ISSUE 1    May 4, 2006

Northeast ND

Soils continue to be too wet for field work. Only the lighter textured soils and fields with good drainage have had field work. Rainfall the last week was generally a minimum of 0.5 inch up to spots of 1.5 inches. Some acreage of HRSW, Corn and barley has been planted mostly along or south of highway two. Winter wheat survived the winter well and growers have or will apply needed nitrogen and weed control in the next two weeks. Weed and volunteer crop growth is abundant. Very little field work will be done the first week of May. Many areas in the Red River valley are still being impacted by flooding and many roads in Pembina county are impassable. Most areas north of highway 17 will not see field work for another 10 days, even with good drying weather.

Terry Gregoire
Area Extension Specialist
Devils Lake Area Office


South-Central ND

The geographic area covered by this report includes a northern border of Eddy County to Sheridan County southward to Emmons County through Sargent County. During the last week (April 26 to May 2), the region received about 0.5 to over 1.5 inches of rain, based on NDAWN (North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network). The rain was welcome in the Carrington area but farmers in the balance of the region generally would rather have continued planting.

South of I94, the majority of wheat and barley acres have been planted and the small grain is beginning to emerge. Corn planting began during the week of April 23. North of I94, cool-season crops planted including wheat, barley, field pea, canola, and flax ranges from about 25 percent to 75 percent of the acreage. Emphasis will be on corn and soybean when soil conditions allow planting to resume. It is important for soil temperatures during and 12 to 24 hours after soybean planting to be at least 50 F to avoid imbibitional chilling of the seed.

Recent wheat and soybean planting data from Carrington Research Extension Center

In 2005, ‘Steele-ND’ HRS wheat was planted at 1.2 million live seeds per acre at weekly intervals starting on April 8 and ending on May 6. Seed yield from the April 8 planting date was 55 bushels per acre. Yield was reduced 7, 22, 25 and 29 percent with the April 15, April 22, April 29, and May 6 planting dates, respectively.

From 2002 to 2004 at Carrington, soybeans planted from May 10 to 15 did not provide a yield advantage, compared with planting 10 to 15 days later (May 20 to 30). Due to a more favorable soil environment for plant establishment, soybeans planted during the last half of May generally resulted in less time needed for stand establishment, greater plant density and similar date of physiological maturity time, compared with the earlier planting time. However, in one of three site-years, ‘Barnes’ (0.3 relative maturity) had an 8 bushel per acre, or 19 percent greater yield when planted May 10, compared with May 20, while ‘Walsh’ (0.0 relative maturity) had a similar yield between planting dates.

Four years of data furnished by farm participants in the Carrington Area Farm Business Management program indicates an economic advantage with soybean planted in 10 to 18-inch rows compared to rows less than 10 inches (solid seeded). The 2002 to 2005 average production difference favored the 10- to 18-inch rows by 4 bushels per acre. While the average difference in net profit varied each year, the four-year average, including government payments, was $37.70 per acre higher with the 10- to 18-inch rows compared to solid-seeded soybean (source: Steve Metzger).

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


Southwest ND

Rainfall occurring at several locations in southwestern North Dakota slowed fieldwork progress. Rainfall totals at many of the NDAWN locations during the week were about 1/3 of an inch. Bowman received only 0.07 inches. Rainfall totals for April at NDAWN locations in southwest were Beach, 3.95; Bowman, 3.18; Dickinson, 3.99; Hazen, 2.36; Hettinger, 2.08; Mandan, 1.10; Mott, 2.15; and Watford City, 2.02 inches. Precipitation at Dickinson and Hettinger was 281% and 126% respectively of normal for the month of April. Wheat fields seeded prior to April 17 have emerged and have about one leaf fully developed. Cold low temperatures on 26 April were in the mid 20s F but little damage to alfalfa was noted. Winter wheat came through the winter in good condition and is now tillering.

Cutworms were found in a winter wheat field east of Mott earlier this week the hard way. Cutworms had damaged the field sufficiently to where the field will need to be reseeded to spring wheat. This kind of experience points to the need to start scouting early and scout at least once a week. An insecticide application earlier could have easily saved the cost of reseeding the field. As it is now, the producer will need to reseed the field as well as apply and insecticide to protect the newly seeded crop. Last fall cutworm adult moth traps in the Mott-Hettinger area indicated a low risk for army cutworm but a medium risk for pale western cutworm. However, trap information and prediction for risk indicates low to medium risk of cutworm problems producers should still keep an eye out for pest development in the field. The number of monitoring locations in SW ND is limited and therefore will still require vigilance.

A limited number of acres of canola and peas has been seeded due to very moist conditions from the mid-April rain. With canola, pea, spring wheat, and barley planting running behind normal and the time when corn should be planted is here producers are questioning what strategy should they use in planting. Seeding canola at this time in the southern part of SW North Dakota may be on the risky side. Planting date studies for canola at Hettinger indicate yield of canola seeded on May 5 is about 1/3 of the yield of canola seeded on April 22. Depending on herbicide applied producers can switch canola acres to a later planted oil seed crop such as sunflower. Peas can be seeded until about May 10 but yield will likely be lower than if peas were seeded the first part of May. Corn grown for grain is very sensitive to planting date. Corn, a warm season crop, can recover from freezing until it grows beyond the 6-collar stage. Another sensitive period of growth for corn is during pollination and early grain fill. During this stage of crop development, we want corn to avoid severe heat and moisture stress that may occur and is likely to occur in August. Finally, corn needs to mature before a killing frost arrives in mid to late September. Producers growing grain corn generally should consider May 8 as a target for completing planting. Wheat can still be successfully seeded after the corn is seeded in early May.

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

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