Crop & Pest Report


Crop & Pest Report - All

| Share

NDAWN Tackles Inversions (05/25/17)

NDAWN isn’t new, but it has a new tool to provide additional value to its users.

NDAWN isn’t new, but it has a new tool to provide additional value to its users.

The North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN), the state’s mesonet that provides current data, climatological records, and crop models to the public and agriculture industry, is rolling out a new service: inversion alerts.

Inversions are areas of the atmosphere where temperature increases with height. This stable air mass results in low wind speeds and horizontal flow. When spray droplets are dispersed in this environment, the smallest drops may not make it to the ground and can end up floating for long distances before settling in an entirely different area, or someone else's field.

This meteorological phenomenon can be a headache for applicators, who often rely on wind data to determine if, and when, it is acceptable to spray. Even though most users are aware of the existence of inversions, they can’t readily determine if they are happening.

The network recognized a need for this service and has delivered.

After nearly a year of testing, NDAWN has begun distributing their inversion instrumentation across the state. There are currently three sites that are equipped for inversions, with six more being added during the remainder of 2017.

These sites consist of multiple temperature sensors at numerous heights in each location. The difference in temperatures will allow inversions to be recognized, and the corresponding data will then be instantly published on the NDAWN website.

To access, users should go to the “NDAWN Center” page and click on the “Show tower measurements” checkbox. Users will have access to the temperatures and be notified with a red number and “!” symbolizing that an inversion is in place and they should act appropriately.  The network’s real-time data stream will allow users access to these updates every five minutes.

Although the network can identify inversions, users still need to recognize the appropriate response. It is also important to note that this information is a decision-making tool and not a call-to-action.

Future work includes expansion of the inversion sensors across additional NDAWN locations, as well as developing an improved alert system to better serve and provide the state’s agriculture sector with this information.

Nicole Stone

NDAWN Technician

| Share

Growth Staging Wheat for Plant Growth Regulator Applications (05/25/17)

The recent cool weather has prolonged the emergence of recently planted corn and soybeans and slowed the development of small grains.

Growth Staging Wheat for Plant Growth Regulator Applications

The recent cool weather has prolonged thransome emergence of recently planted corn and soybeans and slowed the development of small grains. Nevertheless, this weather has been favorable for yield potential development in the small grains, particularly in the earlier planted crops. Cool weather in the absence of other stresses, enables the development of more and larger spikes. There has been growing interest in the use of plant growth regulators (PGR) in recent years, particularly in the high yielding environments where lodging can be a problem.

PGRs are not as commonly used in our region as they are in Europe and other regions of the Americas (Chile, for example), where yields are typically considerably higher than ours. PGRs are synthetic compounds that either mimic plant hormones or interrupt biosynthesis of plant hormones, thereby altering the growth and development of the plant. They reduce overall plant height, thereby making the plant less prone to lodging. PGRs do not increase yield potential in wheat, barley, or oats but rather allow yield potential to be maintained by reducing the risk of lodging. PGRs will be profitable only if they reduce lodging and thereby reduce yield losses that might occur from lodging. Dr. Jochum Wiersma, UMN Extension Agronomist, put together a decision tree to help growers determine the likelihood that a PGR might be profitable (see article at

In a dataset from five locations in North West Minnesota in 2016, a 3.0 bu/ac yield increase was found with an application of 12 oz /acre of Palisade at the Feekes 7 timing, compared with no treatment. The environment for these locations was low to medium lodging. Considering $5 wheat and application costs of $28.40 per acre ($12 chemical, $8.40 sprayer tracks lost wheat, $8 time and machinery), this application lost $14 per acre.

Many factors in these calculations could change, but given a more lodging prone environment where greater yield differences might occur between treated and untreated, this application could become break even or profitable. These calculations also don’t take into consideration potential lost time by slower combining of lodged wheat, which could impact the profitability of a PGR application.

Currently, the only registered PGR in North Dakota is trinexapac-ethyl which is sold as Palisade EC™. Research in HRSW has demonstrated that Palisade has good crop safety, a relative wide window of application, and reduces plant height and lodging. The improvement in lodging scores have been about 1 to 2 points on the 1 to 9 scale commonly used by breeders. Palisade can be applied as a single application any time between Feekes growth stage 4 and before Feekes 8, or as a split application with the first application at Feekes 4 to 5 and the second at Feekes 7.

In some of the earliest planted fields we are not far away from the first potential application timing. Feekes 4 occurs as the plant is completing tillering, the leaf sheaths begin to thicken and the plant begins to grow upright. Since the growing point is below the soil surface at this point, the stem of the plant is just a pseudo-stem formed by the leaf sheaves holding the plant upright. At Feekes 5 the pseudo-stem becomes more erect and at Feekes 6 the first node appears, and the true stem begins to elongate. Feekes 7 occurs when there are two visible nodes above ground, and Feekes 8 when the flag leaf (the last leaf) begins to emerge from the whorl.


Joel Ransom

Extension Agronomist for Cereal Crops

Grant Mehring

Assistant Research Professor

| Share

Weather Forecast (05/25/17)

The May 25 through May 31, 2017 Weather Summary/Outlook

Most of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) stations recorded temperatures between 5° to 10° below average during the past week. An exceptionally cool week for the time of year. Although I did not get any reports of snow in North Dakota, there was snow, even enough to accumulate, in the higher terrain in northeastern South Dakota this past Saturday Night.


The precipitation this past weekend was associated with an area of low pressure that stalled and in turn brought several days of cloudy cool weather, especially to eastern North Dakota. Although there was some rain reported on Sunday and Monday, most of the rain that fell in the past week occurred on Saturday afternoon through Saturday Night. Rainfall amounts averaged around one-half inch in the eastern one-third of North Dakota and into northwestern Minnesota at the NDAWN weather stations.


Rain in the next seven days is expected to be highly variable and mostly on the light side, with amounts expected to be near or below one-third of an inch during this period in most locations. There will be some rain today (Thursday), as a cool front system moves through the s

That cool front will not necessarily cause a noticable shift in the air temperature, but it will reinforce the cool air already in place. Besides the rain today, there will be afternoon showers forming during the Memorial Day Weekend. These showers triggered by the sun will be the reason that the rain amounts will be highly variable during this forecast period, as not all areas will record a shower each day, plus these showers will be mostly producing under 0.1 inch of rain in those localized areas. What the showers will mostly do is keep the temperatures lower as they otherwise would be.

The rest of this month will not be as cool as this past week, but temperature will still be below average, meaning fewer growing degree days than normal for the time of year. The projected Growing Degree Days (GDDs) for the next 7 days, Base 32°, 44° and 50° are presented below.


Using May 10, 2017 as an average planting date, the number of corn growing degree accumulated this season is depicted below. The exact numbers based on your actual planting date(s) can be found here: Other agricultural tools can be found in the applications tab in the menu on the left side of the website.


Using a plantiing date of May 1, 2017, the number of wheat growing degree days accumulated so far this season 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

| Share

Southwest ND (5/25/17)

.Information from the Southwest region of North Dakota.

Although some parts of the region have benefitted from scattered showers over the past week, much of the region is still dry. Producers in the region are still working on planting corn and sunflowers. Cereals are anywhere from just emerging to tillering, depending on planting date and location. For those with winter wheat and winter rye, the crops are heading. Although it has been dry, the weeds have not stopped growing. Multiple reports have been received of issues with Canada thistle, absinthe wormwood, leafy spurge, and bromes. With the lack of moisture, the alfalfa and hay fields are not looking great in some areas. We received reports of alfalfa weevil larvae in Golden Valley County and there are signs that the weevil overwintered in the region. Prairie dogs continue to be an issue as well.

Ryan Buetow

Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems

NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center

| Share

South Central ND (5/25/17)

Information from the South Central region of North Dakota.

The region’s NDAWN stations indicate rainfall during the past week (May 17-23) of 0 to 0.8 inch (Fingal). Rainfall would be welcome in most of the region to aid row crop plant emergence and to activate pre-emergence herbicides.

Alfalfa is in the bud stage. Winter cereal growth stages range from flag leaf to heading. Barley and spring wheat seeded mid-April are tillering (4- to 5-leaf stages). Small grain stands continue to look excellent. Corn planting should be completed and soybean planting should nearly be completed by Memorial Day weekend. Mid-April planted corn is nearing the 3-leaf stage (V3). ‘Yellow’ corn is common but should be temporary with consistent sunshine and warmer soils. Dry bean and sunflower plantings are in progress. Hay-land and pasture grass growth are slow in developing.

Weeds are doing well! The newest emerged annual weed is Eastern black nightshade. POST herbicide application in small grain and corn is in progress as weather conditions allow.

Greg Endres

Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems

NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center

| Share

Northeast ND (05/25/17)

Information from the Northeast region of North Dakota.

Seeding progress continues across the northeast despite delays from misty rains and more significant rainfall, up to 0.8” across a span of land from Nelson to Pembina Counties. Other areas are still very dry, notably in western part of the northeast region. Canola, soybeans and edible beans are currently being planted. Some farmers will finish this week. Other farmers still have a long way to go. Early seeded small grains look excellent and the later seeded crop is just emerging. The first canola fields and corn fields are emerging, less than 2% emerged. No disease or insect reports to give.

Lesley Lubenow

Area Extension Specialist/Agronomy

NDSU Langdon Research Extension Center

| Share

Northwest ND (05/25/17)

Information from the Northwest region of North Dakota.

Northwest ND had a few scattered showers pass through on Sunday but there were no big rain events anywhere in the NW last week. Most areas had less than 0.1” total. There were areas of frost on Thursday and Friday morning (May 18 and 19) last week, but crops appear mostly unaffected. Spots of alfalfa in a low-lying field at the Williston Research Extension Center showed a bit of frost damage, but nothing substantial.

                Crops throughout the region are mostly up. At the Williston REC, early-planted wheat has 2-3 tillers and wheat planted the last week of April is in the 2-3 leaf stage. Pea, lentil, chickpea, flax, safflower, and canola planted 2-3 weeks ago are emerged. The only crops the station has left to plant are soybean and sunflower.

                The forecast for this week has temperatures mostly in the 60’s and 70’s with no strong chances of rain in the next few days. This should facilitate planting for anyone who had a late start or who got pushed out of the field by the rain last Sunday to Monday. Some of the wetter areas of northern tier counties are a bit behind on planting.  This week should provide a window to get crops planted or finish if you’re further along. Best wishes for a happy and safe Memorial Day!

Clair Keene

Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems

NDSU Williston Research Extension Center

| Share

North Central ND (5/25/17)

Information from the North Central region of North Dakota.

North-Central ND

A cool stretch of weather took hold over the last week. Growers were dealt a few nights of frost advisories, which may have slowed some plant growth, although daytime temps rose to the low 60s. As we look forward, the forecast looks much warmer with some 80˚F temperatures possible in the next few days. Since the last Crop & Pest Report call, moisture has been limited. No more than a 0.10 inch fell across the area Monday into Tuesday.

Soil temperatures held steady across the region (turf and bare soil temperatures in the lows 60s F) over the past week. Small grain planting is nearly completed with soybean, canola, and pulse crop planting continuing in the area. Many of the small grains are likely in the 2nd leaf stage to early tillering. Canola has begun to emerge in the southern areas of the North Central region, while some planting continues in the northern part of the region.

TJ Prochaska

Area Extension Specialist/Crop Protection

NDSU North Central Research Extension Center

| Share

Green Banding on Ash Trees (05/25/17)

Communities across the state are participating in Emerald Ash Borer Awareness week by placing bright green bands on a sampling of their municipal ash trees. Each band has a printed message along with a QR code that links smart phones to information at

Green Banding on Ash Trees

Communities across the state are johnson.lezlee.2participating in Emerald Ash Borer Awareness week by placing bright green bands on a sampling of their municipal ash trees.  Each band has a printed message along with a QR code that links smart phones to information at

Emerald ash borer (EAB) has not been discovered in North Dakota as of this publication date, but is already in 30 states, including Minnesota.  Emerald Ash Borer Awareness Week is organized by the North Dakota Department of Agriculture (NDDA), the North Dakota Forest Service (NDFS) and the NDSU Extension Service.  EAB only spreads about a half-mile on its own, but reaches new areas by hitchhiking on nursery stock and on wood products like firewood.  Awareness campaigns like this one are effective in encouraging individuals to take action by using local firewood and avoiding moving firewood over long distances.  Infested states have lost millions of ash trees.

In 2017 city foresters and a company contracted by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service of the U.S. Department of Agriculture will place more than 800 EAB traps in cities, state parks, recreation areas, campgrounds, rest stops, county fairgrounds and other areas of high risk. The two-foot-long, three-sided, purple traps are baited with a lure attractive to emerald ash borers. Green funnel traps will also be placed this year in nine locations. The traps will be monitored through the summer during the adult flight period.

Lezlee Johnson

North Dakota Forest Service

Forest Health Manager

| Share

Leaf Spots Follow Cool Wet Spring Weather (05/25/17)

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring? No – the answer is not wet pilgrims!

Leaf Spots Follow Cool Wet Spring Weather

If April showers bring May flowers, what do May showers bring?  No – the answer is not wet pilgrims!  May showers can bring leaf spotting diseases to trees.  Cool, wet weather encourages fungus diseases to infect and develop in tender, new leaves and needles.  One very common example of this is anthracnose in our deciduous trees.  Each species of deciduous tree that grows here - like oak, ash, elm, basswood, birch, buckeye, maple, and walnut - has its own anthracnose disease.  The parts of the state that have been enjoyed cool, damp weather lately may soon see evidence of these leaf diseases.

Anthracnose leaf infections show up usually as brown spots, blotches, distortions, and dead areas in leaves.  On some trees, especially when infected later in the season, the spots may be smaller and surrounded by either a dark or a yellow halo.  Severe infections will result in leaf drop.  After warmer weather arrives, the leaves will mature and the tree will send out more leaves and shoots.

Anthracnose diseases stress trees, especially when the trees are infected year after year.  Anthracnose can also contribute to declining vigor in trees that are already stressed by other conditions or tree pests.  Although treatment usually is not warranted, trees can be protected by the application of protective fungicides if treated early enough.  By the time you see symptoms, it is too late.


 Other leaf and needle diseases favored by cool, wet weather include leaf curl of plum, oak, and chokecherry; apple scab, and spruce needlecast.  You can find more information, including control recommendations for these and other common tree diseases in North Dakota in the NDSU Extension publication “Tree Diagnostic Series”.

Lezlee Johnson

North Dakota Forest Service

Forest Health Manager

Document Actions

Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.