ISSUE 2 May 22, 2008
North Central ND
Lack of soil moisture remains the top concern in the north central region. The October through May precipitation in the north central region remains at or below 50% of normal. Many growers took advantage of early dry conditions and got an early start on spring seeding. However, continued dry conditions had forced them out of the fields temporarily due to poor seedbed conditions. Either topsoil was powder, or so crusty it was impossible to obtain good seed/soil contact, or seal anhydrous ammonia in the soil. In early May, rainfall ranging from 0.2 - 1.8 inches was just enough to get seeding going again. Much of the canola seeding had been delayed to this time.
Winter wheat stands throughout the region are average to poor, with some being reseeded to spring crops. The majority of the stand loss has been due to drought stress rather than winter kill. Early seeded spring cereals are 1 to 2-leaf, with some uneven stands in areas with extremely low soil moisture. There have been limited reports from northern tier counties of seeds not emerging for 2 to 3-weeks because there simply was not enough moisture for germination.
Fortunately, cool dry conditions have also delayed pest issues. There have been no reports of Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus. Spring annual weeds are just beginning to emerge. Tim Semler, Bottineau County Agent, did report some cutworm activity. He also reported on wireworm activity, luckily in most cases there was a seed treatment in place.
Area Extension Specialist/Crop Protection
North Central Research Extension Center
Our soils are warming but continue to be dry. High winds over the past weekend dried and eroded soils, and in scattered areas reduced crop stands. Light frosts continue to occur but are not of concern compared to our dry conditions! Rain is especially needed for adequate stand establishment of row crops and May-seeded cool-season crops.
Winter wheat is actively growing and is in the tillering stage. Stands of spring-seeded small grain generally are adequate and are in the 1- to 2-leaf stage. Corn is beginning to emerge. Soybean planting will essentially be complete by May 24. Sunflower and dry bean planting should easily be completed by the end of May if current weather conditions continue. Crop pest problems are minimal but weeds are emerging including foxtail. Pasture growth is very slow.
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center