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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2015 University of Minnesota Field School for Ag Professionals Registration is Now Open

By Dave Nicolai, IAP Program Coordinator

The 2015 Field School for Ag Professionals will be held on July 29 - 30 at the University of Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota. The St. Paul campus, located in Falcon Heights, MN next to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at Larpenteur and Gortner Ave, is this year's site for the Field School for Ag Professional which is the summer training opportunity that combines hand-on training and real-world field scenarios that no winter program can offer. The two-day program focuses on core principles in agronomy, entomology, weed and soil sciences on the first day to build a foundation for participants and builds on this foundation with timely, cutting-edge topics on the second day.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info - May 26 2015

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 320-968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929

Here is a link to all the Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors-Cut information we have received so far from sampling done on Tuesday May 26. There is new data for 11 of 15 sites.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Seed Purity Standards

There have been some surprises this spring with rye showing up in fields when there was no rye planted previously, at least not intentionally. I figured it would be worthwhile to briefly discuss seed purity standards and control options.

First we have to make a distinction between PVP protected varieties and varieties that are, or are no longer, protected under PVP. If a variety is protected under Title V of the Plant Variety Protection Act, certification of the seed is required. Certification standards for the maximum number of seed of the other crops are 5, 10, and 30 seeds per 10 lbs. of seed for foundation, registered and certified classes of seed, respectively. That is roughly equivalent to 0.004%, 0.008% and 0.024% seed of other crop species in a seed lot of wheat, barley, or oats.  The same standards apply to all varieties sold as certified seed - whether PVP protected or not.

If the grain you buy is not certified but still is intended to be used as seed, Minnesota’s seed law requires that such seed is properly and truthfully labeled.  The statute considers a seed lot with less than 5% of another species a single species rather than a mixture as long as the percentage of other crop species is accurately stated on the label.  These requirements are consistent with those of neighboring states and the Federal Seed Act.   
A common misconception is that seed used for cover crop does not need to be certified and or labeled as such (i.e.  is exempt from the rules and regulations of the applicable statutes) as there is no intention to harvest the crop for grain. If the variety in question is protected under PVP, certification is a requirement. If the variety is not protected under PVP, then proper labeling, including the % of other crop species, is still required.

Thus buying seed with up to 5.0% rye seed can be perfectly legal if the variety is not PVP protected and the label stated that the seed lot contained 4.99% other crop seed. Unfortunately that may now have created some management issues as rye survives even Minnesota’s harshest winters.
Removing rye from the small grains using a selective herbicide is not an option.  This means that you’ll likely have rye, and possibly some ergot in your harvested wheat, barley or oats.  A Kwik Kleen grain cleaner and/or gravity table are really your only options to remove rye and ergot from harvested grain. This should work well for barley and oats, but will only be partially effective in wheat. 

In the future ask your seed supplier for purity and germination information about the seed you are buying. Cutting corners and planting the cheapest seed available may be more expensive in the long run. The Minnesota Crop Improvement Association has two PDF fact sheets available that also discuss the options and pointers on cover crops. You can find those recources here and here.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info - May 21, 2015

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 320-968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929

UPDATED DOCUMENT Friday May 22 at 5 p.m. (All but 2 Thursday/Friday Data)
Here is a link to all the Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors-Cut information we have received so far from sampling done on Thursday May 21: May 21 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors Cut Data

Please let me know if something looks to be in error.

Please note cooperators and sponsors listed in this report, and tell them and cooperating farmers, “Thanks for your efforts with this.”

Please plan and works for a SAFE hay harvest.

Hope you have a meaningful and enjoyable Memorial Day.

On behalf of U of M Extension Colleagues Nathan Winter and Abby Neu, 
and the Central MN Forage Council

Assessing frost injury to soybean: Is there an interaction with soil-applied PPO herbicides?

Jeff Gunsolus, Extension Weed Scientist

As people begin to assess soybean stands following the low temperature conditions of May 19th, questions are coming my way regarding the possible interaction of frost with soil-applied PPO herbicides. Is it possible? My answer is yes. Is it widely prevalent? As I receive more reports from around the state my current answer is, not likely.

An interaction of frost with soil-applied PPO herbicides is possible because cold temperatures slow the rate of emergence of the soybean through the herbicide-treated soil and the soybean is limited in its ability to metabolize the herbicide. However, the crook stage of the soybean plant that is expressing injury symptoms appears to be targeted to soybeans planted in early May (May 2 to 4 are frequently mentioned). Soybeans planted in early May were just cracking from the soil at the time of the low temperature conditions and were vulnerable to freeze damage.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

May 7 Hay Auction.... AND Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info thru May 20

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 320-968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929

I am posting information and links to documents with data from

1. May 7 2015 Sauk Centre Hay Auction

2. May 18-19 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors Cut Data

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Frost injury to soybean

Bruce Potter, IPM Specialist, Phyllis Bongard, Extension Educational Content Development and Communications Specialist, and Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist

Figure 1. Projected low temperatures ending Tuesday, May 19.

Spring frost damage to soybean is relatively rare in Minnesota, as the last average frost dates usually occur before soybeans are normally planted. However, soybean planting and emergence is well ahead of the 5-year average, leaving the crop more vulnerable to early season frost events. Temperatures dropped into the low 30s and upper 20s (F) overnight in the west-central and northwestern parts of the state, likely resulting in some degree of frost injury to emerged soybeans in select areas.
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