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Wet Conditions Favor Some Crop Diseases - Project Safe Send

Published June 13, 2013

Wet Conditions Favor Some Crop Diseases

It seems with every environmental situation there are different threats to successfully producing a crop. This year is starting off to be different than most. The abundant rainfall certainly will be favorable for tan spot infection on small grains and possibly aphids.  The North Dakota Agriculture Weather Network (NDAWN) continually monitors weather conditions throughout the state. There are several monitoring sites in northwest North Dakota. Just about every location in the state has recorded continuous days that favor development of tan spot. As I traveled the eastern two-thirds of the county early this week, I found almost every field had some infection but the severity was relatively low. However, the spring seeded small grains are relatively young and very prone for tanspot development. Coupled with daytime temperatures in the 70’s-80’s, this disease could explode on our spring wheat, durum and barley. This maybe the year to be seriously thinking about making an early season application of a fungicide.  As expected, winter wheat fields are more advanced in growth but the disease severity is very similar to our spring seeded crops. Integrated Pest Management (IPM) crop scouts employed by NDSU have found a bit more tan spot infection on winter wheat but have not identified the presence any stripe rust. Winter wheat is at least several weeks away from concern over possible Fusarium head blight development.  Aphids are another potential problem. They are usually found on the undersides of the leaves. Their feeding has more impact on yields if found early in crop development. Aphid populations result mostly from immigrating insects which arrive on storm fronts from the southern states. As the plant matures, aphid populations move up the plant after heading where they are more easily noticed.  Besides their feeding damage, some aphids can vector the barely yellow dwarf virus (BYDV). The symptoms of BYDV include stunting of plants and yellowing. Often the leaves appear chlorotic. The later symptoms include small heads, shriveled kernels and of course reduces yields.  To protect small grains from yield loss due to aphid feeding, the treatment threshold is 85% stems with more than one aphid present or 12-15 aphids per stem prior to compete heading. The greatest risk of yield loss from aphids feeding on grains is when the crop is in the vegetative to boot stages.  There are several predatory insects which feed on aphids. These include lady beetles, aphid lions, syrphid fly larvae and some wasps. When large numbers of these natural enemies are present and the crop is well developed, insecticide treatment is discouraged.

Project Safe Send – A Pesticide Disposal Program

If you have an unusable or unwanted pesticide consider taking advantage of North Dakota’s unique “Project Safe Send” program. This is a simple and non-regulatory program to help people safely and legally get rid of herbicides, insecticides, rodenticides and fungicides at no cost to the farmer, rancher, homeowner, applicator or dealer. The program is funded through product registration fees paid by pesticide manufacturers.   Project Safe Send is a program of the North Dakota Department of Agriculture. Each year the department schedules approximately one dozen collection sites throughout the state. The 2013 sites and dates for this region include Watford City (July 12), Kenmare (July 10) and Minot (July 11). The collection at each site will run from 9am to 3pm at the North Dakota Department of Transportation facilities. People with more than 1,000 pounds of pesticides should pre-register by calling 800-242-7535 or email jjlien@nd.gov. A maximum of 20,000 pounds of pesticides per participant will be accepted. The first 100 pounds of rinse water will be taken free of charge. A fee will be applied for each additional pound.  According to Doug Goehring, Agriculture Commissioner, more than three million pounds of pesticides have been collected through this program. The pesticides are shipped out of state for incineration.

-Warren Froelich

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