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Schmidt: Small Grain and Soybean Plot Tour

By Staff | Jul 2, 2015

NDSU Extension Service and the Pierce County Agriculture Improvement Association will be hosting a small grain and soybean plot tour Thursday, July 16th beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the plot site located 3 miles west of Rugby from the junction of Highway 2 and 3 along Highway 2 northwest of the NDAWN station. The plot features 24 spring wheat, seven durum and six barley varieties in addition to a non-GMO soybean variety trial. Topics include:

Fertility Concerns & Plant Tissue Sampling

Small Grain Varieties

Soybean Varieties

Canola Diseases

Soybean Cyst Nematode

Agricultural Drone Demo (tentative)

Leafy Spurge Bio-Control & Collection Field Days

According to the June 25th Crop and Pest Report, the accumulated growing degree days (AGDD) for leafy spurge flea beetles (using the sunflower GDD model from NDAWN) indicated that scouting for adult flea beetles (AGDD = 1,000) could begin in most of the state with collection of flea beetles soon to follow (AGDD = 1,200 to 1,600) in southeast North Dakota. At the writing of this article, the NDAWN station west of Rugby showed sunflower AGDD at 880 so scouting for adult flea beetles shouldn’t be much longer for our area. The NDAWN sunflower degree days/growth stage application can be found at ndawn.ndsu.nodak.edu/sunflowergdd-form.html.

Leafy spurge flea beetles are an effective means of controlling leafy spurge in North Dakota. This group of flea beetles is host-specific to the leafy spurge plant, which makes them an ideal biological control choice. The accumulated growing degree days (AGDD) for sunflower (base of 44 F) can be used as a guide to determine when to begin scouting for adult flea beetles. Scouting for adult flea beetles begins when the AGDD approaches 1,000. Flea beetles should be collected between 1,200 and 1,600 AGDD using the sunflower GDD model from NDAWN.

Adult flea beetles can be collected with sweep nets. After late July (or 1,600 AGDD), flea beetles begin to lay eggs and should not be moved or collected. Leafy spurge flea beetles typically take three to five years to establish and impact leafy spurge infestations. Keep in mind that if you have released flea beetles for leafy spurge control this does not mean your spurge is going to disappear or that you don’t need to use herbicide or other control measures such as mowing anymore. Flea beetle sites also need to be properly managed and flea beetles are not adapted to all sites. Weather conditions can also impact flea beetle population even on the best sites.

Flea beetles are generally distributed through the North Dakota Weed Control Association and county weed boards. Flea beetles are usually collected and redistributed from mid-June to early July depending on AGDD. In the southern part of the state several collection field days have already taken place or will be held next week. There will be a collection field day at the Pleasant Lake collection site in nearby Benson County on July 9th. All attendees are asked to help collect and all beetles collected are distributed evenly. Attendees should also bring a cooler with ice packs to transport the flea beetles, and are asked to bring sweep nets if they have them.

Contact your local county weed officer for more information about flea beetle collection and redistribution programs in your area.

Pierce County Weed Board officers are:

Dwayne Brossart

Mike Christenson

Mark Koenig

Richard Eckhart

Joe Fritel

Jason Marchus

David Migler

Contact information for the above Pierce County weed officers can be found at: www.piercecountynd.gov/?id=102 or to find a listing of weed board officers by county visit the North Dakota Weed Control Association website at: ndweeds.homestead.com/

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