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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Soybeans and the Spring of 2018: One for the books

Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist

wet-field
Photo: Liz Stahl
Spring came late to all of Minnesota, but for farmers in Southern Minnesota, it came with too many May showers. This has made #Plant18 an especially tough one for farmers in the region. Many seasoned farmers have reported that this will be the latest start in their long memories.

It is natural to feel anxious and frustrated with the weather, but it’s important to know that fields will get planted and yields can still be quite good. For the most part, farmers should proceed as normal when windows of good weather allow.

Central MN Hay Auctions April 2018

by Randy Pepin, UMN Extension Educator, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties
pepin019@umn.edu or (320) 333-1369

Keeping up with current hay prices is important for most livestock farmers. We calculate price averages, quality averages, and the corresponding ranges of the various hay lots from recent hay auctions in Sauk Centre, MN. We also keep an updated history of recent years of some selected hay lots and create graphs of four different quality types of medium square alfalfa bales. This is posted every month, about a week after the last auction of the month.

Corn Fertigation: How Much and When?

Anne Struffert, Extension Educator
Fabián Fernández, Nutrient Management Specialist

In the Central Sands of Minnesota, planting is under way. With a week of warm and windy weather, things are drying out and warming up quickly. While most growers have made decisions on variety and tillage, one thing you may not have nailed down is when and how many times should you fertigate nitrogen on corn.



Loss potential in the spring is almost always high on sandy soils. With a combination of snow melt, excess rain, and a crop that is not yet needing much water or nitrogen, much of the nitrogen that we apply can leach out of the profile because it has nothing to hang on to. Because of this we suggest delaying any nitrogen application until the V2 development stage. If you need a little peace of mind and want to apply 10 to 20 pounds at planting, that is fine, just remember to keep that rate low.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Soil compaction: What can you do?

by Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension educator

emerging corn
As you head back into the fields this spring, plan to reduce your soil compaction. As the weight of farm tractors and field equipment becomes larger and heavier and as the annual precipitation increases in Minnesota, there is a growing concern about soil compaction.

Here's How to Select the Right Starter Fertilizer for Corn


Daniel Kaiser, Nutrient Management Specialist
Jeff Vetsch, Soil Scientist

We had a late start to the season, and planting is later than usual. Should you use a starter fertilizer? The answer to that question is that it depends. Some research has shown later plantings will still benefit from starter due to decreasing time to silking. Decreasing the rate applied may be an option to speed up planting if you are questioning whether to keep using starter. There is no right or wrong answer whether to use starter or not in your production system. If you do choose starter here are five tips which may help you get the most out of your investment.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Large influx of black cutworm moths arrive in Minnesota

by Bruce Potter, Integrated pest management specialist

Minnesota map
Figure 1. Maximum black cutworm moth captures by county April 27 - May 4, 2018.
The past week brought rain and black cutworm (BCW) moths to many trap locations, both unwelcome. This is as large and widespread early-season influx of moths as we have seen for several years.

Many counties have more than one trap operating. The reported maximum 2-night moth capture for all traps in a county during the week are shown in Figure 1.

Table 1 shows counties that reported significant (numbers indicating potential risk for economic damage to row crops) captures and dates.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

Gearing Up for the Use of Dicamba Tolerant Soybean Technology in 2018

Andrew Thostenson, Pesticide Program Specialist, North Dakota State University and Liz Stahl, Extension educator

tractor-in-field
Note: Andrew Thostenson, Pesticide Program Specialist with North Dakota State University, recently posted the article “Gearing Up for the Use of Dicamba Tolerant Soybean Technology in 2018.” He discusses some very good points pertinent to Minnesotans, considering the delayed start to planting this season, in his article reprinted below.
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