Crop & Pest Report


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Northwest ND (06/08/17)

Information from the Northwest region of North Dakota.

NW ND is hoping for rain. Scattered thundershowerskeene.1 2 moved through the area Monday night but most places received less than 0.1”, not enough to incorporate urea, activate soil-applied herbicides, or help the crops. A few very localized areas of north central Williams, south central Divide, and north central McKenzie had a little more rain, 0.5-1.0”, but most of the NW is dry and getting drier with temperatures in the 80’s and 90’s.

Early-planted HRSW at the Williston REC dryland farm has started jointing with 2 nodes above the ground. Lower leaves are yellowing because of water stress. Other crops such as pea and canola are emerged but progress is slow, everything is waiting for rain.

There is some cutworm feeding on crops at the Williston REC and there are reports of widespread cutworm damage in SW ND. Scout your crops for cutworms as they emerge and keep in mind that economic thresholds are generally lower for cutworms under drought conditions. Controlling cutworms is more challenging under drought conditions because the cutworms feed under the soil surface or residue and don’t climb up the crops like they do when temperatures are cooler and there is more moisture. Time spraying to early morning or evening when cutworms are more likely to emerge to feed and insecticides can get better contact.

On the horticultural side of things, I have received many walk-ins and calls about small brown to black beetles feeding on trees. These are gray willow leaf beetles and they prefer to feed on the leaves of cottonwood, aspen, poplar, and willow trees. These beetles are completely harmless to people and pets and usually do not cause significant damage to mature trees. We do not know why they are so abundant this year, perhaps because many trees are drought stressed. Watering trees is likely the most practical means of reducing the impact of beetle injury on the tree. If you have a small or young tree that needs to be protected, i.e. more than 25-30% or the leaves have been removed, it may be practical to spray. The active ingredient carbaryl is effective against gray willow leaf beetle. Use caution as carbaryl is toxic to honeybees and other beneficial insects. Spray in the evening after pollinator activity has subsided to help protect bees. As with all pesticides, read and follow label instructions.



Clair Keene

Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems

NDSU Williston Research Extension Center

This site is supported in part by the Crop Protection and Pest Management Program [grant no. 2017-70006-27144/accession 1013592] from the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture. Any opinions, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed are those of the website author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the view of the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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