Growing Conditions - 2001 Crops Day
Hettinger Research Extension Center
The fall of 2000 was very dry, eliminating most fall field
work including the seeding of winter wheat. Research plots of HRWW were
seeded into dry soil during the second week of October. Heavy show during
the last days of October kept growers out of the field for the remainder of
the year. December was bitterly cold, followed by a mild January and a
bitterly cold February. Rain and snow during the first two weeks of April
delayed field work. Record high nitrogen fertilizer prices caused
considerable concern throughout the ag. community. Soybean, legumes and
crops with lower nitrogen demands saw renewed interest. Field work began
during the last week of April and continued without weather interruptions.
Hot and windy conditions during the first half of May dried out top soil
moisture and left seed in dry soil. Cool and dry conditions persisted
throughout the remainder of May. A 28 degree frost on May 25 caused
scattered problems in alfalfa. Timely rain during the first week of June
sprouted canola and other seed left in dry soils. A hail storm on June 18
destroyed all of the small grain research plots which were in the boot
growth stage, and most of the early seeded broadleaf research plots.
Recovery of these crops after this devastating storm was absolutely
remarkable, although data was not collected on any of the small grain or
early seeded broadleaf crops. Hot and dry weather during the first part of
July shut off the canola bloom and caused some wheat varieties to show
drought stress with curled flag leaves and burning of lower leaves. Heavy
rains during mid-July was welcome, providing almost ideal growing conditions
for late season crops and finishing the small grain crop. These rains along
with warm temperatures also created a serious ascochyta infection in
chickpeas, destroying the crop. Small grain harvest began during the first
week of August and continued without weather interruptions through
completion. Many area growers reported bumper crops with good to excellent
quality and topping last year’s bumper crops.
Black stem weevils infested the sunflower crop in the
seedling stage causing concern but minimal damage. High levels of thistle
caterpillars were observed on canola, sunflowers and soybeans and caused
some sunflowers to be replanted. Heavy infestations of alfalfa web
caterpillars and army worms were also observed.
All trials at the Hettinger Research Center were planted
with a no-till drill. Broadleaf crops were planted into barley stubble and
small grain crops were planted into soybean stubble. Soil fertility was
determined and fertilizer was applied according to specific yield goals for
each crop. Urea (46-0-0) was the primary nitrogen source used and was
applied with a no-till drill prior to planting. Monoammonium phosphate
(11-52-0) was applied directly with most seed at planting.
All HRSW, durum and barley trials were treated
post-emergence for both grass weeds (foxtails and wild oats) and for
broadleaf weeds (kochia, Russian thistle and wild buckwheat). Most broadleaf
crops were treated with a pre-emergence burn down, and with a post-emergence
treatment for grass weeds and broadleaf weeds when possible.