NDSU Extension - Cavalier County


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Canola clubroot: 
Canola meetings last week were very well attended (200+) reflecting the importance of canola as a major crop in this part of the state.

The following are a few reminders of notes from the meetings and that have come up since then:

Dying or dead patches out in fields may not indicate a disease as these areas may have died from soil compaction, drown out, chemical drift or misapplication of pesticides, poor soils, salt, drought, etc.

Scattered dead plants are most likely from blackleg infections which in most cases will not impact yields but tells us that blackleg is still a concerning disease that companies need full force in developing new lines of resistant varieties.  The most serious blackleg fields in the county are spread across the whole county and go back to the close rotation of every other year of canola, and in most cases the yield losses that are significant are from the same variety planted back on the same field two years later. 

Clubroot, as of this writing, has been found in 4 fields with only one having a big impact on yield.   According to the agronomists in Alberta we will need to start growing clubroot-resistant varieties in most of the immediate area and then rotate away from these same varieties down the road as the resistance to the specific pathotype may break down (this happened in Alberta).

Clubroot spreads with the movement of contaminated soil that can spread by wind and water.  The most common spread is with equipment, tires, and man from field to field so that is the reason we are stressing at minimum a rough cleaning of all dirt off equipment, tires, shoes, etc.  Do not work wet field.

We are recommending that fields confirmed with clubroot should be no-tilled but if it must be worked it should be the last one of the season!

If you find clubroot please let me know what field so I can collect samples to send in to confirm what pathogen it is!

Stay vigilant!!  This one is serious stuff!!

Dark blackened canola stems are being found!  The black or darkness of the stems is a secondary growth that occurs on dead tissue that has been exposed to the weather for several weeks.   I call it a sooty mold or growth and some are calling it alternaria black spot, which is in part true but this blackening didn’t cause the death of the plant.   It is likely on scattered plants or group of plants that died from blackleg or other problems.

Harvest Time To Do List!
-Write things down!
   (If you’re like me I think I’ll easily remember something then by the next year I can remember most of
 it but just not quite sure and in today’s farm business close is not good enough!)

-Copy these notes in another record book for future references!  (We like to think we’ll be around next year but what if
 something happened!  Which family member knows where these notes are and what they mean)

-Use field maps to draw out problem areas or draw your own sketch of the field! (sketches are better than written
 notes in many situations)

-Take time to specifically draw out wild oats or other weed patches as weed resistance is getting to be a big
(Most will agree that wild oats resistance looks very prevalent throughout the area but in some cases the wild  
 oats may have emerged after spraying)

-Do the same with disease patches in crops or problem areas! (this is very critical with canola but the diseases on
 canola are concerning for the entire field as well as surrounding fields, and in some cases for miles around)

-Request custom operators to let you know specific things out in the field!  (ask them to look for certain things)

-Best view of your hard work and return from money spent on the crop is from the combine cab! (looks can be

-Pre-harvest Roundup applications from the high wheel sprayers give a very good look at the field! (applications
 by air give a great overall view of a field)

-Keep a representative composite sample from all fields harvested.  (large storage facilities nowadays may include
 grain from several fields)

-Clean all equipment that leaves a field!  (at minimum do a rough cleaning knocking off all trash, residues and soils-
 particularly mud in tire lugs, etc.)

-Don’t put new crop on top of old crop in any farm storages.  (this can lead to problems down the road with insects,
 molds, over-drying, etc.,)

-Find extra grain storage bins and get them cleaned of all old crop! (this leads me to the following info or tips on
 temporary storage)

Temporary Grain Storage Tips: 
Picking sites that are elevated and have good drainage is the key to storing grain on the ground.

The risk of crop loss is higher when grain is stored on the ground than in bins, so ground piles should be considered short-term storage and monitored frequently.

The success of storing grain on the ground depends on a combination of variables that can be controlled - such as site preparation, storage design, use of aeration and storage management, and also factors that can’t be controlled - such as the weather.

    * Select a site that’s elevated, has good drainage and is large enough to accommodate the volume of crop being stored
      and has roughly 130 feet of turnaround space for trucks dropping off the grain.

    * Prepare a pad for the grain to rest on by mixing lime, fly ash or cement in the soil to prevent soil moisture from wetting
      the grain. Make a concrete or asphalt pad if the site will be used for several years.

    * Create a crown in the middle of the pad with a gradual slope away from the center for water drainage. Also make sure
      the area around the pad drains well.

    * Run piles north and south to allow the sun to dry the sloping sides.

    * Build a retaining wall to increase storage capacity.

    * Place only cool (less than 60 F), dry, clean grain on the ground. Maximize pile size to reduce the ratio of grain on the
      surface, which is exposed to potential weather damage, to the total grain volume.

    * Build the pile uniformly for maximum grain surface slope and avoid creating hills, valleys, folds and crevices that will
      collect water.

    * Form the pile quickly and cover it immediately to minimize it’s exposure to moisture, wind and birds.

    * Install an aeration system to cool the grain so it’s temperature is uniform and equal to the average outdoor temperature.
      Cool temperatures minimize mold growth, limit moisture movement and control insects.

    * Check grain temperatures and moisture content at several locations in the pile every two to three weeks.

    * Frequently check the pile’s cover for rodent-caused perforations, damage from wind or ice, worn spots and vandalism,
      and make repairs.

    * Inspect retaining walls for separation or movement at the connections and deterioration of the materials in the walls.
      Also make sure wall anchors still are holding.

    * When removing the grain, load it from the center of the pile to prevent uneven pressure on the retaining wall.

    * Try to separate spoiled grain from the pile to limit the amount of grain that needs cleaning, drying and blending with
      other grain stored in outdoor piles.

Alternatives to piling grain on the ground, such as storing grain in empty barns and pole buildings used for machinery storage. Here are some tips when using these buildings:

    * Make sure the site is well-drained.

    * Strengthen buildings to support the pressure of the stored grain. Most buildings were not designed or built to withstand
      any pressure on the walls.

    * Check with the building’s manufacturer (newer buildings) on how deep to fill the structure with grain.

NDSU will have a revised list of things to consider on temporary storage within a few days.

Blackbirds & Sunflowers: 
Here is a general link on blackbird info: http://www.sunflowernsa.com/growers/black-birds/

Nat Bornsen – Larimore, ND – 701-425-1876 can help growers by providing the boomers or propane cannons. If there is a large roost area USDA Wildlife Services can come in and bust up the roost as well. Phil Mastrangelo is the contact for this at 701-355-3301.

There are also repellents that can be used. Some growers swear by them and others have had mixed results. You find them at this link: http://www.sunflowernsa.com/growers/approved-chemicals/bird-abatement-and-other-/

The last tip and this is probably the best option is to desiccate the crop as soon as possible to speed up harvest. Link to labeled desiccants: http://www.sunflowernsa.com/growers/approved-chemicals/desiccant-test/ most growers are using Roundup or Kixor.

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