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Showing posts from 2006

Managing stored grain to minimize risk of storage losses

Phillip Glogoza and David Nicolai
Regional Extension Educators-Crops, Moorhead and Hutchinson, MN

Grain harvest is in full swing across the state. It is not too late to review basic on-farm grain storage principles for maintaining quality of stored commodities. Harvest should include preparation of storage structures to receive grain. Preparation includes several practices that aide in preventing pest infestations from developing within our storage structures.

Multiple practices should be implemented on farm to maximize grain quality. These include using appropriate production and harvest practices, maintenance and proper use of grain handling equipment, drying systems and storage structures. There are four simple steps to maintain post-harvest quality sanitation, loading, aeration, and monitoring to protect stored grains from insects, weather, rodents, self-heating, molds, mycotoxins, and pesticide residues.

Corn Development and Maturity as Affected by Wind Storm Damage

Dave Nicolai, Regional Extension Educator-Crops, and Dale Hicks, University of Minnesota Extension Corn Specialist
Some of the severe lodging from last week's tornado and wind storm occurred in fields not yet mature. Severely damaged immature corn will likely shut down prematurely (kernel black layer development). If silage is an option, obviously that would be a preferred choice for utilizing immature corn that is severely flattened.

Dry down of grain (mature or immature) will be slower where ears are literally lying near the soil surface simply because they are less exposed to sun and wind. Less-severely lodged corn will dry at fairly normal rates.It is important to understand what the current crop stage is at now and where it was at the time of the storm.

Predicting the last irrigation for corn and soybeans in Central Minnesota*

Jerry Wright, Retired Associate Professor and Extension Engineer, Dale Hicks, Retired Professor and Extension Agronomist, Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist
Revised 2006 (first issued July 1988)
Determining when one can discontinue irrigating for the season is an important water management decision. Discontinuing too early in the season to save water or reduce pumping cost could mean a much greater reduction in yield returns than the cost of pumping. On the other hand, irrigating right up to crop maturity may mean using 1 to 3 inches more irrigation water than necessary and increasing operating costs $3 to $15 per acre depending on power source.

The purpose of this paper is to present some guidelines for predicting the last irrigation for corn and soybeans when irrigation water supplies are adequate.

Reducing harvest losses with proper combine settings in lodged corn

Dave Nicolai, Regional Extension Educator-crops
Preharvest loss
Additional ear droppage can be caused by deteriorating stalk and ear shank strength. Harvesting at higher moisture content may be beneficial to reduce loss. The disadvantage is the higher drying costs which can be a major factor because of high LP cost.

Kernels or Not?

Dale R. Hicks, Retired Extension agronomist
Corn plants for most of Minnesota have been short of moisture or under high temperature stress for the past four weeks. Since most fields are past tasseling and silking, one can now determine the success of the pollination and fertilization process. The objective here is to describe a simple method to determine the fertilization success and to discuss the effect of stress on plant recovery and grain yield.

Using drought-stressed corn for forage

D.R. Hicks and P.R. Peterson, Former Agronomists, University of Minnesota
Corn that is drought stressed can be used for forage, either green chop or as silage. The purpose of this article is to address some of the questions that growers should consider when using drought-stressed corn.

Flag Leaf Burning: Hot Weather and Leaf Tip Necrosis in Wheat

Jochum Wiersma, Small Grains Specialist

Photo 1. Effect of hot, dry, and windy weather on young and tender flag leaves on the variety 'Glenn.' Under certain conditions, the appearance of necrotic areas on flag leaves in wheat can look like a severe disease outbreak. Symptoms can be described as a dying back of the flag leaf from the tip of the leaf downwards (Photos 1 and 2).

Planting dates and Minnesota state average corn yields, 1968-2005

D. R. Hicks, Agronomy and Plant Genetics
Extensive research over many locations and years in Minnesota has shown the yield advantage of early-planted corn. And Minnesota corn growers have responded by planting corn earlier. Since 1968, the average planting date for Minnesota's corn acreage has been earlier by about 1/2 day per year. The average planting date for corn was May 20 in 1968 and was May 3 in 2005. State average corn yields and date when 50% of the corn crop was planted (defined as the average planting date) were analyzed to examine the relationship between planting date and state average corn yields.