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Weekly News Highlights

Reporting Agriculture’s Business — The Red River Farm Network is back on the road this week. Join us as we travel to Des Moines, Iowa for the World Pork Expo and Fargo for the North Dakota FFA Convention. RRFN hosts the Crop Watch broadcast at 12:37 PM on the radio. Those updates are also available on the RRFN smartphone app. Remember, you will find farm news, markets and weather on your RRFN radio affiliate. You can also find RRFN on Facebook and Twitter. The RRFN team: Carah, Mike, Randy, Jay and Don are also on Twitter.

A Few Showers — It was a warm, windy and dry weekend for some of the driest parts of North and South Dakota. Temperatures reached 100 degrees in both Mobridge and Aberdeen on Friday. A few strong thunderstorms did bring relief to a few areas Friday night. Streeter, in south-central North Dakota, picked up 2.25 inches of rain. Cando got almost 1.7 inches; Edmore got 1.4, and the NDAWN station near Grand Forks recorded a little over an inch of rain Friday night and early Saturday morning. The National Weather Service reported almost 1.6 inches at Thief River Falls, Minnesota.

It’s Dry — The latest U.S. Drought Monitor shows an expansion of dry conditions across the Northern Plains. North Dakota State Climatologist Adnan Akyuz says the latest report shows all of North Dakota is abnormally dry and about 25 percent of the state is in a moderate drought. “The conditions turned around pretty fast after the winter ended. Starting March, April and May, there were dry conditions. Fortunately, the cooler-than-normal temperatures didn’t make the impact as worse as it could have been in terms of drought conditions.” The central part of North Dakota and South Dakota is in a moderate drought.

A Tale of Two Crops — Crookston, Minnesota farmer Kevin Capistran says the crop is in the ground. Spring wheat is looking nice and thick. The corn looks a little yellow. “We really got a tale of two situations. There were spots last year that looked good, but weren’t heavy with moisture. Those crops got in good. There were also areas last year that were wet and tougher to get into this spring. Those wet fields don’t go away in one season. Roots get tangled.” Capistran said if the challenges will likely resurface as temps get warmer this summer.” RRFN’s #CropWatch17 coverage is sponsored, in part, by AgCountry Farm Credit Services.

All In — Northeast of Fosston, Minnesota, the crop is all in. Ken Hove says his crops look decent. “Soybeans are coming out of the ground very nice. The rain we had about one week ago, really brought them up. The corn is greening up a little bit. Wheat looks tremendous. Farmers are spraying. It’s a good crop of wheat coming. There’s more corn up in this area this year.” In addition to farming, Hove is a dealer for DuPont Pioneer. Crop Watch is sponsored, in part, by DuPont Pioneer. Watch the video.

Bring the Heat — Mike Gunderson, who farms at Bejou, Minnesota, says his crop looks good and it will benefit from the warmer weather. “The wheat has been up awhile now. Corn should be coming up as well as beans. With the cold weather we’ve had, it takes longer for it to pop up.”

Weed of the Week: Yellow and Green Foxtail — Foxtails germinate from seed in late spring and early summer. Green foxtail has a smooth upper leaf and is free of hairs while yellow foxtail has ‘straggly’ hairs clustered near the base of the upper leaf surface. The leaf stems are also different. Green foxtail are split and overlapping, while yellow foxtail are flattened and often purple-tinged, especially near the soil surface. Which foxtail is most important? Yellow foxtail is typically more difficult to control, but green foxtail has developed ACC-ase inhibitor (SOA1) resistance, especially in north central and extreme southwest North Dakota.Thanks to Tom Peters of North Dakota State University/University of Minnesota and Richard Zollinger of NDSU for assisting with this project.

Weed Control Strategy — With the spring rain showers, there should be good activity of the pre-emergent herbicides. North Dakota State University Extension weed specialist Rich Zollinger now recommends farmers add a residual pre with the first post-emergent herbicide application. “This water hemp and the ragweed is just killing us. We can kill it first. When it rains again, we can get two or three different flushes. That’s where these residual pre-emergence herbicides really help take the load off post-emergence herbicides.” Zollinger says common ragweed has become one of the worst weed threats. “We have good herbicides that kill it. But the ragweed has become resistant to ALS and glyphosate. If you take out those two chemistries, that doesn’t leave much left. It’s a difficult weed to manage.”

Disease in South Dakota Wheat Crop — South Dakota State University Extension Plant Pathology Field Specialist Connie Strunk is noticing disease pressure in the wheat crop. “With a longer fall, there was a greater opportunity for those wheat curl mites to come in and spread infection. We have seen lots of wheat streak mosaic virus, barley yellow dwarf and some stripe rust.” Strunk is also concerned about fusarium head blight.

Army Worms Come Marching In — North Dakota State University Extension entomologist Jan Knodel says southwestern North Dakota is seeing a severe infestation of army worms. “We’re getting lots of reports on different crops: canola, wheat, corn and pulse crops. It’s pretty wide-spread in the southwest region. We’re seeing significant damage and stand loss from the army cutworm feeding. They cut the plant off and climb up the plant to chew the leaves off.” Knodel says it is critical to be scouting now to avoid significant crop loss. “Most of the worms or larvae reported were about one inch. The mature larvae is about one inch and a half to two inches long. They probably have one week to two weeks, depending on the temperature, to develop.” This week’s NDSU Crop and Pest Report has army cutworm threshold levels for various crops.

Wheat Harvest Continues — The hard red winter wheat harvest progress continues to be slow due to rain in Texas and Oklahoma. Harvest in Texas is 27 percent complete. U.S. Wheat Associates’ weekly harvest report says a high percentage of wheat acres in southwestern Oklahoma into central Texas have been swathed for hay, or abandoned, in favor of planting cotton. Sixteen percent of Oklahoma’s wheat is harvested. With 36 samples now analyzed, the average protein content of the wheat is 10.8 percent, up from 10.6 percent last week. The average test weight dropped almost a full pound per bushel this week, to an average of 60.7 pounds.

Winter Wheat Crop Estimates — Informa Economics estimates this year’s U.S. winter wheat crop at almost 1.3 billion bushels, which is 23 million bushels higher than USDA’s current estimate, but 24 percent below last year. Informa raised its estimate of Brazil’s soybean production 1.5 million tons, to 114.5 million tons, almost three million tons above USDA. Informa also added a million tons to its Argentine soybean crop estimate, now putting it at 58 million tons, a million more than USDA. Brazil’s corn crop is now pegged at almost 98 million tons, almost two million tons above USDA’s current forecast.

Taking Off! — Crookston, Minnesota farmer Tim Dufault says the crops are up and growing. Things look good. “We’ve had some moisture. Once we get a break from the moisture and get the heat, things will take off.” Dufault is not too concerned on the progress of the crops. “We aren’t late by any means.” RRFN’s Crop Watch is sponsored, in part, by Syngenta Sugarbeets and Hilleshog.

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Source: Red River Farm Network