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SCHMIDT: Pierce County grazing readiness update
May 31, 2019

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Western Wheat-3-4.5 leaf ready to graze at 3.5 leaf stage

Green Needlegrass-3.5 leaf ready to graze at 3.5 leaf stage

Crested Wheatgrass-4.5 leaf ready to graze at 3 leaf stage

Smooth Bromegrass-4.5-5 leaf ready to graze at 3 leaf stage

Both pasture (smooth brome and crested wheatgrass) and range (western wheatgrass and green needlegrass) species are ready to graze. However, while our key pasture and range species are ready to graze, producers should still pay close attention to stocking rates, especially in pastures that are primarily Kentucky bluegrass dominated. Our grasses have been under a lot of stress due to several years of drought, potential overuse and not a lot of subsoil moisture going into this year's grazing season.

For local grazing readiness pictures, visit our NDSU Extension Pierce County Facebook page at www.facebook.com/NdsuExtensionPierceCounty/ .

For more information on determining stocking rates and managing drought, contact your county office of NDSU Extension or check out the following NDSU Extension resources: "Determining Carrying Capacity and Stocking Rates for Range and Pasture in North Dakota" at tinyurl.com/CarryingCapacityStockingRates ; "NDSU Grazing Calculator" application free at tinyurl.com/apple-NDSUgrazingapp or tinyurl.com/Google-NDSUgrazingapp ; "Determining Grazing Readiness" at www.ag.ndsu.edu/naturalresources/gearing-up-for-grazing; "Strategies for Managing Drought in the Northern Plains" at tinyurl.com/DroughtManagementStrategies

Now is the Time to Prevent Crabgrass

Crabgrass seeds begin to germinate when the soil temperature consistently reaches 55 degrees.

Crabgrass is a warm-season annual weed with a wide leaf that can look unattractive to homeowners wanting a healthy lawn.

Although the plants die with the first hard frost, a large soil seedbank ensures a new crop of weeds each year.

Crabgrass seeds begin to germinate in spring when the soil temperature, at a depth of 2 inches, consistently reaches 55 degrees. Seeds will continue to germinate throughout summer but the majority will germinate at soil temperatures between 60 and 70 degrees.

With our late spring, turf soil temperatures have been slow to rise. However, the soil will warm very quickly this week with warmer air temperatures. Now is the time to apply a crabgrass pre-emergent herbicide before we reach this germination threshold.

To check on the turf soil temperature in your area, please consult the North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) website at ndawn.ndsu.nodak.edu/soil-temps.html. Pierce County bare soil temperature is currently 56oF. Crabgrass preventers are a class of pre-emergent herbicides that are applied before the crabgrass seeds germinate. Most pre-emergent herbicides will not provide effective control after germination.

Commonly available crabgrass preventers include active ingredients such as pendimethalin, prodiamine and dithiopyr. Of these three herbicides, dithiopyr is the only one that has early post-emergent activity. Dithiopyr can control crabgrass seedlings that are in the one- to three-leaf stage.

When applying a crabgrass preventer, follow all label instructions.

To be effective, it is necessary to apply 1/2 inch of water to dissolve the granules and move the herbicide into the top layer of soil. Once dissolved, the crabgrass preventer will form a barrier in the soil.

Do not apply a standard crabgrass preventer to newly seeded lawns. The pre-emergent herbicide cannot differentiate between crabgrass seeds and lawn seeds. Instead, products that contain the active ingredients mesotrione or siduron (Tuperan) can be used in that situation.

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