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Extension > Minnesota Crop News > September 2006

Friday, September 22, 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.

Friday, September 1, 2006

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.
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