Crop & Pest Report


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Weather Forecast (04/29/21)

The April 29 to May 4, 2021 Weather Summary and Outlook

As we begin a new growing season, I wanted to pass along a few links that may be useful during the next several months.  The NDAWN team has created a new website with current data and rainfall for the past seven days at An example of what those maps look like is displayed in Figure 1.  That site will have current data and rainfall for all NDAWN stations, including several sites in northwestern North Dakota that are rain gauge only stations.  Included on that website are links to more detailed maps in northwestern North Dakota associated with our “WISERoads” Project and a zoomed in map of current conditions in central Minnesota associated with NDAWN’s cooperative work with the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA).  That website also contains links to the camera images that are available at approximately 50 stations. 

Another website that would be useful for many of you is .  That gives personal links to all NDAWN stations, including links to soil moisture data at stations with such information.  Approximately 50 NDAWN stations have soil moisture information available, with several more sites expected to be added this summer. Plus, don’t forget about our main website at: .  Several stations are expected to be added to that site in the next week or two, plus that is the website to get crop disease data, growing degree day information and other pertinent information.  Also, a reminder about our two mobile apps.  The inversion app to give you real time inversion alerts during spray season and for potato growers our potato late/early blight app.  Both of those apps are available on the App Store for iPhone users and in Google Play for Android users.


The rain and snow that fell over the past week mostly impacted the southern one-third of North Dakota into west central Minnesota (Figure 1).  The next potential wide spread precipitation occurrence looks to be early next week.  My strong suspicion is like many rain/snow systems in recent weeks the moisture that does fall will probably not impact all areas and amounts will mostly on the light side with the potential of localized higher amounts.  If you thought the past week was on the chilly side, it was not your imagination.  Average temperatures for the period between April 21 through April 27 were mostly in the 10 to 5 degrees below average range (Figure 2).  This upcoming 7-day period looks much warmer. 

This warmer air will move into western North Dakota on Friday where temperatures may reach the lower 80s.  Eastern North Dakota may record temperatures near 80° or higher on Saturday. Of note, both Friday and Saturday in particular, fire danger will likely be high as those warmer temperatures will come with low humidity and a strong wind. Cooler temperatures will return early next week with the threat of rain mentioned earlier, but indications are that after a couple of days, by the end of next week, temperatures should once again get to or above average for temperatures. 

A very common question to me lately deals with my thoughts of when our last freezing temperatures may occur. Some of you may have recorded a frost or a freeze this morning (Thursday) with especially northeastern North Dakota and northwestern Minnesota having another potential tomorrow (Friday).  One more frost or freeze potential looks to be occurring on Monday morning (May 3) during this forecasted period.  With soils dry across much of the region, the potential would exist for a later than average freeze this year as drier soils allow for an increase in radiational cooling.

The projected growing degree days (GDDs) base 32°, 44° and 50° for the period of April 29 through May 5, 2021 can be found in Figure 3. Most of the heat units this week will occur Friday through Sunday, then again toward the middle of next week.




Daryl Ritchison


Director of the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network



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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