NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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June 13, 2011 Agriculture Column



Project Safe Send, North Dakota’s annual collection of unusable pesticides, will be conducted at 12 locations in July. “Project Safe Send helps farmers, ranchers, homeowners and businesses get rid of unusable  esticides safely, legally and free of charge,” said Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring. “It is a safe, simple and nonregulatory program that has been used by thousands of people to dispose of more than 2 million pounds of chemicals.” The program accepts old, unusable or banned pesticides, including herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides and fungicides. The collected pesticides are shipped out of state for  ncineration. Project Safe Send is funded through product registration fees paid by pesticide manufacturers. Goehring said people should check their storage areas for any unusable pesticides and safely set them aside for Project Safe Send. “If the containers are deteriorating or leaking, pack them in larger containers with absorbent materials,” Goehring said. “Free, heavy‐duty plastic bags are available from the North Dakota Department of Agriculture.” People with more than 1,000 pounds of pesticides should preregister. No other pre‐registration is required. A maximum of 20,000 pounds of pesticides per participant will be accepted. Pesticide rinse water will also be accepted. The first 100 pounds of rinse water will be taken free of charge; a fee of $1 per pound will be applied for each additional pound. To pre‐register, obtain plastic bags or for more information, contact Jessica Johnson at the North Dakota Department of Agriculture at (800) 242‐ 7535 or jnjohnson@nd.gov .


The collections will run from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. local time at the North Dakota Department of Transportation facilities in the cities displayed in the table below.

Andrew A. Thostenson ‐ Pesticide Program Specialist



7/7 Stanley – 8250 62nd St. NW – From the junction of US Hwy 2 and ND Hwy 8, N. on ND 8 to Sixth Ave. SE, W. approx. ¼ mile; shop is on N. side of Sixth Ave. SE.

7/8 Williston – 605 Dakota Parkway W – On bypass US Hwy 2 and US Hwy 85 (across from the Kum & Go gas station).

7/11 Dickinson – 1700 Third Ave. W Ste. 101 – On east side of ND Hwy 22, one‐half mile N. of the junction of I‐94 and ND Hwy 22.

7/12 Center – 3738 Highway 25 – First building on the E. edge of Center on the south side of Hwy 25.

7/13 Medina – 3682 55th Ave. SE – E. side of road just N. of the Medina exit on I‐94.

7/14 Fessenden – 1570 43rd Ave. E – S. end of Fessenden on E. side of US Hwy 52, next to the fairgrounds.

7/15 Towner – 401 Airport Road – N. on Main St. (ND14) to railroad viaduct, then one‐quarter mile N. to first gravel road – E. side.

7/18 Devils Lake – 1905 Schwan Ave. NW – 2½ miles west of Devils Lake Industrial Park, south side of US Hwy 2.

7/19 Cavalier – 9398 138th Ave. NE – 3 miles W. of Cavalier, S. side of ND Hwy 5.

7/20 Grand Forks – 1951 N Washington St. – From I‐29 take Gateway exit, go east to Highway 81 (Washington St), go north 1 mile.

7/21 Casselton – 15482 37th St. SE‐ take I‐94 Exit 331, go north on ND 18, take frontage road west about ¾ mile.

7/22 Lidgerwood – 25 Fourth Ave. SE – On the south side of Lidgerwood on Hwy 11.



The situation Several calls have come in this week regarding mostly spring wheat that looks yellow that had N fall‐applied.

The first lessonThe first lesson to learn is when to apply fall N in the future, because most growers and their suppliers jumped the starting gate last fall. There is no perfect time to apply N, but the following are guidelines that will lead to successful retention of N in all but the most unusual fall‐spring time periods. North Dakota State University CROP & PEST REPORT June 9, 2011

1. Do not apply ANY N until Oct. 1, even if the soil temp falls below 50 degrees for a time. (Weather history in the region shows us that cool periods are possible in September, but in many years, temperatures can rise later in the fall and can contribute to conditions that will result in transformation of ammonium/urea‐N to nitrate‐nitrification‐that leads to possible N losses through the late winter and early spring).

2. After October 1, check soil temperatures between 8AM and 10AM. When soil temperature falls to 50 degrees, it is time to apply anhydrous ammonia. You might choose to add a nitrification inhibitor such as N‐Serve™ to the ammonia if you fear it might warm up in the next few weeks, but in most years the ammonia is fairly stable without it, according to NDSU work conducted in the late ‘70’s. DO NOT START APPLYING BANDED OR BROADCAST UREA WHEN THE AMMONIA TANKS START ROLLING! Anhydrous ammonia has some initial nitrification inhibiting properties for a week or two after its application due to high ammonia content and high pH. These inhibiting properties first disappear at the edges of the ammonia band aura, and works its way into the center of the band later on.

3. A week AFTER the soil temperatures fall to 50 degrees after October 1, it is time to apply banded urea. This is a common practice especially in western ND and is becoming more common in some areas of eastern ND. There is a small nitrification inhibiting advantage to banding urea over broadcast, but not as much as with anhydrous, thus waiting a week after ammonia application begins is prudent.

4. Two weeks AFTER the soil temperatures fall to 50 degrees after October 1, it is time to apply broadcast urea. Broadcast urea has no nitrification inhibiting properties and as soon as the urease attacks and splits the urea into ammonium, the nitrification bacteria are free to transform it into nitrate. Last fall (fall 2010), many growers looked at the calendar; worse, some just looked at their work load and started in September‐bad year for that call! If you followed the guidelines above, you would have begun anhydrous application in SE North Dakota about October 15. Banded urea should have started October 22, with broadcast urea delayed until October 29. Unfortunately, many N  applications started well before these dates, and therefore contributed greatly to the yellow wheat seen in a number of fields.

The second lessonWhat to do? Ideally, apply before the wheat or other small grain is less than the 5‐leaf stage with stream‐bar UAN. UAN tends to be cheaper compared to other liquid sources and it is half ammonium nitrate which does not volatilize. Even without a significant rain for a long time, there will still be about half the N around to at least contribute to greater protein if rain is received later. Also, applying urea‐N in a stream reduces the rate of urease activity for reasons I do not understand, but studies show that this is true.


If the wheat is at the 5‐leaf stage and yellow, this is a bad thing since heavy decisions regarding yield potential are being made inside the plant. If your supplier has access to a straight urea solution, broadcast urea‐solution will contribute to immediate foliar feeding, and with the projected weather through the weekend forecast in the 60’s at most, leaf burning will be minimal. If leaf burn occurs, take the opportunity to make renewed acquaintance with neighbors and just accept it. If you stream‐bar UAN at the 5‐leaf stage, you need a rain very soon (1‐2 days) for the wheat to recover enough to reach near‐full yield potential. If it doesn’t rain very soon your yield potential is noticeably reduced.


At the earlier stages (2‐3 leaf wheat) urea granules applied with a floater will also work if it rains and the wheat will be small enough that driving over it will not interfere appreciably with growth. Agrotain™ with the urea would be a good plan unless rain is forecast and received very soon after application. At later stages (4+ leaf wheat) I would not recommend floater application unless there is no other way to apply the fertilizer and you accept that wheat that is run over will be shorter and less productive than wheat that is not run over. Dave Franzen ‐ NDSU Extension Soil Specialist david.franzen@ndsu.edu


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