NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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June 11, 2012 Agriculture Column


The wind is a howling today as I write this article (Monday).  The weather man was talking gusts of up to 40 plus miles an hour.  Hang on.  There has been some real streaky rains in the county and surrounding communities.  The northern teer has be receiving more rains than other areas of the county but in general we should be o.k. for a while.  I know there is still a couple areas where rain was not as plentiful but should get us all by.  The crops are generally looking very good.  I have not done any probing but it does appear some sulfur defiency may be showing up in some crops.  What I have looked at so far looks to be fairly disease free with a few exceptions.  I have been involved with some herbicide damage this spring and most cases have been with winter wheat.  I was on vacation the last three days last week and had a grower call on winter wheat injury.  A thought about herbicide application did arise about removing canola from the winter wheat stand as we did have a very heavy stand of volunteer canola last fall.  Canola is a very likely crop to follow winter wheat with and finding a herbicide that will destroy or reduce volunteer canola is of top priority.  Read through the label to find likely herbicides that will fit your issue.  Like always read and follow the label of the herbicide you are using for the crop you want to make the application.

There has been some questions pertaining to blister beetles in alfalfa.  Blister beetles like alfalfa at the blooming stage of the plant.  Blister beetles can cause harm to livestock as they contain a cantharidin.  Blister beetles containing the toxin cantharidin can be incorporated with alfalfa during forage conservation. Blister beetle contaminated hay is almost always the result of beetles being crushed prior to baling. Beetles are killed by the crimper rollers and trapped in the hay. Remains of blister beetles may be concentrated in a small portion of the hay from a field. Beetles are also killed and trapped when forage is driven on before the beetles have had time to escape. If left alone, the vast majority of beetles leave alfalfa shortly after cutting.

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