Growing Conditions - 1997 Crops Day Report

GROWING CONDITIONS
HETTINGER RESEARCH EXTENSION CENTER
-1997-

Hard red winter wheat was planted into moist soil during the last few days of September 1996 providing excellent conditions for HRWW establishment prior to freeze up. The winter months of 1996/97 were generally cooler than normal and also wetter than normal with large accumulations of snow during the months of November and December. The blizzard of April 1997 will be remembered for it ferocity, causing heavy livestock loses, creating localized flooding and delaying the start of the planting season well into May. Winter injury to HRWW was not observed, even on the most sensitive varieties.

Fertility levels were determined to a 2 foot depth at all research sites prior to seeding. Adequate fertilizer was applied to each crop according to set yield goals. The spring planting season was delayed by wet and cold soils until mid to late May. Localized rain showers along with mild temperatures throughout June provided for excellent small grain growing conditions at the Hettinger site. Most of southwestern North Dakota received little or no rain from mid-April through June causing uneven seedling emergence, poor stands and stressed growing conditions. The Regent site was abandoned for these reasons. A week of hot and dry weather during the last week of June may have adversely affected head formation in young small grain seedlings and caused blossom abortion in the canola trial.

Weed control was accomplished using herbicides with a pickup mounted sprayer applying 10 gallons of solution per acre. Herbicide varied according to crop and target weed.

Weather conditions during the summer months of July and August were warm and dry with below normal precipitation and near normal temperatures. Humidity brought up from the south tended to be high despite the lack of precipitation. There were no 100 degree temperatures recorded.

Warm season crop performance was outstanding with large sunflower heads, tall corn with long full ears and near bumper yields.

Insects were plentiful with grasshoppers continuing to cause problems. Their numbers appear to be fewer then from last year. We have seen a buildup of European corn borers during the past few years with a large infestation this year causing reduced corn yields at the New Leipzig site and almost a complete decimation of the proso millet trial at Hettinger.

Small grain foliar diseases were initially high but declined as the crops progressed under dry weather conditions.

WEATHER DATA SUMMARY - HETTINGER

Precipitation
Precipitation (inches) 1994-95 1995-96 1996-97 42 year average
Sept. - Dec. 7.80 2.35 6.95 3.26
Jan. - March 1.37 1.82 0.55 1.28
April 1.18 1.02 3.68 1.65
May 6.07 5.20 1.16 2.72
June 2.88 2.45 3.79 3.43
July 2.21 0.86 1.16 2.03
August 3.71 0.53 0.73 1.70
Total 25.22 14.23 18.02 16.07

Air Temperature

Average Temperature (F) 1994 1995 1996 1997 42 year average
April 42.7 37.8 38.7 34.8 42.6
May 56.5 49.8 48.8 52.0 54.3
June 63.8 63.0 65.5 65.9 63.8
July 67.1 68.1 67.2 68.0 69.8
August 68.1 71.6 70.4 68.0 68.6
September 60.4 57.4 56.8 60.1 57.1
 

Growing Degree Units - Corn
Growing Degree 1994 1995 1996 1997 32 Year
Units (50-86) Average
May 321 186 148 226 335
June 414 412 457 480 425
July 484 559 550 574 498
August 519 644 591 543 535
September 377 348 276 412 389
Total 2115 2149 2022 2235 2182
 

Frost Dates
28 F 32 F Normal 32 F
Date of last frost May 14 May 20 May 18
Date of first frost Sept 20 Sept 20 Sept 20
Frost free days 129 123 125

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