Crop & Pest Report


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Northwest ND (08/01/19)

Information from the Northwest region of North Dakota.

Sunny days and hotter temperatures are in the forecast for the next 5 days with highs in the 90’s for much of Northwest ND. Cool-season crops are maturing, and early planted fields are starting to turn color. Here’s an update of crop progress at the Williston REC: winter wheat hard dough, durum late milk to early dough, spring wheat late milk to medium dough, pea pods starting to turn yellow to brown, lentil green with full pods to starting to dry down and turning yellow, canola pods starting to turn yellow and seeds yellow with a few green present, flax showing some brown bolls but stems still green, and soybean R3 early pod. Winter wheat harvest will likely start next week and some producers are considering desiccating peas this week or next.

With the dry May and early June followed by rain in late June and early July, some winter wheat and early planted spring wheat and durum fields have a lot of late tiller heads that are causing concern. The main heads are dough stages and will be ready to harvest within a week or two, while the late tillers, also called sucker heads, are still green and may still even be flowering. This is a challenging situation, but there are options: swathing, desiccation, and waiting. Swathing is a good option for an effective kill of the late tillers and allowing the primary crop to dry down evenly; though two operations may not be desirable, swathing is very effective and terminating the crop and controlling weeds that may have escaped. Desiccation can also work, but good coverage of the late tillers lower in the canopy is challenging; desiccation is also helpful for late-season weed control, but it will be ineffective at preventing seed set from winter annuals like horseweed that are setting seed now. Waiting may also be a good option this year. With hot and dry conditions predicted to dominate the 10-day forecast, allowing the main crop to mature fully and the late tillers to also dry could be a good strategy and save the time and cost of either swathing or desiccation.


Clair Keene

Extension Cropping Systems Specialist

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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