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Small grain variety plot tour

By Staff | Jul 5, 2019

The Pierce County Agriculture Improvement Association will be hosting its annual small grain plot tour on Tuesday, July 9 beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the plot site located along Hwy 2 at 26th Ave NE -3 miles west of Rugby from the Hwy 2&3 JCT and just northwest of the NDAWN Station. The plot features a number of varieties of spring wheat, durum and barley varieties. This year’s topics include:

– Palmer Amaranth Update & Control Strategies

– Comparison of Featured Small Grain Varieties

– Area Insect & Disease Update

First Aid for Storm Damaged Landscape Plants

With thunderstorm season upon us and in light of the strong wind events we’ve encountered recently, I thought it fitting this week to share a few tips about caring for wind and storm damaged plants.

It is important to monitor wind and storm damaged plants over the course of about a week to see how they recover. Fortunately we are still early enough in the growing season that there is time to replant many of our flowers and vegetables.

Here is a summary of how to take care of your garden and landscape after strong winds and hail:

– Flowers and vegetables: Trim off shredded leaves. Reassess the situation after a week. Plants that show new growth can be saved. Lightly fertilize to promote recovery. Plants that fail to show any new growth will need to be replaced. The growing points of root and leafy vegetables are near the soil and can likely withstand some hail and wind damage.

Likewise the growing point of corn is near the soil surface until stalks get about 8 inches tall. To evaluate the growing point, slice open a stalk, looking for the growing point. Healthy growing points will be cream-colored and not darkened.

– Trees and shrubs: Promptly remove broken or hanging branches. Use a chisel or sharp knife to smooth out ragged edges of torn bark to eliminate hiding places for insects. Pruning sealants are not recommended.

The pounding of hailstones may create wounds on the upper side of branches. These wounds are susceptible to diseases and can take several years to heal. Limbs with extensive wounding should be removed. Also trees with cracks or splits that affect 50 percent or more of the main stem should be also be removed. Branches with scattered or small wounds should be monitored and can be allowed to heal naturally.

Remove bruised fruits. They are likely to be invaded by pests and will ripen prematurely before developing their flavor.

Also keep in mind that storm damaged trees and plants are more susceptible to insect and disease that can further weaken the plant.

Schmidt is the NDSU Extension agent for Pierce County.

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