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South-Central/Southeast ND (07/29/21)


According to NDAWN, the region’s April 1-July 26 rainfall total ranges from 3.3 inches (Dazey) to 10.6 inches (Jamestown), with the Carrington REC at 3.8 inches. Estimated corn water use on July 26 was about 0.3 inch for plants emerged May 20. This water use over 13 days would reach the current season’s total rain for Carrington – no wonder leaves are rolling by mid mornings under the adverse weather and soil moisture conditions!

The region’s small grain crop is generally mature, and harvest has commenced with winter cereals and early planted barley and spring wheat. The following are the most advanced crop growth stages observed at the CREC earlier this week: corn R1 (silking) but nearing R2 (blister), soybean R5 (seed development on pods within the upper four plant nodes) but primarily R3-4 (pod development), dry bean R6 (seed developed to at least 0.25 inch in length) and sunflower R5 (flowering) but nearing R6 (ray flowers drying). All are at critical growth stages that require minimal stress to maintain yield potential.

If grain corn has been ‘zeroed-out’ and will be soon harvested for livestock feed, note that foliage N levels peak near silking. Test the material for nitrates and feed accordingly.

An early alert: Corn nodal root and brace root development has been restricted with dry soil. Also, stalk integrity will be reduced as dry matter is translocated to the grain from all areas of the plant, including the stalks. Plus, weakened stalks may be more susceptible to disease. These factors add up to increased lodging potential as the plant nears physiological maturity. Monitor fields and prioritize accordingly as you plan field sequence for harvest.

Upcoming crop tours:

August 4 – Oakes Irrigation Research Site/Robert Titus Research Farm; 9 a.m.

August 12 – CREC Fingal area off-station corn and soybean research

August 25 – CREC Row Crop (corn, soybean and dry bean)


Afternoon shots of stressed pinto bean (note vertical leaves to reduce interception of sunlight [heat]) and sunflower (lack of stress symptoms).


Greg Endres

Extension Cropping Systems Specialist

NDSU Carrington Research Extension Center