Langdon Research Center holds Canola and Soybean update

The Northern Canola Growers Association in partnership with the NDSU Langdon Research Extension Center held research update for area growers.

Posted on 2/10/17

By Melissa Anderson

The event held at the LREC on Wednesday, February 1 had many producers and industry experts in attendance.

“This is a scaled down version of the canola show. It’s getting close to the growing season and so the growers need information on what the outlook is and things like that,” Randy Mehlhoff , Director at the LREC said.

A major concern that was addressed at the update was the clubroot of canola pathogen. Since 2013 nearly five fields in Cavalier County have been identified as having the pathogen.

“At the research center here we a new pathology laboratory so Venkat, our pathologist is able to really dive into the research on the clubroot so this is the first year that we are really getting involved,” Mehlhoff said.

Dr. Venkat Chapara gave a review of the pathogen as well as an update on what area canola producers should be aware of. Clubroot often appears in small patches at first. The plants stand  may be thin and general appearance is stunted, yellow, and just not healthy looking. The roots of infected plants  will be swollen and shaped like clubs, young roots will be porous and filled with cracked and air pockets. As the root ages, it becomes brittle and may break at the soil line.

Acidic soils, warm temps, and wet conditions favor the infection and the root development. The areas in a field that are most likely to show the first signs of the pathogen are field entrances, low spots, and areas with lot pH. Minimizing soil erosion with zero or minimal tillage is one method that will reduce the spread of spores in the soil. Practicing a longer crop rotation of four to five years would also help to reduce the number of spores in contaminated soil.

Chapara reminded producers prevention is the best management strategy in controlling and containing clubroot, which has no real cure. Using caution when moving from field to field is the best form of defense producers have against the spreading of the pathogen. By making sure that none to a minimum of dirt is spread via equipment,vehicles, and even shoes producers can protect their fields from clubroot of canola.             

Last summer, Chapara and several others conducted a 120 field survey looking for clubroot, The survey was completed in  Cavalier, Towner, Pembina, Walsh, Rolette, Ramsey, Nelson and Ward Counties. In each county one field in every 2,500 acres was selected and scouted. In all, each county had a minimum of 15 to 20 fields reviewed for clubroot but Cavalier County had the highest number of fields surveyed.

“All of us had gone to different  counties and the good news is only one field was found in Cavalier County,” Chapara said.

Cavalier County Extension Agent Anitha Chirumamilla gave an overview of new herbicide technologies. Chirumamilla stated that following issues in southern states with unintentional crop destruction after producers did not follow application instructions, that producers had to be extra vigilant in following the application instructions for many new herbicides. She advised that if the application directions could not be met do not apply the herbicide. Some of the new herbicides could also not be utilized through aerial application.

Dr. Lesley Lubenow, the agronomy extension specialist discussed weed identification, specifically water hemp and palmer amaranth. Lubenow explained that water hemp and palmer amaranth were similar in appearance but had some key differences that could help producers identify the weeds.

“When the plants are young, all leaves are perfectly spaced to intersect the sunlight, that is a good field marker for palmer amaranth.

Palmer Amaranth is making its way north after contaminated seed was used in conservation plantings. Many of the palmer amaranth locations were found to have weeds that were not resistant to herbicide giving growers some control options besides burning. Because Palmaer Amaranth and Waterhemp are so similar in appearance knowing the key features to identify them will be crucial to controlling the spread. Long season control approaches are best in deterring the spread. Finally, Lubenow advised that if in doubt to call your crop consultant or the staff at LREC for help in identifying any plants that looks odd or different.

Bryan Hanson gave updates on his research concerning the influence of row spacing and seeding rate as well the impact of previous crops on soybean and canola yield. Hanson, a research agronomist at the LREC, has confirmed that the industry standard of 6 or 12 inch row spacing with a seeding rate of 6 to 9 seeds per square foot has the most benefit to producers in the Langdon area. The research completed at three North Dakota locations on previous crop impact on canola or soybean showed that there was no significant difference in yield, test weight, density, height, oil protein etc. in following a specific crop rotation. The research used wheat as a third crop in the rotation.

For more information on any of these subjects please contact the Langdon Research Extension Center.