The Langdon Research Extension Center (LREC) held their annual field day on July 16.
Posted on 7/25/15
By Melissa Anderson
Almost a hundred area producers were there to hear presentations from seven researchers on topics ranging from diseases, weeds, and bugs to potential future crops.
Canola was of course a chief topic for the researchers, and Bryan Hanson of Langdon Research Extension Center gave an update on the new varieties being tested at the site.
Hanson informed the crowd that 11 seed companies with over 40 varirtird were currently being tested this year at the Langdon site.
The research in regards to these varieties include new herbicide treatments and traits, microbial treatments that will increase yield, swathing studies, disease and row spacing.
One of the key tests that was conducted last fall was on winter canola. Hanson reported that there was a zero percent suvival for that variety following tough conditions over the winter and spring.
“Winter canola research will be on the back burner till we can get some better germ plasma,” Hanson said.
The row spacing study on spring canola was conducted in conjunction with the Northern Canola Growers Association(NCGA) at two locations, Langdon and Fargo.
The NCGA is interested in expanding canola acres, specifically into the Red River Valley. The study was used to increase a wider row that will also reduce seed cost. The study centers on the yield to row spacing ratio. Hanson found that the 6 and 12 inch spacing had faster canopy cover and more frost damage occurred in the 24 inch row.
“It will be interesting to see what kind of results we will get from Fargo and here. Wider rows may be something we look at in the future,” Hanson stated.
Dr. Sam Markell discussed clubroot of canola and reminded the crowd of the method of transfer and the necessary precautions.
The clubroot pathogen is swimming spores and needs water early in the season to migrate. The spores can last upwards of 17 years but after the first few years, the spores die off exponentially.
When the canola becomes infected with the pathogen the roots swell, resembling clubs, and are no longer able to function properly.
Markell notes that rotation is the most effective preventative measure and management of the pathogen.
“If you find it, you want to start actively managing it,” Markell said.
Areas of Cavalier County that are more susceptible to the pathogen are the soils with low pH levels. The time to be checking for clubroot of canola is at the end of the season, but producers need to be careful when digging up the root.
If the plant is infected, the swollen roots will be dry and will easily disintegrate, releasing the spores into the ground. The most likely location for the clubroot to occur is at or within 100 yards of field entrances.
“This is a manageable situation. First thing is to check your fields, especially at entrances and if your pH is low,” Markell said.
John Nowatzki gave an update on his study using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) for agricutural uses, specifically at the LREC.
Nowatzki will be testing the use of UAVs in identifying clubroot of canola from the air. The footage captured will be reviewed and examined to determine if clubroot symptoms can be seen and diagnosed from the air.
Another project Nowatzki is working on involved thermal imaging to determine if weeds are herbicide resistant. The idea behind this project is that the temperature of the weed will drop as it dies.
Nowatzki explained that the two concerns with his research is privacy and data.
“We don’t take pictures except for those involved and we notify everybody whose land will be flown over,” Nowatzki explained.
Dr. Jay Goos presented his study on historical wheat. Goos stated that the reason for the study was because of the phosphorus levels used by wheat vary and that phosphorus levels in soil is stagnant or in decline.
Goos based his study on every variety that reached a 20 percent adoption in the state of North Dakota according to records kept by the USDA. The USDA had 47 varieties of seed that fit that criteria stretching from the early 1900s to the late 1990s.
So far the varieties that develop more quickly require more phospherous for adequate tillering versus the varieties that grow fast.
The hope of this study is to provide producer’s with information to help in understanding the phosphorus needs of the varieties grown.
“If a popular vareity is found to have a high phosophorus requirement farmers should know that when designing their fertility program,” Goos stated.
The next stage of this study is to screen about 45 current varieties and soon to be released varieties from North Dakota, South Dakota, and Minnesota to determine phosphorus requirements for those varieties.
Dr. Rich Hollinger and Dr. Kirk Howatt discussed problem weeds and how to handle them in the northeastern part of the state.
One of the major topics that Hollinger and Howatt mentioned was Flexstar herbicide. Hollinger and Howatt recommend scouting after the initial treatment with glyphosate.
“It’s [Flexstar] really good on three inch weeds but really poor on 12 inch weeds,” Hollinger said.
For those battling ragweed in their fields the recommendation that Hollinger and Howatt had is to include the Flexstar herbicide in the first application of glyphosate in order to reduce or eliminate the weeds.
“If you want the Flexstar to work, it has to be in there the first time you’re spraying,” Howatt said.
Hollinger and Howatt then informed the audience that “scourge of North Dakota” water hemp, has been found in Cando. Typically the seeds follow a drainage pattern but a bird, drainage truck, or farm equipment could have transported the weed to the area.
“We do encourage you to keep your eyes out for it,” Howatt said.
Naeem Kalwar gave an update on the ground water management project he has been working on including the agricutlural tiling project on the LREC fields.
Kalwar recommends that the area producers use crops that are water efficient but are also salt tolerant. Kalwar did not recommend using the drainage tile if there is a high sodium level.
Dr. Venkat Chapara presented his research on Soybean Root disease. The study tested 15 seed treatment chemicals. The study also uses two different tillage practices.
The purpose of the study is to identify which pathogens are in the soil. Soybean root rot is caused by four different pathogens. Chapara planted early in May, exposing the test to good conditions to encourage root rot.
Dr. Janet Knodel and Lesley Lubenow gave an update on insects and informed the audience that invasive insects species are making their way into North Dakota.
One insect that Knodel and Lubenow discussed was the soybean aphid, which has been found in Benson and Pembina Counties.
The soybean aphid causes stunted growth and makes the plant appear yellow. Sooty mold also appears on the foliage as a result of the honeydew secretions from the insect. This can cause significant yield loss and with Cavalier County experiencing ideal conditions of temperatures in the mid 80’s, Knodel and Lubenow advised the checking of soybean crops for these insects.
Another insect noted by the two speakers was the swede midge which was found in Manitoba last summer. The NDSU Extension Service is currently trapping in three counties- Cavalier, Towner, and Pembina-to determine if the species has made it’s way to North Dakota.
The swede midge prefers brassica plants such as canola and causes damage to florets at the ends of racemes, causing the growing points to turn brown and dry up.
Other insects of note that producers in the area should be aware of include wheat midge, banded sunflower moths, diamond back moths and bertha armyworms.
The final topic of the day was presented by Dr. Burton Johnson and Bryan Hanson. The LREC is one of the few locations in the country that is currently testing the growth of industrial hemp. Burton explained that the 2014 Farm Bill made this possible as the bill allowed universities to enage in researching industrial hemp and actually grow the crop.
Burton explained that industrial hemp is a highly useful crop with over 25,000 uses ranging from feed, food, and fiber.
The LREC is currently growing 12 different varieties from three different countries. The industrial hemp has an optimal planting time in May and, while there are no weed control options, the plants seem to be doing very well. The researchers noted that harvesting industrial hemp can be difficult.