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Waterhemp Emergence Confirmed in at Least Four Counties in North Dakota and Minnesota (05/07/20)

Waterhemp emergence was confirmed in Cass county North Dakota and in Kandiyohi, Renville, and Yellow Medicine counties in Minnesota between May 1 and 4, 2020.

Waterhemp emergence was confirmed in Cass county North Dakota and in Kandiyohi, Renville, and Yellow Medicine counties in Minnesota between May 1 and 4, 2020. Approximately 100 growing degree days (GDDs) (base 45F) accumulated between January 1 and May 5 according to the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) station near Sabin, MN. Iowa State University research and research conducted at NDSU in 2016 and 2017 reported waterhemp emerges at approximately 300 to 350 GDDs or approximately May 20 in Fargo. Waterhemp emergence was corroborated by Dr. Joe Ikley, NDSU Extension Weed Specialist, reporting emergence on May 1 at an additional location. Our observations in Minnesota and North Dakota are in alignment with observations in nearby states. Dr. Rodrigo Werle, Extension Cropping Systems Specialists at the University of Wisconsin reported waterhemp emergence earlier in 2020 than emergence in previous years.

Why is waterhemp emerging in early May in 2020 as compared to mid-May in previous years? Several ideas might explain our observations. First, early heavy snow might have insulated the soil, reducing the depth of frost and contributed to winter’s frost rapidly coming out of the ground compared to other years when frost moved deeper into the soil and persisted further into spring. Second, Extension has created tremendous waterhemp awareness during winter programing. Our stakeholders are very capable of identifying waterhemp and may have found and reported it earlier than other years. Finally

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Tom Peters

Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist

NDSU & U of MN

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