Crop & Pest Report - All
2014 Sugarbeet Growers Survey
The 46th annual sugarbeet production practices survey will be mailed to sugarbeet growers in September. This survey is being conducted by the North Dakota State University and University of Minnesota Extension Services under the direction of Tom Peters, Mohamed Khan and Mark Boetel. Sugarbeet growers will be asked questions about various products and practices related to the 2014 sugarbeet crop. We suggest sugarbeet growers may find it helpful to gather their planting and pesticide application records to assist with answering questions. The survey should take 15 to 20 minutes to complete. We ask sugarbeet growers to complete and return the survey by December 7, 2014. Sugarbeet growers, thank you in advance for your help in providing valuable information about your production practices in 2014. The responses will assist us in shaping our extension and research programs to meet your needs and improve the industry.
Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist
NDSU & U of MN
Fall Nitrogen Application
Here are my recommendations for North Dakota N application.
For anhydrous ammonia or any significant N source outside of the companion N in MAP or DAP, none should be applied before October 1. After October 1, consult your own soil thermometer and when the soil temperature at 4 inches measured between 6 and 8AM falls to 50 degrees F, it is OK to begin anhydrous ammonia application. This doesn’t guarantee that conversion of significant ammonia to nitrate will not happen, but the risk is low in most years. For banded urea, wait yet another week. For broadcast urea, wait two weeks after the anhydrous ammonia date.
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
Deep Sampling for Sugar Beet
If you are a sugar beet grower (tough year, eh?) and your consultant still has a working 4 foot soil sampler, by all means have them use it. Some consultants have a sampler that goes down to 42 inches, and that is good, although not exactly textbook. However, many of the newer soil samplers can only go to about 2 feet. In my work over the years, in fields where good N management has been used over a rotation, credits are taken for beet tops as recommended, and there is no 2nd party that grows potatoes or another crop with wild N application abandon, the levels of nitrate below 2 feet rarely reach above the assumed 30 pounds N per acre. So taking our RRV recommendation for the 2 foot depth would be a valid method of determining rate. If a grower begins to farm new land with only a history of a 2 foot sample, the likelihood of higher nitrate than the 30 pounds per acre assumption would be high. In that case, taking a deeper sample would be justified and I think very important. It is unfortunate that manufacturers do not make a deeper sampling probe for a commercial unit, but there it is. In most cases 2 feet is fine. In new land, knowing deep might mean the difference between profit and loss.
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
Fall Soil Sampling
Years ago, there was a formula that NDSU published that offered an adjustment for nitrate levels in soil samples obtained before the end of September. One of the efforts I made when it came time to revisit some recommendations was to go back to the database and see if that formula explained what the data presented. I found that the much of the original data came from periodic sampling through a year across North Dakota. After the first of August sometimes the nitrate stayed the same through the fall, sometimes it went down and sometimes it went up. The direction of up, down or sideways was not related to later rainfall. Faced with the importance of nitrate sampling and that often if a person waits until November for the test to ‘stabilize’ (which really doesn’t happen), the fields can get too wet and the sampling doesn’t happen, I determined that it is best to sample early and make sure you get a number. The real number could change later, but it is impossible to predict how much. But it is better to get a real field number than ‘guess’ at one. I have worked this gig for over 20 years and I can’t out guess it. Sampling is the only way. As soon as the combine goes through the small grain/canola/other early crop, it’s time to sample.
NDSU Extension Soil Specialist
Pre-harvest Sprouting and Falling Numbers
Many reports indicate that the 2014 small grain yields will be some of the largest ever. Moderate temperatures and adequate rainfall coupled with improved management practices and varieties have enable these record or near record yields. Unfortunately, much of the crop remains in the field awaiting harvest. The recent rains have delayed harvest further and have increased worries about low test weight, pre-harvest sprouting and low falling numbers. High test weight in wheat is usually associated with high flour yield and sound kernels, therefore the milling industry prefers grain with high test weight and low test weight grain fetches a lower price at the elevator. Repeated wetting and drying of matured grain causes the seed coat to loosen and the kernel surface to wrinkle, causing a reduction in test weight. All varieties are susceptible to test weight loss when weathered. However, those varieties with the highest non-weathered test wet are likely to maintain a relatively higher test weight when weathered than other varieties. Durum is generally thought to be more susceptible to this type of weathering than bread wheat.
Grain that sprouts before harvest is heavily discounted at the elevator because of its limited utility in the traditional milling and baking applications. Pre-harvest sprouting occurs when the mature kernels are repeatedly wetted or when they are exposed to a prolonged wet period. Generally upon reaching physiological maturity, seeds are dormant for a short period to ensure that the embryo does not begin to grow until the seed dries enough to further prevent germination. This period of after-ripening dormancy can vary between varieties, so some varieties are more susceptible to sprouting than others. Sprout damage can be visible if the process is far enough along at harvest that the radicle and coleoptile emerge from the effected seed. Sprouted kernels are counted during the grain grading process and result in dockage.
Even if no visible spouting can be see, the grain may still be subject to heavy discounts or rejection at the elevator if the physiological processes of germination have proceeded sufficiently to impact the quality of the endosperm. One of the first enzymes activated during germination is alpha amylase, which breaks down the kernel’s endosperm into the chemicals needed for the growth and development of the nascent seedling. Unfortunately, the degraded starch in seeds with high alpha amylase activity is of very poor quality for baking. Grain with this type of damage can be identified with the falling numbers test. This test measures the rate at which a plunger descends through a slurry of flour and water in a test tube. The slurry made with flour degraded by alpha amylase will be less viscous so the plunger will descend more rapidly than in a slurry made with flour from sound kernels. A falling number greater than 350 indicates very low alpha amylase activity. Falling numbers between 200-300 seconds indicate that some level of sprouting has occurred. Falling numbers less than 150 indicate that the grain was highly sprouted and is not likely to be usable for bread-making applications.
At this point in the season there is little that one can do to manage the weathering and sprouting damage that might occur in fields that have not yet been harvested. Selecting varieties that that are more resistant to weathering may be a strategy for future years if differences are noted in the varieties grown this year. Since pre-harvest sprouting has not been a widespread problem for several years, we have limited data available on varietal differences for this trait in published university sources.
Extension Agronomist for Cereal Crops
SARE Research Grants for Producers
Farmers are still harvesting early season crops. Corn and soybean are not yet ready for combining for a few weeks. However, it is a good time to evaluate the 2014 growing season and to see what new production questions have come up. Many agricultural producers are very innovative and generate great ideas to improve their farming practices. There is an opportunity to participate in on farm research via the North Central Region – Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education Program (NCR-SARE) Farmer Rancher Grant program. The competitive grants are for farmers and ranchers who want to carry out sustainable agriculture research, demonstration, and education projects on their farms. Many North Dakota producers are interested in making more efficient use of water for crop production, reducing tillage and cultivation, incorporating cover crops, reducing erosion, and utilizing other new farming practices. These types of projects may qualify to receive grant funding. The proposals are due November 20, 2014. A total of approximately $400,000 is available for this grant program. Grant recipients have 22 months to complete their projects. Individual grants can be up to $7,500, and up to approximately $22,500 for groups of three or more farmers. NCR-SARE expects to fund about 50 projects in the twelve-state NCR region for the 2015 production season. Interested applicants will be able to find the call for proposals online at http://www.northcentralsare.org/. If you have any questions regarding the program contact Joan Benjamin, Farmer Ranch Grant Program Coordinator, at email@example.com or 800-529-1342. Producers are encouraged to develop proposals with the help of extension agents, consultants, and other agricultural professionals. The projects will be evaluated by farmers and professionals working in agriculture.
Extension Agronomist Broadleaf Crops
Frost Damaged Soybean
The late planting season and relatively cool summer have increased the potential for frost damage to occur in not yet mature soybean this fall. Soybean plants are easily damaged by temperatures in the 28 to 32⁰F range.
Research information from Wisconsin has shown that all varieties tested had reduced yields when frost occurred at or before the R6 growth stage. The R6 growth stage is defined as ‘full seed’ – the stage at which time pods contain green seeds that fill the pod cavity at one of the four uppermost nodes on the main stem with a fully developed leaf and occur in more than half the plants in the field. Earlier-maturing varieties sustained economic yield losses from frost at more advanced growth stages than later-maturing varieties. The greatest yield losses occurred when frost damaged plants at the R5 growth stage. The number of beans per plant and reduced bean size contribute to overall yield loss.
Generally speaking, soybean fields planted to narrow row spacing (6 or 7 to 12 inches) may have slightly more tolerance to light frosts than soybean planted in wider rows (30 to 36 inches). The heavy plant canopy of the solid-seeded, closely drilled beans tends to hold the soil heat better and therefore protects the plants to some degree.
With a dense canopy a light frost (30 to 32 F, during a short period) may kill the upper leaves but the frost may not penetrate into the lower canopy. The killed leaves initially turn blackish. Once the upper leaves have been damaged an additional frost event will most likely penetrate deeper into the canopy and do damage to the leaves and stems.
If the plants have reached the R7 growth stage, yield reductions due to below freezing temperatures may be limited. The R7 growth (beginning maturity) occurs when one normal pod on the main stem has reached its mature pod color. A frost between R6 and R7 may or may not affect yield, depending on temperature and duration of freeze.
Frost-damaged soybeans generally can be harvested as long as the plants reached the R6 growth stage at the time the killing frost occurred. Frost-damaged soybeans may have higher moisture content and possibly are more difficult to thresh. Adjust the combine by reducing the concave clearance and adjust the cylinder speed if needed. Remove as much chaff and green plant material as possible before storing beans.
Severely frost damaged plants may dry down more slowly. The beans will need to be dried to a safe moisture level for storage (12% for 6 months). Electronic moisture meters may underestimate the moisture content in green and immature soybeans and actual moisture content may be 1.0 to1.5 percentage points higher.
Green and immature soybeans are considered damaged seed at the elevator. Elevators may discount loads with green and or immature soybeans and in some cases may reject entire loads if the damage levels are high.
Extension Agronomist Broadleaf Crops
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
IPM Survey Summary for Insect Pests
The goal of the IPM Survey is to detect the presence severity of diseases and insect pests that are common in agricultural crops grown in North Dakota and to verify the absence of pests that might be of export concern. The following crops were surveyed in 2014: wheat, barley, canola, soybean, and sunflower. Survey scouts operated out of the Dickinson Research Extension Center, the North Central Research Extension Center (Minot), the Williston Research Extension Center, the Carrington Research Extension Center, the Langdon Research Extension Center, and the Fargo Agricultural Experiment Station. NDSU IPM field scouts surveyed a total of 3491 wheat fields, 327 barley fields, 1261 soybean fields and 315 sunflower fields. In addition to fields surveyed, field scouts also set out pheromone traps for sunflower insects and two exotic insect pests, as well as collected soil samples from wheat fields for exotic nematode detection. University of Minnesota Extension cooperates with NDSU Extension on the IPM Survey for wheat and barley.
Some of the IPM highlights for insect pests are summarized below:
Grasshoppers were surveyed in field edges of all crops. A total of 4,915 fields was surveyed in North Dakota and Minnesota. Grasshoppers were found in 41% of fields surveyed from early June through the end of survey (mid-August). The average number of grasshoppers per square yard was only 2.6 with ranges from 1 to 125 per square yard. Populations of grasshoppers were the highest in the northwest, central and southeast regions of North Dakota. Most fields were generally below recommended treatment levels throughout North Dakota (see map). This may have been due to the wet weather conditions in June that were not favorable for grasshopper emergence and development.
WHEAT: Small Grain Aphids were found in about 18% of the fields surveyed (see map). The average was low with only 15.9% of the plants infested with aphids, with ranges from 0 to 76%. Aphids were detected late - end of June or early July. The cool wet June kept aphid populations low and few insecticide treatments were needed for control of wheat aphids. The treatment threshold is when 85% of stems have one or more aphids present prior to completion of heading.
Wheat stem maggots (Meromyza americana) were low and observed in only 10% of fields surveyed in 2014. The range was from 1 to 28 percent of infested plants with white heads.
Wheat stem sawfly (Cephus cinctus) populations continue to be low and observed in only 1% of the field surveyed in 2014. The number of sawflies per 20 sweeps ranged from 1 to 9.
Cereal Leaf Beetle: Cereal leaf beetle (Oulema melanopus) is an export concern for shipments of hay from North Dakota to California or Canada and is monitored for state regulatory purposes. Cereal leaf beetle was detected in 12 wheat fields in Williams and McKenzie Counties of North Dakota. However, these counties are already confirmed as positive for cereal leaf beetle.
BARLEY: The number of barley thrips (Limothrips denticornis) was detected in only 8% of the fields surveyed. However, the average number of thrips per stem was 8.4, with ranges between 2 and 28. Economic levels of barley thrips is at 4-8 thrips per stem based on 2014 market prices for barley. High populations were detected in the central region of ND.
SOYBEAN: Soybean Aphid (Aphis glycines) were found in 20% of all fields surveyed and were observed from late July to the end of survey period (mid-August), mainly in southeast North Dakota. Soybean aphid population increased rapidly after the IPM Survey was done. Many fields reached economic threshold levels late (mid- to late August) and required an insecticide treatment for control of soybean aphids.
Many thanks to the field crop scouts of 2014: Kyle Aasand, Coy Bata, Nicole Brunner, Brandi Herauf, Caitlin Hofman, and Michaela Halvorson. We also appreciate the hard work of Darla Bakko and Keith Abeyratne, NDSU Dept. of Plant Pathology for data compilation and ArcMap programming.
Corn Rootworms – Low Root Damage Ratings
Corn rootworms are becoming a more common insect pest of corn in North Dakota. Northern corn rootworms are more common this year than the western corn rootworms. We suspect that the eggs of western corn rootworm did not survive the cold temperatures this past winter in North Dakota. Other states also are reporting lower populations of corn rootworms, especially western corn rootworms. Adult western corn rootworm can be identified by their gold color, three black strips on wing covers and black head. The black strips merge together on the male beetle so the wing covers appear mostly black. Adult northern corn rootworms are light green.
Biology: During the late summer months, adult female rootworms deposit eggs in the soil of corn fields. Eggs overwinter and hatch into larvae the following spring (June). Larvae are white to cream and have a brown head and anal plate. Significant root damage can be caused by larvae, which feed on small and primary roots for three to four weeks. Larvae pass through three instars (or growth stages) and are mature at ½ inch long. In a severe situation, larvae can completely destroy the root system, which causes yield loss and lodged or “gooseneck” corn making harvest difficult. Mature larvae will transform into pupae (resting stage) for one to two weeks. In August, adult beetles will emerge from the puparia in the soil and start feeding on corn foliage, pollen and silks. Adults live for about 10 to 12 weeks.
Corn producers have adopted planting corn hybrids that are genetically modified to express toxins from Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) and non-Bt refuge corn as a major strategy for corn rootworm pest management. It is a good idea to dig some corn plants and rate roots for corn rootworm damage to evaluate the performance of your Bt-corn. See NDSU Extension YouTube Video on “Root Assessment for Corn Rootworm Larval Feeding Injury in Field Corn” or http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_3FvOXqOSpc
We just dug roots to evaluate performance of one of our Bt-corn trials for corn rootworm control in Cass County. For larval root feeding activity, roots are rated using the 0 to 3 node-injury scale where 0 is no damage and 3 indicates the equivalent of three root nodes pruned to 1.5 inch or shorter by corn rootworm larvae (Oleson et al. 2005). Overall, root damage ratings were very low (Table 1). The untreated check only had an average root damage rating of 0.116, which is not considered economic. A root rating of 0.25 is needed to have significant damage.
Soybean Cyst Nematode Field Days
The NDSU extension Service and the North Dakota Soybean Council will be hosting three Soybean Cyst Nematode field days in the next two weeks. Each field day will have SCN-resistant variety SCN-seed treatment demonstration plots, discussion about sampling strategy and distribution of SCN sampling bags. Attendees will receive three SCN sample bags that can be filled and sent to the laboratory for analysis (for SCN), the cost will be covered by the North Dakota Soybean Council. Speakers will include Dr. Sam Markell (Extension plant pathologist), Drs. Ted Helms (soybean breeder) or Hans Kandel (Extension Agronomist), and John Kringler, Alyssa Scheve and/or Brock Shouldis, Extension agents in Cass, Traill and Richland Counties, respectively.
Dates and Locations:
(All field days begin at 10:00am and conclude with lunch.)
Thursday, September 18th – Cass County by Hunter on County Road 26 - Two miles west of Hwy 18 – On the North side of the road.
Monday, September 22nd – Richland County by Wyndmere at the intersection of Hwy 13 and 155 ½ Avenue S.E. – On the south side of the intersection, just west of Wyndmere.
Tuesday, September 23rd – Traill County by Galesburg – East of the intersection of 148th Avenue S.E. and 8th Street. To get the field day from Galesburg: go 2 miles East, 2 miles north, go ½ mile east and cross the stream, go ¼ mile south, plot is on the east side of the road.
Extension Plant Pathologist, Broad-leaf Crop