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Monday, September 26, 2016

Should soil health test results be used when determining fertilizer needs in Minnesota?

by Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops; Fabián G. Fernández  and Daniel E. Kaiser, Extension Nutrient Management Specialists

soil test
Photo 1. Soil sampling
Soil health and how to improve and maintain it has been a hot topic in agriculture recently. Soil tests, including the Haney Test, have been developed to help measure indicators of soil health such as microbial activity, the amount of carbon in the soil, and nutrient availability. As more farmers use soil health tests, the question arises if results from these tests can or should be used in determining fertilizer needs for crops like corn in Minnesota.

Final corn yield forecasts and harvest considerations following excessive rainfall

by Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Specialist

Final end-of-season forecasts of corn grain yield were recently made for several locations and states across the Corn Belt by University of Nebraska researchers. These forecasts suggest above-average yield for Minnesota and yields less than USDA’s forecasts for most other Corn Belt states.

Friday, September 23, 2016

Palmer Amaranth in MN: Reporting, preventing further infestation and monitoring

Jeff Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist - Weed Science

palmer amaranth
Photo 1. Palmer amaranth plant from Yellow Medicine County, MN. Photo: Bruce Potter
Following yesterday’s confirmation of the presence of Palmer Amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) in Yellow Medicine County, University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) sent out a joint news release describing where this plant was detected, photos to assist in identification, the biological reasons why this weed is on the MDA’s Prohibited – Eradicate Noxious Weed list and why efforts to eradicate this weed are critical to Minnesota’s commodity crop producers.

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Check pollinator plantings for Palmer amaranth

Jeff Gunsolus, Bruce Potter and Roger Becker

Palmer amaranth
Photo 1. Suspected Palmer amaranth plant from Yellow Medicine County, MN. Photo: Bruce Potter
Although we are waiting for final confirmation, we strongly advise people to check their pollinator planting sites for the presence of Palmer Amaranth.

Yesterday Bruce Potter followed up on a crop consultant's request to investigate a newly established pollinator planting in Yellow Medicine County. The grower and consultant are to be commended for detecting and reporting this site during the establishment year.

Friday, September 16, 2016

Tips for Planting Winter Wheat and Rye

The window to seed winter cereals is rapidly closing in the northern part of the state while the optimum window for the remainder of the state is quickly approaching.  Some tips on early fall establishment can be found here.  Meanwhile winter wheat variety information can be found here while some preliminary rye yield data can be found here.

Soybean development is slightly ahead of the 5-year average and that may open up a window of opportunity to successfully seed winter wheat or rye.  Research has shown that even a little standing stubble of soybeans  is enough to make a difference when trying to raise winter wheat and reducing winter kill.

Rye is Not Just a Cover Crop

Jochum Wiersma, Scotty Wells, and Axel Garcia y Garcia

Rye’s reputation in the US is built on its potential as cover crop. The allelophatic attributes of rye to suppress small seeded weeds are utilized in organic production systems while its drought tolerance and winter hardiness make fall establishment as a cover crop nearly fail-safe. Rye, however, is used in other parts of the world as both feed and food. Some of you may have had pumpernickel bread and if you are of Scandinavian descent you may have grown up with knäckebröd. As feed stuff, rye has some interesting properties that have grabbed the attention of hog producers in Denmark and Germany as a way to reduce antibiotic usage and stress in the group housing systems, both mandated by law.

Fall urea: Should I consider it?

Fabián G. Fernández, Daniel E. Kaiser, Jeffrey A. Vetsch

Crop harvest is around the corner and planning for the next growing season is in every farmer’s mind. One important decision is about when to apply nitrogen (N) and what source to use.
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