NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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June 14, 2010 Agriculture Column


Well the sun is shining today (Monday) but will have to wait and see what the weather man brings tonight and tomorrow (Tuesday).  We did have severe weather move through the county last Tuesday night which brought some rain, hail and then other areas that did not receive any rain.  There was some hail damage the southern part of the county that did some damage but in most cases the crop should recover nicely but will definitely delay maturity.  There may have been a couple of areas with more damage but they are going to wait and see what happens this week to determine the amount of recovery of the crop.  Most crops are pretty good about coming back however when we talk about soybeans and edible beans that a whole different story.  GDD’S are starting to add up but we are 14 units behind normal with our current GDD being 410, using May 1 start date.


The early season cutworms (dingy cutworm, pale western cutworm, army cutworm, stripped cutworm) are still active in the Northern tier of North Dakota. Pat Beauzay and I were in the northwest and north central regions of North Dakota on June 7-8 of this week. We found mature dingy cutworm larvae in peas and cereal grains that were at non-economic levels. I also received reports of high populations of cutworms in canola from Renville County and in sunflower in Adams, Barnes and Stutsman Counties. The small (<½ inch), early instars (young caterpillars) of the late season cutworms like redbacked cutworms, darksided cutworm, variegated cutworms and black cutworms can be found now. The bottom line is to continue to be vigilant with cutworm scouting until the end of June. Cool temperatures will delay the cutworm development. Excessive cool, wet soils tend to amplify stand reduction by slowing plant development relative to cutworm feeding. In general, the number of cutworm reports has been lower this year, probably due to soil borne insect pathogens. For economic thresholds and insecticides registered in North Dakota for cutworm control, consult the 2010

Field Crop Insect Management Guide at:



The first reports of migratory cereal aphids have been reported in the north  central, south central and southeast regions of North Dakota. This is early in the season and although there are only low numbers of aphids present, now is the time to get out and scout. Continue scouting until the early flowering. If the weather turns more dry with moderate temperatures (mid-70s F to 80s F), aphid populations can explode quickly and reach economic threshold. To protect small grains from yield loss due to aphid feeding, use either economic threshold:

• 85% stems with at least one aphid present, prior to complete heading.

• 12-15 aphids per stem prior to complete heading Cereal aphids transmit a yield robbing disease called barley yellow dwarf virus (see McMullen’s article on page 6). When aphid populations are high, the disease can spread quickly through small grain fields. At greatest risk are later planted fields which attract migrating aphids that are moving from more mature fields.


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