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Southwest ND (08/01/19)

Information from the Southwest region of North Dakota.

Row crops are looking great in most of region. While there aren’t many winter wheat fields in the region, much of the winter wheat in the area will be ready to harvest within the week. Field peas are reaching maturity. Black chaff and fusarium head blight are becoming evident in many small grain fields in the region. While it is difficult to predict what weather conditions will bring next year, it may be a good time to take note on which varieties are susceptible, and which are more tolerant for next year. For fusarium head blight and other diseases, be sure to take crop rotation into consideration.

While the growing season has brought plenty of moisture for many, things are beginning to dry out for now. According to NDAWN from July 19th to July 29th no rainfall fell in Dickinson, 0.2 inch in Mott, 0.95 inch in Hettinger, and 1.83 inch in Bowman. Parts of fields with pH below 5.5 are becoming more and more evident across the region with symptoms of Aluminum toxicity. Be sure to look into liming options. While no-till and fertilizer usage has concentrated these low pH zones, tillage should not be considered a solution to this issue. While some are considering tillage as a short-term solution to acidic soils, it is necessary to take into consideration potential long-term costs from surface erosion, reduction in soil water holding capacity, nutrient cycling, and soil biology. While this year has been wet, we aren’t guaranteed to be wet in the future. No-till has done a great job of building the soils in southwest North Dakota over time and there are other solutions to the issue. Remember it takes many years to form an inch of topsoil; keep it in your field.

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Ryan Buetow

Extension Cropping Systems Specialist

NDSU Dickinson 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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