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Harvest Season in Full Swing

August 21, 2015
Yolanda Schmidt - County Agent , Pierce County Tribune

For many Pierce County producers, the 2015 harvest season began a couple of weeks ago and is now in full swing. This year the weather has cooperated beautifully for small grain harvest. Barley harvest seems to be complete for the most part with reports of above average yields and many bushels qualifying for malting grade. Wheat harvest appears to be about 75 percent, complete with yields also being reported above average. This is great news considering the high wind crops endured July 28-29, as a number of my colleagues reported severe crop damage and losses in their counties during this period.

Although the current weather pattern has been favorable for grain harvest and haymaking, crops and pastures are starting to show considerable stress and could use a good rain. Time will tell how the bean and corn crops will yield without a drink of rain soon. Many of the producers I've spoken to echo a grim outlook, however, others maintain that there is still hope for some average yields.

Fall Wheat Midge Survey

With wheat harvest in full swing, this also means it is time for the annual wheat midge soil survey to begin! The North Dakota Wheat Commission has again funded the fall wheat midge survey for 2015. This soil survey helps to identify areas of increasing wheat midge populations in the northern region of the state. The survey also allows a risk map to be generated for the 2016 growing season so that producers may be alerted to potential wheat midge risks. Although populations of wheat midge have been low in recent years, populations fluctuate year to year based on favorable environment and when wheat was planted.

Soil samples for the survey will be collected by NDSU Extension Agriculture agents in 21 counties from the northern half of North Dakota. Survey protocols and supplies arrived in county offices last week. Collection of samples can begin as soon as the fields have been harvested and is scheduled to conclude near the end of October. Samples are collected on a 12-mile grid. There will be nine samples collected in Pierce County.

After the samples have been evaluated, a state map showing the midge levels will be released. Producers can anticipate the release of this data near the beginning of the New Year.

For more information on wheat midge, check out NDSU publication E-1330 "Integrated Pest Management of the Wheat Midge in North Dakota" available online at the web site

Green Foxtail Samples Needed!

The North Central Research Extension Center plans to screen green foxtail in the greenhouse for resistance to Group 1 and 2 herbicides. Researchers are hoping to collect at least 50 samples from fields around the state with your help, and have asked county agents to help spread the word. Sample size needed is approximately one cup of mature green foxtail seed to conduct the study. It is also preferred that green foxtail samples collected are suspected of being herbicide resistant, however, samples with unknown resistance levels will also be accepted. Please note seed sample collection is for green foxtail only, not yellow foxtail.

Researchers want to know how prevalent is green foxtail resistance to common herbicides like Puma, Discover, Axial, Assure II and Select, as well as cross resistance. A statewide screening has not been conducted previously.

Individual producer results will not be shared publicly, however the general results and prevalence of green foxtail herbicide resistance across the state will be shared.

Please contact Yolanda Schmidt at the Pierce County Extension office if you are able to contribute to this project or have any questions about sampling. The plants will be mature very soon, so if you intend to participate samples will need to be collected as soon as possible!



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