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Friday, July 24, 2015

Crop management field day to be held August 4 in Lewiston

A Crop Management Field Day is scheduled for Tuesday, August 4, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in Lewiston, MN. Highlights include looking at split nitrogen application research plots in corn, hearing about new herbicide options and their effectiveness on problem weeds, and learning about cover crops. In addition, A new best management practice outreach program will be introduced by the Minnesota Department of Agriculture.

The event will be located in a field adjacent to the Lewiston Sales Barn at 21241 Dutchmans Crossing (Map). In the event of inclement weather, the event will be moved to the Green Lodge at Farmer's Park, located along MN-Hwy 14 between Lewiston and Stockton.

There is no charge to attend the field day. Pre-registration is preferred to help with refreshment and grounds planning: Call 507-457-6440 or visit to register.

For more information, see the Crop Management Field Day flyer.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Tillage, Technology and Residue Field Day registration available online

Crop producers and other agricultural professionals can see the latest in variable depth tillage equipment, watch side–by–side field demonstrations by national and regional manufacturers, and learn how to build soil structure for maximum soil productivity at the field day scheduled for Thursday, September 10 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The Tillage, Technology and Residue Field Day will be held at the West Central Research and Outreach Center (WCROC) in Morris, MN (Map). Other highlights for the field day include the following:

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Topics Addressing Small Grain Crop Dry-down and Harvest

prepared by: Jochum Wiersma, Small Grains Specialist, 
                      Doug Holen, Crops Extension Educator and 
                      Phyllis Bongard, Educational Development and Communications Specialist

Small grain harvest is underway in parts of southern Minnesota including winter wheat, winter rye, barley, and even spring wheat.  The common theme to date is harvest maturity.  Many calls and questions are circulating addressing crop dry-down and removal.  Most of this concern comes on the back side of strong wind events across the state resulting in significant lodging. 

Monday, July 20, 2015

Parasitic wasps attacking Minnesota soybean aphids: Summary of a collaborative statewide survey

by Joe Kaser (Graduate Student), George Heimpel (Professor), and Robert Koch (Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist)

An important group of beneficial insects that help control soybean aphids are tiny parasitic wasps (also known as aphid parasitoids). These wasps do not sting or harm humans, livestock, or any insects besides aphids. The biology of these parasitic wasps is like something out of a science-fiction movie. The female wasps inject their eggs into aphids. The larvae that hatch from the eggs then develop inside of their aphid hosts, eventually killing the aphid, and later emerging as winged adult wasps. Aphids attacked by these parasitic wasps become “mummies,” which are the slightly swollen, brown- or black-colored bodies of the dead aphids.  When managing soybean aphid, use of scouting and the economic threshold (250 aphids per plant) will help reduce insecticide inputs and conserve these aphid-killing wasps.  

Managing Cercospora leaf spot of sugarbeet

Mohamed Khan, Extension Sugarbeet Specialist

Figure 1A. Typical early symptoms of Cercospora leaf spot - circular spots or lesions about 1/8 inch in diameter with ash gray centers.

Figure 1B. Cercospora lesion with "black pepper–like" spots and conidiospores in the center.

Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) (Figure 1 A, B) is the most damaging leaf disease of sugarbeet in North Dakota and Minnesota. CLS is caused by the fungus Cercospora beticola which does most damage in warm weather (80 to 90 degree F during the day and over 60 degree F in the night) and in the presence of moisture from rain or dew on the leaves. The fungus destroys the leaves (Figure 2) and thus adversely impacts photosynthesis resulting in reduced tonnage and lower extractable sucrose.

Midsummer Corn and Soybean Disease Development in Minnesota

by Dean Malvick

Several different crop diseases have appeared in corn and soybean fields across Minnesota. Although most are at minor levels now, diseases are dynamic and it is important to be alert for these and other diseases that may be developing. More information can be found at the Minnesota Crop Diseases web site:

Sugarbeet crop update

Mohamed Khan, Extension Sugarbeet Specialist


In North Dakota and Minnesota, ideal planting time is in mid- to late-April so that plants can close rows by June 21 to maximize photosynthetic activity during long daylight hours for highest yields. The lack of snow and rainfall preceding and during early April resulted in growers being able to plant over 90% of their sugarbeet crop during April. However, inadequate soil moisture in many areas resulted in delayed emergence, and in some fields, uneven seedling emergence. Fortunately, several rainfall events in May and June have resulted in adequate moisture for the sugarbeet crop as well as recharging of the soil moisture content. May was relatively cool but since June 1, average daily bare soil temperature was over 55°F resulting in rapid crop growth. As such, most fields in Minnesota had a full canopy by the 4th of July.

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