Late blight has been reported in potato fields in North Dakota’s Wash County and in west central Minnesota, the Northern Plains Potato Growers Association says.
The disease can hurt both yields and quality.
In its weekly report, the organization says the risk of late blight development in the area is high. It encourages growers to scout their fields for late blight, concentrating on low areas, on the edges of fields and along tree lines or any other area where free moisture can persist and where it can be difficult to apply fungicide.
Heavy dew raises the risk of further late blight development, the association notes.
The association recommends that growers apply fungicides on a five-day schedule in potato fields grown under irrigation and a five-or seven-day schedule in non-irrigated fields.
Just about everyone agrees that biomass has a bright future. It’s much too early to say, though, exactly what its future holds.
But Biomass’11, set for July 26-27 at the Alerus Center in Grand Forks, N.D., will provide a lot of insight from people who know the subject best.
Biomass is organic material made from plants and microorganisms. Biomass fuels, or biofuels, can come from a wide range of materials, including corn and other crops, wood and garbage.
Biomass’11 — sponsors include the U.S. Department of Energy and the Energy & Environmental Research Center at the University of North Dakota — is billed as “the premier biomass event in the Midwest.” Several hundred experts, including researchers, businesspeople and government officials, will attend.
More information: www.undeerc.org/biomass11/
Cattle producers have plenty of economic incentive to care for their herds. Besides, ranchers wouldn’t get into their business — and stay in it — if they didn’t like animals.
So you can be sure that cattle producers are anxious to do the right thing during the region’s current heat wave. The Minnesota State Cattlemen’s Association has a number of suggestions for ranchers in this trying time. The list, originally from Minnesota Extension, includes these recommendations:
– Provide plenty of shade.
– Clean water tanks to encourage intake.
– Wetting down newly applied bedding should help to cool down cattle.
– Don’t move cattle unless absolutely necessary.
– Install sprinklers, more to wet the ground than the cattle. It’s best to wet the ground before the daily temperature reaches its peak.
The association also notes that the Minnesota Department of Agriculture recommends cattle producers contact their county emergency management director if help is needed in locating emergency water supplies for livestock.
I’ve seen seen really good-looking crops in northwestern Minnesota and eastern and central North Dakota over the past week.
Yes, some fields were too wet to plant, and many other fields have suffered at least partial drown-out. That said, some of the fields look as good as I’ve ever seen them in mid summer.
Credit plentiful moisture and ideal temperatures in the low and mid 80s. The recent warmer temps have given late-planted crops a terrific boost.
Now, forecasts call for temperatures to soar into the 90s this weekend. Temperatures that high can’t help and could hurt crops. At times like this I remember what an elderly farm wife once told me: “We can’t control the weather. So why worry about it?”
Sound advice, of course. Still, I suspect more than a few farmers will be sneaking peaks at their thermometers this weekend.
Interesting and potentially important news relayed by the National Sunflower Association:
It reports that a company based in India has received a U.S. patent for “a transformation process in sunflower.”
The company, Avesthagen, uses “certain carbohydrate compounds in the selection process which adds to efficiency and enhances success,” according to a company press release cited by the National Sunflower Association.
The process avoids the “traditional antibiotic market system that raises opposition to GM (genetically modified) technology,” the press release says.
As the NSA notes, European opposition to GM sunflower has stopped development of it.
Further, the company says it plans to introduce breakthroughs that will benefit farmers and consumers.
North Dakota is the nation’s leading producer of sunflowers, and South Dakota ranks second. So any breakthrough with the crop could have a significant impact on the region.