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Many northeast ND crops reach halfway point in need of rain

As we approach what I consider the "halfway point" in the growing season, my area has many things to be thankful for. 2016 was a difficult summer with the amount of rainfall we had acquired. I imagine those experiencing severe and extreme drought in the western and southern parts of North Dakota are feeling the same sentiment. We travel enough area to see that some crops could use rain in the very near future. A majority of Nelson County is holding well for moisture, but the row crops will need rain as we head into the third week of July.

Small Grains: Most of the wheat, barley and durum have had fungicide application to help prevent head scab and leaf rust. We were seeing some stripe rust in a handful of barley fields and a couple wheat fields. Variety comparisons are being noticed right now in lodging and leaf disease resistance. We are trying different fertility ideas in wheat, using increased rates of potash and sulfur in a handful of fields to see if we notice anything different compared to our normal fertility program. Cereal aphids have been strong in certain areas and some fields have required applications of insecticide.

Soybeans: The soybeans in my northeastern North Dakota are mostly R1-R2 stage, so no pod development yet. In certain pockets we are noticing moisture stress in the soybeans. Aphids and thistle caterpillars are being noted across my region and some fields have had infestations where insecticide applications have been warranted. I am quite nervous about the potential for different waves of insect pressure in the coming weeks. Currently, the main thing we are observing in soybeans is the weed control. We are comparing what we used with pre-emerge/burndown applications back in May, and determining if changes will need to be made for 2018. Liberty and Dicamba soybeans are both looking good and helping us greatly manage resistant glyphosate weeds. Because my area is not in early drought — we have been rather wet — we have had to go through staring at many yellow beans from iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC). Those areas have now improved, but we had a chance to compare varieties and row spacing in the different severities of IDC.

Corn: It would be fair to say much of the corn in my area wasn't knee high by July 4. However, it is almost 6-feet tall by July 13. Mother Nature wins all battles and right now she has brought our corn crop back to relevance. It is looking quite good. The different chemical options we used during herbicide timing are being noted and compared. We used two different mixes with both offering similar weed spectrums and levels of soil residual control in the effort of only spraying one time throughout the season. Very few fields have needed a second herbicide pass to control later emerging weeds. The corn isn't showing much nutrient deficiencies yet and the 20- to 22-inch corn is currently holding an advantage over the 30-inch corn with the narrow row spacing closing its canopy almost a week earlier.

Edible Beans: Between second herbicide passes and row crop cultivating, we are currently in weed management phase in edible beans. On some of the earliest planted pintos we will be switching to fungicide next week. Edible beans have had some significant rust issues in fields that went untreated the last two years, so I am more nervous of rust than I am of white mold with the hot dry forecast coming up. Along with insect pressure we are seeing in soybeans, I expect to be seeing more insects such as leafhopper, grasshopper and even aphids in edible bean fields.

Canola: The canola in my area has been looking very good the last two weeks. A majority has had fungicide treatments. What we will be watching now is how hot weather affects the length of our flowering period and if our subsoil moisture will hold the crop to maintain the potential it currently has.

I'll be back next month with another crop consulting update and wish you all a safe and successful harvest. Feel free to connect with me on Twitter or email: husocrop@polarcomm.com.

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