ISSUE 10 July 17, 2008
During the past two weeks (July 1 Ė July 15), the region has received very little rainfall ranging from a sprinkle near Sidney, MT to about 0.35 of an inch near Ross based on NDAWN site data. The northwest region is well behind average in rainfall, with Williston over three inches under normal precipitation. Crop conditions are declining every day because of the very dry conditions. Seed yields and quality in small grains are becoming a concern for producers in the region. Temperatures have been in the 90ís F for several days, and along with high winds have had a dramatic impact on the crops.
Winter wheat is ripening, and harvest will begin within a month. Early barley is maturing quickly and will be harvested in a couple of weeks. Field peas and lentils for the most part have finished blooming and are maturing. There is some concern of empty pods for both crops. Canola and mustard have completed blooming and are setting seed as well. Safflower should begin blooming soon. Sunflowers are in the reproductive stages. Corn is rapidly growing with these temperatures but still behind in development. For the growing season, Williston has about 1010 gdd units with all sites minus 50 to minus 120 gdd units compared to the 5-year average. NDSUís forecasting models indicate little risk for small grain diseases. Wheat stem maggot injury is starting to appear in the crop.
Area Extension Specialist
Williston Research Extension Center