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8 Things to Keep in Mind When Planning for Fall Manure Applications

With a potentially tight window for getting on fall manure in the coming months, the best policy is to be prepared. Now’s the right time to start thinking about fall applications. Here are eight key things to keep in mind as you plan.  Start prepping equipment to make sure everything’s looking good for fall application.Plan ahead for which crops will receive manure applications. Remember MPCA regulations for maximum application rates. Wait until soil temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At these cooler temperatures nitrogen is more likely to stay in the organic or ammonium forms. In warmer soil temperatures, nitrogen converts to nitrate, a form that can be lost more quickly.If you want to apply 1-2 weeks earlier, studies have shown some indications that applying with a nitrification inhibitor may potentially help, but don’t expect that to last if you apply in September.If you’re going to apply in late summer or early fall following sweet corn and canning crops, get a cover cr…
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Assistance requested with plant and soil sample collection to study Soybean SDS pathogen distribution

Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist
We are working to understand the distribution of the fungal pathogen that causes soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) and root rot of edible bean and alfalfa in Minnesota. Your help is requested.

The soilborne pathogen (Fusarium virguliforme) that causes SDS of soybean and root rot of edible bean and other legumes is spreading in Minnesota. Our study has the goal of monitoring and mapping the presence of this pathogen in soybean, dry edible bean, and alfalfa production fields across Minnesota. We request help with sample collection from your area.

Kura clover living mulch provides opportunity for high corn yield with reduced nitrogen input

Jonathan Alexander1, Jeff Coulter1, John Baker1,2, and Rodney Venterea1,2
1University of Minnesota, 2USDA-Agricultural Research Service
A living mulch is a cover crop under-seeded into annual crop production. Kura clover is a vegetatively-spreading, nitrogen (N)-fixing, winter-hardy perennial legume native to eastern Europe. Kura clover’s spreading habit gives it the ability to survive harsh agronomic management, which makes it a prime candidate for use as a perennial living mulch.

Kura clover’s N-fixing ability and dense mat of roots benefit the producer and the environment by reducing N application requirements, protecting against soil erosion, and capturing excess N in the soil.

Managing late-season soybean aphid infestations: It isn't getting easier.

by Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist)

Aphid populations continue to increase, especially in southern Minnesota where we are seeing more fields surpassing threshold levels and requiring treatment to protect soybean yield. Late-season management of soybean aphids can be challenging. In this article, I provide some considerations for scouting and making management decisions for soybean aphid in the later part of the growing season. How much longer do you need to keep scouting? What densities of aphids should (or should not) be treated with insecticide?  What about later growth stages? What if there are spider mites in the field too?  Can you stop scouting if you already applied an insecticide to a field?  However, before diving into this discussion, be sure you can accurately determine the growth stage of your soybean field (review Soybean growth stages for a refresher).

Hay auction summary

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.

Assistance with 2018 European corn borer and corn disease survey requested

Bruce Potter, Bill Hutchison, Ken Ostlie, and Dean Malvick
Entomologists and plant pathologists at the University of Minnesota continue to document and understand changes in European corn borer (ECB) populations and corn diseases in our state.

Each fall, about 150 corn fields are surveyed for the presence of corn borer damages, overwintering corn borer larvae, and corn diseases. During the growing season weekly updates of ECB moth captures in black light traps are made available: https://www.vegedge.umn.edu/moth-data/ecb-info. Funding from the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council has provided us an opportunity to improve these efforts.

4 Considerations for Fall Sulfur Application

As crazy as it sounds, fall is right around the corner. What’s your strategy for post-harvest fertilizer application?  We’ve been getting questions about sulfur application as farmers look for their best options. If you’re thinking about sulfur, here are four things to consider to ensure the most efficient use for next year’s crop.
1. Your crop
Corn, alfalfa, and canola have shown the greatest benefit to fertilization of sulfur in Minnesota. Applying ahead of, or in the case of alfalfa to an established stand, make the most sense economically. Small grains have shown a potential for response on soils with low organic matter (3.0% or less) while soybean responses have been inconsistent. 
2. Your soil type
Soils with greater potential for leaching are not good targets for fall sulfur application for sources that contain sulfate. Sulfate will move in the soil profile and soils with medium to coarse texture are not good targets for fall sulfur application. Fine textured poorly drained soil…