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Extension > Minnesota Crop News > 2005

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

A Look at Minnesota Corn Yields over Time

Dale R. Hicks, Agronomy and Plant Genetics

Corn yields in Minnesota have been excellent for the past few years and have exceeded the expectations based on weather and growing conditions during the growing seasons. Whole field yields during the past three years have exceeded 200 bushels per acre for many growers in the central to southern regions of the state. As a result, we may begin to wonder if these high yields are now normal and should we expect them in the future or have they been blips on the yield profile? It may not be very accurate to use the past to predict the future, but it is one method to look forward to corn yields of the next few years. That's the objective of this paper.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Hybrid Stability

Dale R. Hicks, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics

Corn seed salesmen will be calling on growers to book the hybrids that they will grow next year. One of the hybrid's traits that they may talk about is "stability." I've heard that term for many years and often wondered what it meant; I haven't seen it defined in company literature. And the term "racehorse" is also often used in the same discussion of stability. I've often asked what is meant by these terms and get different replies, but the description usually is "it's a hybrid that does well on your best land." Right or wrong, this implied to me that those hybrids described as racehorses might not then do as well as others on lower yielding fields. Then, what hybrids should one chose to grow on the lower yielding fields? Do "racehorse hybrids" exist? These questions haunted me for some time until I looked into the matter further. This paper describes my findings and conclusions.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Corn stalk rots in Minnesota this year

Dean Malvick, Extension Plant Pathologist, and Dave Nicolai, Extension Educator-Crops

The corn crop generally looks good across Minnesota this year, however, a problem may be lurking in many fields that may reduce yields and set the stage for lodging and harvest challenges. This problem is corn stalk rots, a common problem that is increased by stress conditions in the mid to late growing season. Corn stalk rot has been reported this season in many areas of the state but particularly in areas which suffered from drought stress and/or corn rootworm damage earlier in the season. General information about corn stalk rots and a perspective on this problem for Minnesota are addressed in this article.

Wet conditions lead to harvest delays

Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator-Crops

Soggy fields and submerged crops can be found in areas throughout the state due to recent rainfall events. What effect will these late-season wet conditions and even flooding have on corn and soybeans as we wait for field conditions to improve and harvest to resume?

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Corn grain drying rates

Dale R. Hicks, Agronomy and Plant Genetics

Drying costs will be higher this fall because LPGas prices have and are rising quickly during the past few weeks. Corn growers may want to delay harvest to allow for more field drying which could reduce drying costs. How much field drying can be expected?

Field drying is an evaporative process of moisture moving out of kernels through the husks. High temperature and low humidity are the primary factors, which drive the rate of field drying. Husk looseness is an important plant characteristic that helps to speed kernel moisture loss. Other factors are wind speed and sunshine hours that contribute to field drying.

Wednesday, May 18, 2005

Corn and Soybean Emergence and Early Growth

S. L. Naeve and D.R. Hicks, Agronomy and Plant Genetics

A major portion (about 90 percent) of the Minnesota corn acres are planted but only ten percent has emerged. For soybeans, only 28 percent of the acres are planted and only a very few (1%) have emerged. Cold seed zones do not promote germination and emergence.

Thursday, January 6, 2005

Nitrogen credit contribution by alfalfa to corn

Craig Sheaffer, George Rehm, and Paul Peterson, University of Minnesota

Alfalfa is well known for enhancing yield of grass crops like corn that follow it in rotation. Alfalfa benefits are due not only to the addition of biologically fixed nitrogen (N), but also to rotation effects including reduced disease and weed pressure and increased soil organic matter and aggregation of soil particles. Taking advantage of alfalfa's rotational benefits reduces fertilizer and pesticide costs and boosts yields.

Tuesday, January 4, 2005

A review of the 2004 growing season and corn hybrid maturities for 2005 in southern Minnesota

D.R. Hicks, Agronomy and Plant Genetics

The cold and wet growing season for Minnesota delayed the growth and development of corn such that growers may consider selecting earlier maturing hybrids for 2005 compared with maturities that they have normally been growing. The subject of this newsletter is to evaluate the yield and drying cost tradeoffs of planting earlier maturing corn hybrids.

A review of the 2004 growing season and corn hybrid maturities for 2005 in central and northern Minnesota

D.R. Hicks, Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota

The cold and wet growing season for Minnesota delayed the growth and development of corn such that growers may consider selecting earlier maturing hybrids for 2005 compared with maturities that they have normally been growing. The subject of this newsletter is to evaluate the yield and drying cost tradeoffs of planting earlier maturing corn hybrids.
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