NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


| Share

March 5, 2012 Agriculture Column


The weather looks like it is going to warm up considerably by the weekend.  Will be farming in April this year?  IT HAS BEEN ONE LONG TIME SINCE THAT HAS HAPPENED.  On Sunday we talked about the last time we were able to start in April and between us no one could remember the year.  Some are predicting a very wet mid to late May season so better get our crop in early or wait until June, hahahaha.  Sometime in the sixties, am not sure when,  but do remember I was quite young when this happened my grandfather had a field of Durum planted just to the west of the farm site in March.  Grandpa was always very anxious to get planting but that did seem a little early.  About a week later a snow storm came through dumping a significant amount of snow.  The durum crop turned quite o.k. but this is just to illustrate how weather patterns can change.

I was told by a producer that NDSU research is not accurate and that we should be thinking differently on our soybean aphid recommendation.  The comment was made that as soon as you see an insect you start the spray program as insecticides are quite cheap, in the $2-$3/acre range.  My question to you, as the producer, how much money do you want to spend on your crop?  Profitability does not matter.  Do you want to spray your crop 2-3-4-5 times because you see an insect or should you follow researched data by a non-biased institution?  The current recommendation for soybean aphids established by many universities across the soybean belt would say do not make an application until there are 250 aphids.  At this point you could see an economic threshold change in crop production.  My question to the comment of spray when you see an insect is how much money are you willing to spend on a crop?  I do not know what custom applicators would charge but thinking in the $6-8/acre range.  So if we do the math, you spray you first application of one or two insects with a cost of $10 acre, a week later another insect is spotted and we spray again (even if the insecticide is free the cost of the application is still $6-8/acre) and two weeks later a larger flush moves in but not still to the university reccomendations and you make another application (another $10/ acre cost).  Your  neighbor follows the recommendations of the land grant university and never reaches an economic threshold and saves the $30/ acre that you invested.  The bean crop is average with a yield of 22 bushels.  I am not sure but it would seem that a recommended threshold could mean the difference of a profit or not.  Please be careful of some of the information that is being provided especially if that information is providing the pesticide.  One last thing to remember is the resistant aspect of any additional applications.  We are finding herbicide tolerant Kochia in Ramsey County, do we want to start the same process with insects?    


            March 5                       Commercial ornamental and turf            Devils Lake     

            March 13                     Private Pesticide training           Hampden

            March 27                     Private Pesticide training           Devils Lake

            April 10                        Private Pesticide training           Devils Lake

            April 14                        Grand Forks Gardening Saturday


Creative Commons License
Feel free to use and share this content, but please do so under the conditions of our Creative Commons license and our Rules for Use. Thanks.