NDSU Extension - Ramsey County


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April 2, 2012 Horticultural Column


Well another nice week.  I have been pleasantly surprised how nice the weather has been and also surprised how wet the fields have been.  With the longer than very much normal temperatures I would have expected drier fields and someone in the county out and about, being the first one in the field.  Winter wheat is looking very good at this point (I have checked four different fields).  There appears to be no winter injury and with the drier conditions, much less drowned or flooded areas.  “If” weather conditions stay where we have been, much above normal, IT WOULD APPEAR we could be harvesting winter wheat in July.  I had a private pesticide training, in Hampden, and was told by one producer that he had planted crop in February and was completely done with falls work by the first week of August.  Would that ever be a switch from what we have been facing for the last several years.  Due to starting in April, it appears we will not have to worry about an early fall completion plus the fact we have new crops in the rotation that would not allow that precedence to happen.

Resistant Weed Management

There has been much discussion about Resistant Weed Management and the discussion will continue as the amount of pressure from not only a handful of weed species but also the increase of other weeds becoming more tolerant to a certain herbicide will expand.  How we manage our cropping rotations and also our herbicide rotations will play a large role in the weed resistant strategies.  Some of you will likely say “this will  not happen to me” or “I am really sick of hearing about the topic” and my comeback to you will be “what is your plan or strategy once you have weeds that are no longer controlled by the great herbicides we have been using “  How will you control those weeds in a setting where cropping rotations will not allow the use of a different mode of action from planting restrictions.  I am not going to ask you to quit what you have been using but to manage your mode of actions to help alleviate a very big problem.

As we move forward with our agricultural future we do need to be thinking of strategies to stop the area of growth of salinity, reduce the area size or eliminate the problem entirely.  We have established the saline demonstration site west of Edmore on the Bob Freije farm.  Soil samples have shown a one half reduction in Sodium content (as of one year later soil sampling) and has also shown a reduced Magnesium rate along with other sodium or sodistic soil qualities.  To add to the saline study at Edmore Bob has agreed to let us do a small cover crop study to plant cover crops on a part of the study that did not get tiled and run that study over the very east end of the tiled area.  This will allow us to further study if cover crops or cover crops over tile will reduce or eliminate the saline areas.  When we get the trial done I will further describe what and how the trial will look for you to monitor it more closely.

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