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Southwest ND (8/17/17)

Information from the Southwest region of North Dakota.

More rain has fallen in parts of the southwest in the past couple of weeks than has fallen prior this growing season. The rain that has fallen has been very scattered, NDAWN observed 0.2 inch on August 15th in Dickinson, but there are reports from just outside of town of more than an inch. From August 1st to August 15th NDAWN observed rainfall in Dickinson to be 1.61 inch, 1.77 inch in Hettinger, and 2.15 inches in Mott. There are still many that need more rain, but over the past week many roadside ditches, pastures, and lawns across the region started greening up. This flush of moisture has also caused some issues. The soil this spring was so dry during planting that many seeds just sat in the soil, many canola fields that are dried down and ready for harvest have a thick carpet of green coming up from seeds that hadn’t germinated until recently. Along with untimely crop growth, this rain has also brought on a wave of weed seedlings. The rain is too late to help yields of most crops. For soybeans, number of pods and number of seeds per pod has already been set, and for sunflowers, head size is already set, but this rain should help with seed size. Corn fields are looking nice and green now, however issues from the extreme heat and dry weather we had really hurt pollination and there is variability within fields in crop height and ear size. For each kernel of corn, one silk needs to be fertilized by a grain of pollen. Extreme heat may desiccate silks. In the picture below, you can see the effects that the heat had on ears of corn here at the Dickinson Research Extension Center. While some ears did fill out nicely others are shortened and irregular.

buetow

The recent rains have kept local producers from working in the fields, but small grain harvest continues across the region. Most yields range from hay bales up to 30 bushels/acre. Herbicide applications are on the mind of many with this fresh flush of weeds. With all of this growth coming up late in the season, be sure to keep post-harvest weed control in mind, especially if planting winter wheat. With proper management, we can avoid the wheat streak mosaic virus issues that we had this spring.

This is our IPM scout Marc Michaelson’s last week before he heads back to Fargo for the school year. I’d like to thank Marc for doing a great job scouting for the issues that affect southwest ND agriculture.

 

Ryan Buetow

Area Extension Specialist/Cropping Systems

NDSU Dickinson Research Extension Center

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