) at Carrington (source: NDSU small grain disease forecasting website - www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/cropdisease/). Corn is rapidly growing with plant heights at 2 to 3 feet. Soybean planted the first half of May is in the early flower stage (R1), which is about one week earlier than normal. At Carrington, 625 corn growing-degree-day (GDD) units have been accumulated from May 15 to June 25. This is much higher than the 475 GDD average that occurred at Carrington during the same time over the past five years. Scouting for soybean aphid should be occurring on a weekly basis. Septoria brown spot can be found on lower leaves of some soybeans. Most dry bean and sunflower fields are in satisfactory condition and have received herbicide treatments.
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center
Precipitation this past week was light in most locations in southwest North Dakota. The Mercer County area received 0.25 to 0.40 inch of rain. The remainder of the area received 0.25 inch or less. We have received only about 12% of normal precipitation. This month will go down as the driest June on record (1892 -2006) at the Dickinson Research Extension Center if no additional precipitation is received. Fortunately, Dickinson and other parts of the southwest had good subsoil moisture to begin the growing season; however, precipitation since May 1 has been well below normal. The area east of ND Highway 8 did not receive precipitation last fall or early this spring that other parts of the southwest did. Spring wheat and barley are heading out at about a foot tall, and hay yields are about 1/3 of normal. Growers in some areas did not harvest hay at all because the crop was too short. Pastures also appear to be very dry. Winter wheat yields will probably be in the 25 to 30 bushel/acre level. In other areas of the southwest, the wheat and barley crops that were seeded early still appear to be in very good condition, although the crop will continue to lose yield every day rainfall is not received. Sunflowers and corn are still in good condition, but these crops will need rain at critical times in the remaining part of the season. Some grasshopper "hot spots" have been reported in Morton and Grant Counties. Grasshoppers were found causing damage along the edge of a wheat field in Grant County. Grasshoppers may be more prevalent in drought-affected areas. Producers should check along field borders, newly harvested hay fields, and other preferred grasshopper feeding and hatching grounds, and treat these areas when significant numbers of grasshoppers are found before they become large and difficult to control.
Anyone interested in agriculture should circle July 13 on their calendars and plan to attend the Dickinson Research Extension Center Centennial Field Day. The Center, having completed one hundred years of service to the State of North Dakota, will be hosting a special Field Day and Open House. Several sessions during the day will recall some of the Centerís accomplishments, look at some of the current work, and provide a glimpse into the future of agriculture in western North Dakota. In addition, a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new office building will be held. Centenarian Anna Ehlis will do the honors. The all-day program will begin at 9 AM and conclude with the Ag Barbeque in the evening. Additional information about the program is available on the DREC website, which can be found at http://www.ag.ndsu.nodak.edu/dickinso/.
Area Extension Agronomist
Dickinson Research Extension Center