Northwest ND (09/15/16)
The first days of September and Labor Day weekend brought rain to most of the Northwest counties. Crosby had about 0.5” on Friday and another almost 0.7” on Wednesday the 7th. Williston got about 0.25” on Labor Day and about 0.4” the following day. Watford City received a total of 0.75” between Sunday and Labor Day and another almost 0.5” on Wednesday the 7th. Almost all small grains in the region had been harvested prior to the rain but this moisture has delayed the harvest of later-maturing crops like soybean, corn, and sunflower. Similarly, most flax and canola were harvested before the rain, but for those fields still standing, it may be a few days before the ground dries out enough to allow combines back in the field.
Cooler temperatures came in to the region over the weekend of the 10th and gave some areas their first frost of the season overnight of the 12th. Cooler temperatures and the rain will likely push back soybean harvest, but warmer temperatures are expected to return over the weekend and into the first half of next week.
For growers considering planting winter wheat, I strongly advise them to “break the green bridge” and control volunteer wheat and grassy weeds prior to planting. Wheat Streak Mosaic Virus (WSMV) was confirmed in many fields in Williams, Mountrail, and McKenzie Counties this summer and caused substantial yield loss and crop failure in some cases. WSMV is carried by the wheat curl mite which cannot be controlled with insecticides. The wheat curl mite needs green, living plant tissue to survive and moves from small grains to grassy weeds as crops dry down. To prevent the mites from entering newly-emerged winter wheat, ensure that all volunteer wheat plants and grassy weed hosts (cheat, Japanese brome, jointed goatgrass) are dead for at least two weeks prior to planting winter wheat. Also avoid planting winter wheat next to late-maturing, still-green corn as corn can also host the mites. If your field or neighboring fields had WSMV this year, consider rotating to a broadleaf crop such as canola, flax, or soybean that is not susceptible to WSMV and gives you multiple grass weed control options.
Event Alert: The Divide County Crop Improvement Association and NDSU Extension will be hosting a 2016 Crops Meeting in the Crosby Community Center Wednesday, September 21 from 5:30 to 8:00 pm. Come meet Brandon Biwer, the new Divide County ag agent and hear presentations on scab in wheat, small-grain variety trial results, and herbicide options for crop safety and weed control in pulses. This meeting is free to attend and a hamburger supper will be served starting at 5:30.
Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems
NDSU Williston Research Extension Center