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Report Details N.D. Pesticide Use

Thursday, April 1, 2010
filed under: Weeds

A recently published report titled “Pesticide Use and Pest Management Practices in North Dakota – 2008” indicates the state’s sunflower growers treated about 1.94 million acres with a herbicide that year. They also applied insecticides to nearly 754,000 acres, fungicides to almost 276,000 acres – and a desiccant to just over 100,000 acres. These numbers factor in multiple treatments on reported acreage.

The 2008 report is the eighth major account of pesticide usage in North Dakota. The first covered the 1978 season; the most recent prior to ’08 reported on the 2004 season. Information in the report, which was published by the North Dakota Agricultural Experiment Station and the North Dakota State University Extension Service, was derived from a comprehensive survey of farm operators. Just over 3,500 usable surveys were obtained, with 9% of the respondents having grown sunflower in 2008.

The mostly widely used herbicide in North Dakota during the 2008 season was sulfentrazone (Spartan), which went on nearly 458,000 reported acres. Clethodim (Select, Select Max, Arrow, Volunteer) was applied to 354,000 acres, suggest the survey results, with imazamox (Beyond) going on 227,000. Tribernuron (Express) was applied to almost 112,000 North Dakota sunflower acres that year.

In terms of application frequency, 96.6% of the herbicides were applied once; 3.4% twice. Most (84%) were applied by farmers; 16% by custom applicators. Ground rigs were used to apply 96.5% of the herbicides, with 3.5% going on by air.

Esfenvalerate (Asana, Adjourn) was far and away the most widely used insecticide on North Dakota sunflower in 2008, being applied to 397,000 acres, according to the survey. “Unknown or Other Insecticide” ranked number two at 170,700 acres. Nearly 83,000 acres of sunflower were treated with deltamethrin (Delta Gold) that year. At 60.5%, sunflower had the second highest percentage of insecticide-treated crop (following potato at 70.5%).

Just over 39% of the insecticides were applied by farm operators, with nearly 61% being custom applied. About 58% went on by air; the other 42% with a ground rig.

With fungicides, pyraclostrobin (Headline) was the most popular product identified, being applied to nearly 144,000 North Dakota sunflower acres in 2008. “Unknown or Other Fungicide” went on nearly 73,000 acres, according to survey respondents, with tebuconazole (Folicur) sprayed on more than 59,000 acres. A slight majority (53.8%) was custom-applied, with about 53% of the fungicides going on by air.

The state’s sunflower growers treated about 100,000 acres with a desiccant in 2008, according to the survey. Of that, just over 63,000 acres received a glyphosate treatment, about 18,000 were sprayed with paraquat, and another 19,000+ with an “Unknown or Other Desiccant.”

The North Dakota pesticide use report also addressed the use of Clearfield and Express-resistant sunflower varieties. Survey answers suggested that Clearfield varieties were planted on approximately 237,000 acres in the state in 2008, with Express-resistant sunflower hybrids going on another 114,000 acres. Those numbers represent about 21% and 10%, respectively, of North Dakota’s 2008 sunflower acreage.

Of the nearly 1.12 million acres of sunflower planted in North Dakota in 2008, 92.1% used treated seed. That’s up from 82.4% in 2004 and 78.9% in 2000.

To view “Pesticide Use and Pest Management Practices in North Dakota – 2008,” go online to and follow the links.
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