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Schmidt: Preparation underway for 4H Achievement Days

By Staff | Jun 22, 2018

Achievement Days preparations are well underway in our office. The dates for this year’s 4-H Achievement Days are June 27-29. The 3-day event will begin with Static Exhibit and project record book judging on June 27, followed by the 4-H Horse Show on June 28 and wrap-up with the Livestock Show on June 29. Our 4-H families are also excited to be bringing back their Cow Pie and Chicken Bingo Fundraiser. This year the event will be held two days and will take place in the arena of the south barn on the fairgrounds. The first round of Cow Pie and Chicken Bingo will take place at on June 29 at 6:00pm and the second round will take place on June 30 at 1:00pm. Tickets for both events will again be pre-sold with any remaining tickets being sold up to one hour before each event. No ticket purchases will be available during 4-H Achievement Days judging times as this is a time for us to focus on our youth’s achievements over the past year. Tickets are available for purchase from any 4-H family or at the Pierce County Extension office.

Herbicide Drift Concerns

In addition to 4-H Achievement Days preparations, a common call or specimen coming into my office this time of year involves homeowners describing curling, cupping, twisting and/or stunted looking leaves in garden and landscape plants and trees. In most cases, these signs indicate exposure to some type of herbicide coming from an inappropriately applied broadleaf weed herbicide for lawns. According to NDSU Extension Service Horticulturalists, “Now is not a good time to kill dandelions and other broadleaf weeds in the lawn. You will have better success at killing weeds if you wait until late September since this is when weeds move nutrients and herbicides down to their roots. The cooler temps at that time will also reduce the likelihood of chemicals volatilizing and drifting onto your garden plants.”

When properly used, herbicides rarely cause problems on non-target plants. Herbicide injury can occur when inappropriate application methods are used, when they turn into a gas (volatilization), or when they are blown by the wind away from the targeted area (often called drift).

There are a number of reasons that may cause herbicides to end up in a spot in your landscape other than the intended location. These include:

– Formulation

– Application Method

– Temperature

– Wind

– Soil Factors

Another source of herbicide injury in garden plants involves use of manure, straw, or grass clippings that have been treated with herbicide. Pyridine herbicides, which are widely used to control weeds in pastures, can persist in hay, straw, or manure for months or longer. Tomato, potato, pepper, bean and pea are especially sensitive to pyridine, but other vegetables including carrot, lettuce, spinach and beet are also sensitive. Rose, dahlia, and annuals such as marigold and sunflower are sensitive. Pyridine herbicides may break down in a few weeks or, in some cases, in a few years. Gardeners who suspect their soil is contaminated can test their manure by growing beans in pots containing a 1:1 mixture of the manure with potting soil. If the potted beans grow well, the pyridine has broken down to acceptable levels.

Another factor often overlooked by homeowners is temperature inversions at or near application time. Temperature inversions are a common cause of off-target herbicide movement. An air temperature inversion is a condition in which air closer to the Earth’s surface is cooler, denser and heavier than the air higher up. During temperature inversions, air moves horizontally close to the Earth’s surface. If pesticides are applied during an inversion, small droplets readily can move thousands of feet before falling to the ground. In addition, some pesticides volatize, or change from liquid to vapor. Vaporized pesticides can move miles from the application site during a temperature inversion.

Homeowner’s and agriculture producers now have another tool available to help them determine when an inversion is present. As noted in last week’s article, the Rugby NDAWN (ND Agricultural Weather Network) station located 3 miles west of Rugby has recently been equipped with inversion sensors. Users can access NDAWN weather information by visiting the webpage or downloading the NDAWN Inversion App, which once installed on your device, will send you notifications when an inversion is detected at the NDAWN station(s) you choose.

Positive numbers are an inversion and will be red with a ‘!’ to emphasize an inversion is in place. The number will be green if no inversion is in place. All inversions should be taken seriously. Since inversions are widespread events, the inversion data is county wide. Therefore, while intensity may fluctuate some, when the station indicates the presence of an inversion, applicators should take heed and act appropriately.

Always take time to read, understand, and follow the product label as pesticide labels provide specific instructions that must be followed whether the product being applied is a herbicide, insecticide, or fungicide.

Schmidt is the Pierce County Agent for NDSU Extension.

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