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Storing, Drying, and Handling Wet Soybeans

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops and Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist

While almost impossible to accomplish in most years, harvesting soybeans at a moisture content between 13 to 15% helps maximize yields while minimizing harvest losses. Cool, cloudy, and rainy conditions this fall, however, have led to large increases in soybean moisture content. With cool conditions in the forecast, soybeans may be harvested at much higher moisture levels this fall than usual. 
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Reducing Risks of Manure Application During Wet Weather

It’s been cold and wet so far this October, delaying crop harvest. This makes it challenging to get manure applied in a timely fashion and for liquid manures there is a risk of overflow from storage basins. The following is a list of possible things you can do to limit the environmental impact of manure application during wet conditions.

Instead of land applying:

Consider temporary stockpiling for solid manures until field conditions are better. MPCA rules on stockpiling can be found here.For liquid manure, you may want to pump the basin partially to avoid overflow, land applying only what is necessary (see tips below) or finding a different storage space (make sure it is permitted!). Then apply the remaining manure later in the fall under better conditions, or in the spring. Try to avoid winter application (on frozen or snow-covered soils) if possible.
Tips for land application in wet conditions:

Start first in the parts of the fields that have adequately dried, like higher ground.For b…

Soybean drying and storage

Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist
With continued cold, cloudy, and rainy conditions across Minnesota, farmers are beginning to question when they will be able to get into the field to harvest their soybeans. Excessive rains have left fields at 100 percent field capacity.

With low evaporation and no transpiration to remove the water, fields will be very slow to dry. It is possible that the crop itself will be fairly dry by the time the soils will support combines, but certainly, soybeans will come off wetter than in most years.

Tips for Pasture Fertility Management

As we approach mid-October, the question is: is there a benefit in fertilizing my pasture? Nutrient management in pasture situations can be tricky because you’re fertilizing on top of actively growing plants. While the plants continue to grow, we do not suggest a full rate of nitrogen be applied. However, if you are considering re-seeding a pasture and will till up the ground then you may want to consider application of P and K prior to tillage to incorporate the nutrients. Here are a few more tips to make your pasture fertilization more successful.

1. Adjust rates based on expected yield and species grown

Application of nitrogen should vary based on whether the pasture contains 100% grasses or a grass/legume mixture. If only grass is grown then apply N at a rate of 30 lbs per ton of dry matter expected. Typically 90-120 lbs of N per acre is enough annual N application for a grass pasture to maintain adequate growth. For grass-legume mixtures N rate is not suggested to exceed 60 lbs o…

Free farm financial counseling available

One-to-one financial counseling for Minnesota farmers experiencing serious financial distress is available from University of Minnesota Extension. A team of farm financial analysts has been pulled together to provide free and confidential counseling sessions to help farmers explore options in this difficult agricultural climate.

Call the Farm Information Line to set up an appointment or learn more about service: 1-800-232-9077 (8:30 am -12:30 pm M-F, or leave a voicemail after hours) Email fil@umn.edu.Visit our websites:Farm financial counseling (see the brochure)Resources for difficult timesFarmer-Lender mediation

Is It Feasible to Lower My Soil pH?

There are a lot of ideas out there on how to manage pH of soil to optimize plant growth. One major issue with high pH soils is iron deficiency chlorosis (IDC) in soybean. Soybean growers have been looking for the magic bullet for managing IDC and while there are options out there, nothing is long term.

Some wonder if soil acidification to lower pH would help solve IDC. In most Minnesota soils, which are poorly buffered, adding nitrogen fertilizers over time will acidify soils. Of the nitrogen sources, ammonium sulfate has the greatest potential for acidification but is mostly applied for sulfur and rarely used as the sole nitrogen source. Elemental sulfur has been used in horticultural crops, but it’s required in high amounts and might not be effective if oxidation is slow.

Buffering capacity is an important process to understand when it comes to liming. The buffering capacity is a measure of the reserve acidity or alkalinity in the soil. This dictates how easy it is to change the pH…

2018 Conservation Tillage Conference to be hosted in Fargo

University of Minnesota Extension and North Dakota State University Extension Service are co-hosting the 2018 Conservation Tillage Conference on Dec. 18-19 in Fargo, ND at the Hilton Garden Inn Conference Center.

Roll up your sleeves for some practical, hands-on information that will save you soil, time, fuel, and money. This conference emphasizes proven farmer experience and applied science. Straight from the fields, learn how heavier, colder soils aren’t necessarily the challenge they’re made out to be. Hear from long-time no-till, reduced tillage, and cover crop farmers as they share their experiences, so you can be spared the same hard-learned lessons.