Crop & Pest Report


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Project Safe Send sites, Dates Left for 2017 (07/20/17)

Farmers, ranchers, pesticide dealers and applicators, government agencies and homeowners with unusable pesticides can bring them to any of the Project Safe Send Sites

Project Safe Send sites, Dates Left for 2017

Farmers, ranchers, pesticide dealers and applicators, government agencies and homeowners with unusable pesticides can bring them to any of the Project Safe Send Sites listed below.

Project Safe Send is a safe, simple and non-regulatory program that helps people safely and legally get rid of unusable pesticides free of charge. Since 1992, thousands of people have brought in over four million pounds of pesticides to Project Safe Send.

The program accepts old, unusable or banned pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides and fungicides. For a list of accepted items, click on  The collected pesticides are shipped out of state for incineration. Project Safe Send is funded through product registration fees paid by pesticide manufacturers.

People are urged to check their storage areas for any unusable pesticides and safely set them aside for Project Safe Send. If the containers are deteriorating or leaking, pack them in larger containers with absorbent materials. Free heavy-duty plastic bags are available from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.

For more information on transporting your pesticides safely please view the web links below.

All collection sites are located at North Dakota Department of Transportation (NDDOT) facilities.

A maximum of 20,000 pounds of pesticides per participant will be accepted.


 Dates remaining are:

 July 25, 2017 - Project Safe Send - Wyndmere

Contact Jeremiah Lien at or 701-425-3016 to pre-register.

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Weather Forecast: (07/20/17)

The July 20 through July 26, 2017 Weather Summary/Outlook

It is often said that dry begets dry and wet begets wet. Although wet top soils will allow for some additional rain from convectively induced showers and thunderstorms, or dry soils may result in less moisture that falls, these impacts are very minimal and those statements are more myth than fact. Instead, our moisture or lack of it comes from large scale hemispheric circulation patterns, and so far this year the northern plains have simply not been able to tap into Gulf of Mexico moisture because of a nonconducive storm tracking. Rain totals from July 12 to July 18 at the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) stations are presented below. This does not include what rain was recorded yesterday when some locations recorded over 1 inch of rain, especially across the southern part of the state.


Temperatures were cooler than normal across the Red River Valley into western Minnesota during the past week with western North Dakota once again recording above average temperatures.


The persistent northwest flow at the mid-levels of the atmosphere will flatten out in the next week to a more westerly flow. Although this is not necessarily a wet flow, this subtle shift does allow for more moisture to flow into the region than a northwest flow. The best time frames for thunderstorms in the next seven days will be on Friday (both morning and night), next Monday into Monday Night and toward the middle of next week. Other days may bring more isolated or spotty events. All locations will have a chance of rain from all of these events, but the lowest probabilities will be in the southwestern portion of the state that have been the driest, as the main storm track looks to be from northwestern to southeastern North Dakota.

Temperatures are expected to be close to or a bit below average for the time of year during this forecast period. The projected growing degree days (GDDs), base 32°, 44° and 50  for the period July 20 through July 26 is presented below. Most of North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota will record about the same number of GDDs as last week.


With an expectation of near average temperatures and a few more chances of rain this week, several more hours with relative humidity hours above 85% is projected during this forecast period in northern and eastern North Dakota than were recorded during this past week. The projected hours for the period July 20 through July 26, 2017 is presented in the graphic below.


Using May 10, 2017 as an average planting date, the number of corn growing degree days (Base 50°) accumulated through July 18 is depicted below. The exact numbers based on your actual planting date(s) can be found here:


Using a planting date of May 1, 2017, the number of wheat growing degree days (Base 32°) accumulated through July 18 is presented below. The exact numbers based on your actual planting date(s) can be found here:



Daryl Ritchison


Interim Director of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network


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Southwest ND (07/20/17)

Information from the Southwest region of North Dakota.

A large portion of cereal grain fields are being hayed due to drought stress. Crops are maturing earlier than normal and the heat and drought stress is lowering yield potential. Corn fields are beginning to tassel and plants are extremely stunted. Some scattered showers fell in parts of the region and much more rain is needed.

Ryan Buetow

Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems

NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center

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Northeast ND (07/20/17)

Information from the Northeast region of North Dakota.

Soybean aphids are reported in Grand Forks County. Grain aphids are still being found on wheat, sometimes at high numbers. The crop stage is past the economical IPM threshold to spray. Small grains are ranging from milk to soft dough stage. For small grain head issues, white heads from wheat stem maggot have been found in moderate levels in a few fields. Loose smut is also being observed. Loose smut is a seed-borne disease. If levels are high in your field, avoid saving seed from those fields. Sunflowers are at R1 stage. Soybeans are ranging from R1 to R2 crop development stages.

Lesley Lubenow

Area Extension Specialist/Agronomy

NDSU Langdon Research Extension Center

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Northwest ND (07/20/17)

Information from the Northwest region of North Dakota.

Not much rain fell in NW ND last week. A few small, scattered showers crossed the region but any heavier rain that fell passed us by on its way to the east. The next few days are predicted to have temperatures in the 90’s and 80’s over the weekend. Again, a caution to those of you getting close to harvest, be aware of fire danger. Multiple grass fires burned last week in McKenzie County and conditions likely won’t improve in the coming weeks. Keep water and fire extinguishers at the ready.

The Williston REC field days last week went well. On Thursday, the afternoon session on soil health focusing on pipeline and saline seep reclamation was informative and included hands-on activities. Guests appreciated the opportunity to see and climb into soil pits dug in both undisturbed and roadway areas where a water pipeline had been installed. Jane Holzer of the Montana Salinity Control Association and Don Miller of Alforex Seeds discussed perennial forage varieties and establishment for saline seep remediation and management. The alfalfa at the WREC saline seep generally looks good and is ready for a second cutting—very impressive considering the droughty conditions this year.


Clair Keene

Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems

NDSU Williston Research Extension Center

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North Central ND (07/20/17)

Information from the North Central region of North Dakota.

Some precipitation finally arrived across the North Central (NC) region over the last week, though, not the amount we were hoping for. All the NC weather stations received less than a quarter inch of rain during the week of July 9th. Bottineau was the big winner at 0.23 inches. Temperatures are expected to moderate over the next seven days with temperatures averaging in the 80s. Currently, conditions continue to be rather unfavorable for scab development.

Wheat midge continues to be monitored throughout the region. Midge numbers appeared to fall over the last week after some high numbers were detected the week before in Pierce, Rolette, Bottineau, and Renville Counties. Please refer to the NDSU Wheat Midge Extension publication for more information regarding economic thresholds.

Upcoming Events:

Renville-Bottineau County Agricultural Improvement Association Annual Crop Tour

On Thursday, July 20th at 2:00 pm, join us at Mouse River Park located west of Mohall on Hwy 5 for a short program with updates on current ag research. Eric Eriksmoen will provide a comparison on featured small grain varieties, Dr. Shana Forster will discuss fungicides in chickpea, and Dr. TJ Prochaska will provide a pest and disease update. Supper will follow.

TJ Prochaska

Area Extension Specialist/Crop Protection

NDSU North Central Research Extension Center

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Resources for Coping with Pesticide Damage (07/20/17)

Whether it is spraying the wrong field, not cleaning the sprayer sufficiently, drift to sensitive crops/plants, or taking out a garden, these and other reasons for pesticide damage can cause major problems.

Resources for Coping with Pesticide Damage

Whether it is spraying the wrong field, not cleaning the sprayer sufficiently, drift to sensitive crops/plants, or taking out a garden, these and other reasons for pesticide damage can cause major problems. Often incidents can result in tens or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to the damaged party. NDSU has resources to help people work through these issues:

  1. Rich Zollinger has created, “Documentation for Suspected Herbicide Spray Drift Damage, WC-751. It is available from your county agent and at this link:
  2. Rich also has a section in the 2017 ND Weed Control Guide, W-252, regarding “Investigation of Crop Injury” on page 70. A list of residue testing laboratories can be found on page 106. The guide is available from your county agent or at this link:
  3. As part of our Pesticide Program training program, we have developed a narrated video presentation on complying with North Dakota’s “Alleged Property Damage Notification of Applicator Law,” North Dakota Century Code Chapter 4.1-33-18. Also known as the “28 Day Rule”. The video runs 14 minutes and can be watched on smartphone, tablet, or computer at this URL:  The slide set used in the video is available in PDF at this link:
  4. The text of 4.1-33-18 and a copy of a sample notification letter is here in Word format:  The PDF version is found at:

Recovering from a pesticide misapplication incident is a very challenging process. The above materials should help applicators and those suffering damage better understand and organize their efforts.

Andrew A. Thostenson

Pesticide Program Specialist

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Rescuing Fields with Waterhemp (or other) Weed Escapes (07/20/17)

I walked a field last week that was not scouted in May and June (image). The question was “what are my options?”

Rescuing Fields with Waterhemp (or other) Weed Escapes

I walked a field last week that was not scouted in May and June (image). The question was “what are my options?”

  • Rescue control with herbicide. Don’t even think about it. Herbicides are designed to control small, actively growing weeds. Herbicide must contact or translocate to the growing point(s) to effectively kill the weed. Failure of the herbicide to reach each the growing point will result in regrowth from that point on the plant. I counted nine growing points on a 3-inch waterhemp. A 6-inch waterhemp may have double that number. I can only imagine the number on waterhemp escapes, 24 to 30 inches tall.
  • Hand-pulling. A few waterhemp plants do not rob yield. Cordes et al., University of Missouri, found at densities of less than 10 plants per square foot, yields were reduced by only 1% when waterhemp was controlled at 6 inches height. However, waterhemp is a prolific producer of seed, capable of producing greater than 500,000 seeds per plant. Waterhemp robs yield following a herbicide failure and once it has become established in fields. Pulling and bagging waterhemp is challenging work but it is a way of preventing further seed production in a field. Harvest bigger plants first if you must make choices since bigger plants make more seed.
  • Mechanical mowing. It may be necessary under certain situations to mow crop and weeds to prevent seed production, especially in an area too large to hand-weed. Waterhemp is most problematic along ditches or in drowned-out areas of the field. Waterhemp must be mowed multiple times since it will attempt to produce a seed head from a growing point low on the stem, even after mowing in late July or August.
  • Harvest order. The combine is an effective way to distribute waterhemp seed across the field. The combine also may move seed from field-to-field. However, cleaning a combine can easily take 4 to 6 hours and it doesn’t ensure all weed seed will be removed. One way to reduce the impact of weed escapes is harvest order. That is, harvesting weed-free fields first and harvesting weedy fields last. In addition, be careful to harvest the cleaner portions of weedy fields first and leave heavily infested areas of fields for last.


Tom Peters

Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist

NDSU & U of MN

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Off-Site Movement of Dicamba (07/20/17)

om various sources, it appears that soybeans and other crops have been injured by drift in ND.

Off-Site Movement of Dicamba

From various sources, it appears that soybeans and other crops have been injured by drift in ND. Detailed education was done in winter meetings by both university and industry to present the best management practices (BMPs) to limit off-site movement. Many factors are associated with dicamba drift, and growers can control most of them. It is my perception that, in general, growers followed prescribed BMPs. Wind has been very strong this spring and early summer making timely applications under the 10 mph BMP requirement difficult.

One point that is rarely considered is the rapid evaporation of water from spray droplets, especially under low humidity. Large droplet nozzles required for application of dicamba on DT soybean reduces risk of particle drift but some low percentage of droplets will be small and water will quickly evaporate before droplets intercepts plant foliage. Small particles void of water may behave like vapor drift. Regardless of the cause, some drift has been reported that show classic drift patterns where the injury is diminished as it progressed across the field. Other fields show dicamba injury from border to border. Soybean showing the phenomenon of ‘rapid growth syndrome’ may also exhibit symptoms similar to dicamba. Yield at harvest will be the best way to determine the extent of the injury.

The extent of residual injury will depend on the herbicide dose the susceptible species received and the growth stage of the crop at the time of the drift. Dr. Andy Robinson, NDSU/U of MN Potato Agronomist, researched soybean response to dicamba and 2,4-D as part of his Ph.D. degree from Purdue University. From his research, he found very important points relevant to the dry condition of this summer.

  1. Expression of dicamba symptoms on soybean may be delayed more (several days or weeks) in dry conditions than in wet conditions.

  2. Severity of symptoms from dicamba may be greater in dry conditions that in wet conditions.

  3. Plants in the vegetative stage may be less affected that those in the reproductive stage.

It appears that dry conditions have advanced soybean entering reproductive phases, making dicamba drift from recent applications more injurious.

Unfortunately, another point that has not been sufficiently emphasized is that the very crop species that dicamba resistance was transformed in (soybean), is one of the most, if not the most, susceptible species to dicamba. Dr. Bob Hartzler, Weed Scientist at Iowa State University, has recently written a good article relating the relative susceptibility of soybean to dicamba to other crop/herbicide technologies:


In describing the graph, Dr. Hartzler stated “Soybean was 200 times more sensitive to dicamba as corn was to glyphosate, whereas cotton and soybean were at least 10 times more susceptible. Off-target injury is not limited to the growth regulator herbicides. In the first years after the introduction of Roundup Ready soybean it was not unusual to see 10 to 20 rows of corn damaged, even killed, by glyphosate drift. However, it was rare to see glyphosate injury across entire fields. Unfortunately, this is not what Iowa has experienced with the introduction of dicamba-resistant (Xtend) soybean. Dicamba poses a unique situation in that soybean is more sensitive to dicamba than nearly any other herbicide-plant combination.”

                                Some academicians in other states have written general or detailed descriptions of the extent of dicamba drift in their state and some factors associated with drift.

The remainder of this Crop and Pest Report article includes published information written by weed scientists at Ohio State University and Purdue University on July 12, 2017. See below:


Ohio Soybeans: Dicamba Drift Injury Becoming More Evident

Dr. Mark Loux, Ohio State University

Dr. Bill Johnson, Purdue University

You would probably have to be living under a rock to not be aware of the recent issues with off target dicamba movement affecting soybeans and other plants in the states of Tennessee, Arkansas, and Missouri. The latter two states just banned any additional dicamba applications for the remainder of the growing season to avoid additional problems (subject to change probably), and some changes apparently are coming in Tennessee, also. We have seen firsthand examples of this in at least some Indiana and Ohio fields, and have heard about additional ones. It’s somewhat difficult to gauge how widespread the issue is, since there is often reluctance of an affected party to contact regulatory officials and file a complaint, to keep good relations with the offending neighbor.

This has been a trend over the years where applications of dicamba-containing products to corn have affected nearby soybeans – neighbors tolerating each other – partly based on the knowledge that soybean yield often appears to be unaffected by early-season dicamba exposure. Our conclusion at this point, based on the fields we have examined, is that the patterns of injury are indicative of both particle drift and volatility. However, an alarmingly high number of fields seem to show that we have more offsite movement due to volatility than we thought would happen based on past experience with dicamba use in corn and the development of lower volatility formulations of dicamba products labeled for use in Xtend beans. 

This is not to say that spray particle drift is not occurring. It is evident that in many situations, dicamba is being applied in too much wind, or with no buffer left between the treated field and adjacent non-Xtend soybeans. We certainly have had the “perfect storm” of limited days to spray with wet weather delaying field operations. When soil conditions were suitable for sprayer traffic, the winds were often excessive and we likely had herbicide applied during inversions as we rushed to get work done.

However, with such an abundance of fields that show uniform symptomology across the entire field, we wanted to raise awareness of this situation and attempt to explain drift vs volatility. There is certainly a lot more to learn about how volatile these new products are under varying conditions. We would most likely expect some changes in how they can be used between now and next year, at least in certain states.

The purpose of this article is to discuss particle drift versus volatility, and what history tells us about volatility and symptom development for dicamba products that have some volatility, and also explain the effect of exposure on soybean yields. This information may be helpful in the assessment of situations where dicamba injury occurs. In some fields that we have examined, the symptoms of dicamba on sensitive soybean have occurred at far greater distances, and at much more uniformity, than can be explained simply by spray particle drift.

Spray particle drift has a telling pattern, which most anyone in the industry has observed at one time or another for various herbicides. The dosage and symptoms in an adjacent sensitive crop are greatest closest to the treated field, due to the highest frequency of larger spray droplets settling out fairly rapidly. For this reason, one indicator of spray particle drift is herbicide symptomology on weeds growing along an adjacent roadside or in a fencerow between the two fields. The injury then tapers off with distance from the treated area as a decreasing number of smaller droplets continue to settle out, until the point where no injury occurs due to insufficient number of droplets and dosage to cause injury. How sensitive the affected crop also comes into play here, since it takes a lower dosage to cause injury on a more sensitive crop. Spray droplets can move well into an adjacent field, depending upon wind, temperature, nozzles, pressure, use of drift-reducing agents, etc.

But particle drift does not result in the relative uniformity of dicamba injury over a large adjacent field that has occurred in some cases. This would be more indicative of movement via dicamba volatilization from leaf or soil surfaces, occurring sometime within several days after application. Vapors then move with prevailing air currents, with potential to move far greater distances than spray particles, upwards of a half mile.

Movement of vapors does not require much wind. For example, volatilization of dicamba that occurs under relatively still inversion conditions can result in prolonged suspension and movement of vapors with gentle air currents. In one field we looked at, there appeared to be an initial volatilization event from the adjacent dicamba-treated soybeans, with some subsequent soybean recovery. This appeared to be followed by a second round of dicamba exposure and injury to the recovering soybeans several weeks later. Soybeans may not show symptoms of dicamba until 10 to 21 days following exposure, when the injury becomes evident in newest growth.

                Injury takes the form of leaf wrinkling and cupping, and new leaves trying to expand emerge may remain tightly cupped and small. Higher doses can cause terminal growth inhibition (shorter plants) of plants that are slower to cover the row middles. As soybeans recover, new growth will eventually emerge without symptomology. The ability of soybeans to recover from injury, the rate of recovery, and effect of yield is dependent upon dosage and subsequent environmental conditions, and obviously whether they are exposed to dicamba again while trying to recover.

Exposure to dicamba in the vegetative stages has less long-term effect and potential to reduce yield compared with exposure in the reproductive stages. Our experience with injury during the vegetative stages is that it rarely leads to yield loss, unless there is a significant reduction in plant height. This assumption is based on continued suitable environmental conditions for soybean growth and seed fill prior to harvest. With regard to injury from most herbicides, late-planted soybeans can be generally more of a concern since they have less time to develop full yield potential anyway, especially in suboptimum environments.

Rich Zollinger

Extension Weed Specialist

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Leaving Wheat Plant Strips during Haying may Help 2018 Crops (07/20/17)

In areas affected by drought, many small grain fields are being put up as hay.

Leaving Wheat Plant Strips during Haying may Help 2018 Crops

In areas affected by drought, many small grain fields are being put up as hay. This leaves hardly any stubble in these fields available to catch snow this coming winter, and if the 2018 begins dry, this may perpetuate crop failure on these fields. Many alfalfa hay producers leave strips of standing alfalfa to catch snow during their last harvest trip. Leaving a narrow strip of standing wheat may accomplish the same goal and help the 2018 crop to get off to a better start. Any wheat that will make grain in the west this year is living almost exclusively on ‘fossil’ water; rainfall that occurred in 2015 and 2016. That water will be gone this year and will need to be replenished in part by snowfall this winter.

Dave Franzen

NDSU Extension Soil Specialist


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