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Extension > Minnesota Crop News

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Keep it simple when trying cover crops

by Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension educator

In Minnesota, small grain harvest is complete and sugar beet, sweet corn, corn silage, and pea harvest is well underway. With these early harvested crops, producers have an opportunity to consider planting a cover crop this fall, a practice that has many benefits. This may be a particularly good year to try cover crops, since soil moisture in many parts of the region is ideal for germination.

Monday, August 29, 2016

Rotating alfalfa to corn? Tactics to maximize rotational benefits

by Jeff Coulter, Extension corn specialist

First- and second-year corn following alfalfa usually have increased yield, reduced or eliminated nitrogen requirement from fertilizer or manure, and reduced pest pressure. Successful termination of alfalfa is essential to fully realize these benefits.

Forecasts indicate above-average and variable corn yields

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Specialist

Much of the corn in Minnesota is in the dent stage of kernel development. At this time, stress to corn from dry conditions can impact yield by reducing kernel size.

To evaluate the impact of this season’s weather on corn yield potential and its spatial variability across the Corn Belt, including three locations in Minnesota, yield forecasts were made on August 24 by University of Nebraska researchers as part of a multi-state project. Statewide forecasts of corn yield also were developed. Updated forecasts are planned for early September.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Brown marmorated stink bug detected in Minnesota soybean


by Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist) and Daniela Pezzini (Graduate Student)

The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) was recently detected for the first time in Minnesota soybean. A single adult specimen was collected in sweep net samples from a soybean field in Dakota County on August 17, 2016. Follow-up sampling of that same field performed on August 25, 2016 did not detect any additional BMSB. This invasive pest of Asian origin uses piercing-sucking mouth parts to feed on developing soybean pods and seeds. In more easterly states, this insect has caused significant yield losses to soybean and other crops. In Minnesota, we are unaware of any fields with densities of stink bugs near treatable levels; therefore, we do not envision any insecticide treatments being needed for this pest at this time. The intent of this article is to alert you to the presence of this new invader, which could become a threat to Minnesota crops in the near future. Further information on BMSB and other stink bugs in soybean can be found in “Stink bugs in Minnesota Soybean.”

Thursday, August 25, 2016

Soil compaction management at harvest

Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension educator - crops

Compaction is often thought of as a spring problem. However, in seven of the past 10 years, parts of Minnesota have had wet soil conditions during harvest.

What should a producer do when the soil is wet and harvest needs to be completed? Should producers risk significant compaction and harvest the crop or just stay off of the field? The answer is easy: harvest the crop.

Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Palmer amaranth: A new weed threat to watch out for

Lisa Behnken, Fritz Breitenbach, Jeff Gunsolus, Phyllis Bongard, Liz Stahl

Palmer amaranth
Photo 1. Palmer amaranth in a Tennessee field. Source: Lisa Behnken
Palmer amaranth is not native to the northern US, but has spread northward from southern states, being confirmed in Wisconsin, Iowa, Illinois and Nebraska (2011–2013), South Dakota (2014) and other northern states. In 2016, it was discovered in newly-seeded CRP land in Iowa, including Clayton County, just one county away from southeastern Minnesota.

Monday, August 22, 2016

Some things to consider with late-season soybean aphid insecticide applications

Bruce Potter, (Extension IPM Specialist) and Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist)

Soybean aphids and other insect pests are able to reduce soybean yield until the R6.5 stage (yellow pods begin) stage. You want to pay some attention to soybean insect problems (and identify weed and disease issues) until then. However, this year's aphid scouting efforts should increasingly focus on fields with less mature beans. As the 2016 soybean aphid season begins to wind down, there are several aspects of late-season soybean aphid populations that can influence insecticide decisions.
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