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Thursday, December 30, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auctions Dec 2 & 16, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
This information is from the Sauk Centre Hay Auctions held on December 2 and 16, 2011. I am posting 4 items here:
SC Hay Auction 12 02 10.pdf  A list of hay lots and bedding materials sold ... grouped by kind of hay and type of bale.
SC Hay Auction 12 16 10.pdf  Same kind of list for Dec 16.
History Selected Lots 2010 2011.pdf   A summary of auctions held so far this year - Medium Square Alfalfa lots with RFV from 101 to 200 listing averages and ranges for RFV and price, also straw.
Graph SC Hay Auction 2001-2011.pdf   A line graph of auction seasons from 2001-2011. The current year is the red line.
Extra reading has a couple comments about the auctions, and some info about coming events. These auctions continue to be held on the 1st and 3rd Thursdays at 12:30 p.m.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Nov. 18, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
This information is from the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on November 18, 2010. Remember averages probably indicate what average hay might sell for. The physical condition of the hay is important along with the lab test.
SC Hay Auction 11 18 10.pdf   A list of all tested lots sold, straw and corn stalks ... grouped by kind of hay, type of bale, 25 RFV points ... with quality and price information.
History Selected Lots 2010 2011.pdf  A summary of auctions held so far this year for medium square alfalfa and straw.
Graph SC Hay Auction 2001 2011.pdf   A line graph, visual attempt to compare prices from year to year, 2001 to now. Remember some points on a graph might represent one or two loads.


Monday, November 22, 2010

2010 Corn Grain and Silage Hybrid Trial Results Available

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

Results from the 2010 University of Minnesota corn grain and silage hybrid trials are available online at the following links:

2010 Grain Hybrid Trial Results and Text

These trials were conducted at multiple locations across Minnesota to provide unbiased and replicated information on the performance of numerous hybrids for growers and agronomists.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction 11/04/2010

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison counties
Click SC Hay Auction 11 04 10.pdf to see a report of the hay and bedding sold based on groups sorted by hay type, bale package, and 25 RFV points.

Market information may be limited yet for drawing conclusions about significant trends. The milk market is also more unstable over the last week or so and might affect how dairy hay buyers think about things. There were no medium square bales in the 176-200 RFV group.

9 Loads Medium Square Alfalfa RFV 151-175
RFV range 155 to 174, average 166
Price range $110 to $140, average $127

7 Loads Medium Square Alfalfa RFV 126-150
RFV range 129-150, average 139
Price range $70-110, average $92

7 Loads Medium Square Alfalfa RFV 101-125
RFV range 102-125, Average 110
Price range $70-90, average $81

5 Loads Medium Square Straw
Price Range $30-32.50, average $31

2 Loads Large Round Corn Stalks at $22.50 and 25

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Sauk Cente Hay Auction 10/21/2010

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

Click on SC Hay Auction 10 21 10.pdf to see a report of the hay and bedding lots sold based on groups sorted by hay type, bale package and 25 RFV Points.

Additional Comments and Event Reminders:

We are not seeing large numbers of loads at the Sauk Centre auctions yet, but some indication perhaps of what the market is like. Rain forecast for the last week of October may have put more urgency on fall field work.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Conditions are Right for Fall Dandelion Control in Corn and Soybean

By Jeffrey L. Gunsolus, Extension agronomist-weed science

An early corn and soybean harvest and good weather conditions are keeping the window of opportunity open for fall dandelion control this year. Fall is an excellent time to target several herbaceous perennials including: alfalfa, Canada thistle and dandelion. A fall application is more effective than a spring application because systemic herbicides such as glyphosate, 2,4-D, Express, Basis and Synchrony tend to accumulate in greater amounts in a perennial plant's roots or rhizomes after a fall application. Movement to the below ground roots and rhizome buds increases herbicide effectiveness and possibly decreases winter hardiness of the plant.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction 10/07/2010

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

A small number of loads sold at the October 7 Auction. Click on SC Hay Auction 10 07 2010.pdf to see a report on hay lots sold based on groups sorted by hay type, bale package and 25 RFV points. There was 1 load of large round straw bales.

You can check more hay market information by going to
http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/LSMNpubs.
Select "hay" in the middle of the page. I like the East River South Dakota Market as another close by "dairy" market perspective.

Monday, October 11, 2010

Corn nematodes: A fact sheet prepared by the University of Minnesota's Plant Disease Clinic

By David MacDonald

Different plant stresses above and beyond those of soil fertility, moisture holding capacity, and drainage that are usually emphasized at harvest can also restrict the productivity of crops. One of those stresses that has the potential to be present in every farm field is created by the feeding and other activities of plant nematodes. Autumn is the preferred time to collect soil samples for plant nematode analysis. Justification for the previous statement and additional information about plant nematodes are provided in the following paragraphs.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Non harvested soybeans: Can you expect an extra N credit?

By Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

With the recent flooding or late season hail there may be questions on whether a credit can be taken from soybeans not harvested for the next year's crop. Soybeans are a high protein crop which means they can contain a large amount of nitrogen. Average values of nitrogen removed in soybean grain are reported at around 3.8 lbs of N per bushel (Source IPNI) for a total of 190 lbs of N in a 50 bu/ac soybean crop. In comparison corn grain would remove about 0.90 lbs of N per bushel and a total of 180 lbs of N in a 200 bu/ac crop.  Can all of this nitrogen be counted on if the soybeans cannot be harvested and are plowed under if they cannot be harvested?

Fall Application of Urea: A Risky Practice?

By Gyles Randall, Southern Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota

Nitrogen management practices for corn have become a popular discussion topic lately among growers, dealers, and crop advisors. Record June-July rainfall (16.25" at Waseca) placed intense pressure on N availability for corn, resulting in considerable acreage of lighter green to yellowish green corn in southern Minnesota. This appearance indicates a shortage of N; likely due to denitrification losses of N from the saturated soils during June and July. Scenarios where N losses and N-deficient corn were most apparent include: 1) corn following corn, 2) fall-applied N, and 3) poorly to very poorly drained soils. Based on previous research, applying an additional 50 to 60 lb N/A, especially in the fall, under these "high N loss" conditions would not have been sufficient to meet the N demand of this year's corn.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Plan Now for Successful Corn after Alfalfa

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

Planting corn after alfalfa is an effective way to eliminate or greatly reduce the corn nitrogen requirement while increasing corn yield potential due to the rotation effect. However, successful termination of the alfalfa stand is essential in order to fully realize these benefits, as volunteer alfalfa can compete with corn for water, nitrogen, and light. Traditionally, alfalfa stand termination relied on tillage implements such as a moldboard plow or a chisel plow with overlapping sweeps to completely cut off alfalfa roots. From a soil conservation standpoint, however, these tillage implements may not be desirable for all fields. Yet, tillage implements that do not cut the roots from all plants are ineffective for complete termination. As a result, herbicides are an indispensable tool for alfalfa stand termination in many cropping systems.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Sept 16, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns - Benton - Morrison Counties
I am attaching my summary of the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on September 16, 2010.
Click on the link SC Hay Auction 09 16 10.pdf for a document that include all tested lots and bedding materials. The lots are grouped by kind of hay, type of bale, in groups by 25 RFV points. The third page is a history of selected lots. I encourage people to consider the usefulness of averages carefully with small numbers of loads and some significant differences in physical condition.



Flood effects on Minnesota soybeans: 2010 edition

By Seth Naeve and Bruce Potter

Heavy rain fell across much southern Minnesota on September 22nd and 23rd and left large areas of Minnesota corn and soybean fields submerged.  Flood waters covered, perhaps 100,000 acres for several hours as rain water moved from fields into creeks and rivers.  Longer term flooding of fields affected tens of thousands of acres of cropland.  In most instances, drainage tile, where present,  were unable to prevent ponded waters. In other cases, streams swollen by 4–12 inches of rain falling on fields, roads and cities came out of their banks and flooded fields.

Many factors will affect the quality of the corn and soybean crops following standing water.  These include, but are not limited to: duration of the flooding, crop stage or maturity, depth of the water, movement of the water, and air and water temperatures.  Fortunately, late-season rain events of this magnitude are relatively rare.  Unfortunately, there is virtually no data to help us estimate crop losses and conditions of corn and soybean crops.  Flood waters are thought to affect soybeans more than corn, and will therefore be the focus of this piece.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Results 09/02/2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
This information is from the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on September 2, 2010.

Click on the link SC Hay Auction 09 02 10.pdf for a list of all tested lots sold and bedding materials sold. The lots are grouped by kind of hay, type of bale, in groups by 25 RFV points. The last page of the report is a history of selected groups with averages and ranges from previous years along with corresponding September 2, 2010 information.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Hot and dry summer conditions in Minnesota are favorable for corn ear rots and mycotoxin production

Dean Malvick, Extension Plant Pathologist

Not only have the hot and dry conditions and hail affected corn yields in Minnesota this year, these conditions have also favored development of ear rots. Reports of ear rots have been coming in from several different areas, and the quality of grain that comes off these affected fields may be reduced. Several different types of ear rots occur in Minnesota, and all are not equally important. Aspergillus ear rot and Fusarium ear rot may be of particular importance this year due to the hot and dry conditions in much of Minnesota.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Sudden Death Syndrome of Soybean: Favorable Conditions and Request for Samples

By Dean Malvick, Department of Plant Pathology, St. Paul.

This growing season has been favorable for development of sudden death syndrome (SDS) in Minnesota. This disease is developing earlier than normal in my research plots in Waseca, and I expect it to become obvious soon in many soybean fields. The earlier it develops the more potential it has to cause significant yield loss. SDS has been spreading and we are requesting help to determine where it occurs in Minnesota. SDS has been concentrated in south central Minnesota in past years, but it could occur almost anywhere in the state.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Soybean Disease Update - What is Here and What is Developing?

Dean Malvick, Department of Plant Pathology, St. Paul

The soybean crop is growing well across most of Minnesota. As of July 25, 80% of the state's ~7.4 million acres of soybeans was flowering and 25% was setting pods. Most of the soybean crop in Minnesota was rated in good (58%) or excellent (27%) condition. With the frequent rains this season, however, disease problems are appearing in some fields and others may be brewing. The leaf diseases downy mildew, bacterial blight, and Septoria brown spot are common now in Minnesota, but fortunately none of these diseases typically cause significant yield reductions. Many areas in Minnesota have also had favorable conditions for development of Phytophthora root and stem rot, stem canker, white mold, and sudden death syndrome.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The Plant Disease Clinic at the University of Minnesota is Here to Help With Your Crop and Plant Disease Problems

by Dimitre Mollov and Jennifer Flynn

When crops or plants are not growing well and look diseased or less vigorous than healthy plants, an accurate diagnosis of the problem may be critical to reducing and managing it. The Plant Disease Clinic at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul is open year-round to diagnose crop and plant problems and to assist with other plant testing questions. The Plant Disease Clinic welcomes samples from anyone and offers a wide variety of diagnostic and testing services.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Now is the time to finalize postemergence weed control in soybean

By Jeff Gunsolus

After the recent stretch of rainy weather we are currently in a period of excellent conditions for finalizing postemergence weed control in soybean.  As crop stages progress, postemergence soybean herbicide options decrease due to growth stage or days before harvest restrictions.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Feekes 10.51: A Pictorial

The recommended timing for fungicide applications to suppress Fusarium head blight or scab is Feekes 10.5 in barley and Feekes 10.51 in wheat. At growth stage Feekes 10.5 the inflorescence or spike is completely emerged from the boot. Photo 1 shows the progress of the heading process in barley. The third kulm is at Feekes 10.5 and the correct growth stage to receive a fungicide to suppress FHB. Photo 2 shows the progressing of the pollen shed in durum wheat; in the first kulm no anthers are visible on the outside of the individual florets, while in the second kulm the anthers are only visible in the center section of the spike. As these anthers are still yellow, they likely shed pollen earlier that day. In the third pollen shed is complete as anthers are visible across the length of the spike and are bleached and desiccated. The second photo closely approximates Feekes 10.51. The progression in spring and winter wheat is identical to the progression in durum wheat.

Purple Auricles in Wheat

The auricles in wheat are defined as the clasping appendages or the claw-like projections that are located at the junction of a leaf sheath and the leaf blade. Auricles in combination with the shape of the ligules are two anatomical features used to distinguish grassy species from another, such has in this identification key.

The auricles on most of our wheat and barley varieties are pale green. A few recent releases have purple auricles. Below is a close-up picture of the auricles on the cv. 'Faller'. This coloring is the result of the presence of anthocyanins and is a heritable trait. Expression of the trait is, however, not stable and you may find different levels of coloring from year to year. There is no reason to be concerned about this coloring.

10 Purple Auricle.JPG
Photo 1: Purple auricles on the cv 'Faller'.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Late Season N in Wheat - The Cliff Notes Edition

Based on the number of phone calls I received in just the last few days there is a considerable amount of interest in late season application of nitrogen with the goal to improve the grain protein content of spring and winter wheat. This interest isn't surprising given the extremely low grain protein concentrations of last year's crop and the crippling discounts that followed. Foliar applications of N during the onset of kernel fill have shown to be able to increase grain protein. A review article and decision guide were published in 2006.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Risk of Fusarium Head Blight in Wheat on the Rise

Wheat crops in the flowering stage are now at risk for FHB infection across most of the state, with highest risk in the NW region of MN. Winter wheat either already flowered or is flowering now, while some of the first planted spring wheat is close to flowering.

Risk is highest for susceptible to very susceptible cultivars. The 24-72 hour forecast indicates that the risk will remain or even get higher in the next few days.

Sign-up for Fusarium Head Blight Alerts

Producers and ag professionals that are interested in the potential risk for Fusarium head blight in wheat and barley can sign-up for a national alert system. These alerts are delivered either short text messages (SMS) on mobile phones or as e-mail messages.

Go to the National Scab Initiative website (http://scabusa.org/fhb_alert.php) and chose which way you would like the alerts to reach you and from which state or states and regions you would like to receive the alerts.

These alerts are made possible through the collaborative effort of the US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative and the national FHB Prediction Center at the Pennsylvania State University.

The alerts for Minnesota will be provided in collaboration with Marcia McMullen, NDSU's extension plant pathologist, and others in the region.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Control of Volunteer Soybean in Corn

By Jeff Gunsolus

This week I have received several inquires about the presence and potential impact of volunteer soybean in corn and cost-effective control procedures.  The scenario of volunteer soybean in corn is a fairly recent phenomenon due to the wide-spread use of the glyphosate-resistant technology in corn and soybean.  As a result, to my knowledge, data on corn yield loss potential as a function of volunteer soybean density is not available.  However, I do know of one NDSU study conducted by Dr. Richard Zollinger that does evaluate several herbicide options to control volunteer soybean in corn. You can find a general summary titled Control of Volunteer Roundup Ready Crops at:
http://z.umn.edu/ndweedguide and click on Weed Control Ratings.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Yellow Wheat

Jochum Wiersma, Small grains specialist

History repeats itself ever so often and unfortunately excess precipitation in many part of the Red River Valley has caused once again overland flooding and saturated field conditions. Wheat and barley can handle some flooding but it is not without a cost. As the water recedes and the soils drain you will likely notice that the wheat crop (and barley for that matter) has turned pale green or even yellow. In 2008 Doug Holen, Dan Kaiser and I wrote a short a summary of the causes of this yellowing and the possible solutions. Below is a nearly complete reprint is that article:

Friday, May 28, 2010

Early season tan spot

Early season tan spot can be readily found across the Red River Valley. Especially in wheat on wheat situations the disease can readily be found. One of the characteristic symptoms of these infections at the 2 to 3 leaf stage is a yellowing discoloring of whole leaves. This is a more extreme expression of the same the yellow halo that surrounds the tan spot lesions in more mature plants. Be careful not to mistake this yellowing for a nitrogen deficiency.

High Temperatures, Spikelet Counts, and Yield Potential

Much of the earliest planted wheat in the Red River Valley is approaching the 5 leaf stage. At this time the initiation of the head has begun. After the number of tillers that were initiated over the past three weeks, the number of spikelets is the second the three yield components that ultimately will determine yield. Like tillering, the number of spikelets is also greatly influenced by temperature. The figure below shows what happens as the average maximum temperature increases from 65 to 85; the average spikelet counts declines almost by a third from 17 to 13.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info in Central MN - May 27, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

Posted Originally Thursday Evening May 27, 2010
Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 27, 2010.pdf

We may get a report from the Minyon farm near Motley on Friday, but I may not get a chance to update this until Tuesday.

For more information about doing scissors cut sampling or using PEAQ sticks or charts, look in the center of the U of M Extension Forages web page at:
http://extension.umn.edu/forages

Monday, May 24, 2010

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info in Central MN - May 24, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

Updated on Wednesday Evening May 26
This is a report of information from fields sampled on Monday May 24 with a couple of updates from May 20. We have a lab report from Motley sample fields now.
Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 24, 2010.pdf

For more information about doing scissors cut sampling or using PEAQ sticks or charts, look in the center of the U of M Extension Forages web page at:
http://extension.umn.edu/forages

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info in Central MN - May 20, 2010

By  Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

UPDATED Friday Evening May 21, 2010
We have more information back from May 20 sampling. Information is posted in this pdf document and will be updated here with a few more lab results on Monday if all goes well.
Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 20, 2010.pdf

For more information about doing scissors cut sampling or using PEAQ sticks or charts, look in the center of the U of M Extension Forages web page at:
http://extension.umn.edu/forages

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Results May 6 & 20, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

I am posting here the grouped and averaged summary for the auction held at Sauk Centre on May 6 and May 20, 2010 ... and end of auction season summaries.

SC Hay Auction 05 06 10.pdf A list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold ... grouped by kind of hay and type of bale ... cost per pound of dry matter and cost per RFV point are calculated.

SC Hay Auction 05 20 10.pdf Hay by groups as described for May 6

Summary Selected Lots 2009-2010.pdf This is a summary of selected lots through the year including an average and ranges for these groups through the year.

Graph SC Hay Auction 2001-2010.pdf This is a line graph of the averages for medium square bales in 4 RFV groups completer through May 2010.


Monday, May 17, 2010

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info in Central MN - May 17, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

Updated May 19, 2010 ~ 5:30 p.m.
Some Harvest has started.

Report for field samples on Monday May 17:
Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 17, 2010.pdf


For more information about doing scissors cut sampling or using PEAQ sticks or charts, look in the center of the U of M Forages web page at:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/forages/

Friday, May 14, 2010

Corn Stand Evaluations

Dr. Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist, and Bruce Potter, SW Minnesota IPM Specialist

An unfortunate weather event


The frost on the morning of May 9, 2010 has some corn growers and those who advise them a bit nervous. The frost damaged corn plants I looked at on Monday all had firm green tissue from the soil surface and below and should come through the frost well. The injury stopped at the soil line and after the recent rainfall the green tissue is now above the soil surface. The cold, wet weather since the frost has added another level of stress which, by itself, might reduce stands slightly. There is some potential for these two situations may create a situation favorable for stand reducing pathogens. Warmer weather is in the forecast and frost injured corn plants will begin shooting new leaves soon. In fact, many fields have recently begun to improve in appearance. An idea of the extent of stand loss, if any, should be visible by May 18. To avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your psyche, the remainder of the week and weekend should be spent on something relaxing. The fishing opener is one viable option.

Will Corn Seedling Diseases be More Common Than Usual This Year in Minnesota?

By Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist

Early planting and warm weather in April, followed by an extended period of cool, wet weather and frost in May has created stress for corn seedlings throughout much of Minnesota. As of May 9, 94% of the corn in Minnesota was planted and 32% had emerged (compared to the 5 year averages of 64% planted and 9% emerged). While the stress of the cool conditions and frost may only set back the corn slightly, it could also set up a situation for seedling disease in some areas. Keep in mind that many factors other than disease result in poor stands, reduced growth, and low vigor. In most years and in most fields, seedling diseases are a minor problem, but this year they may be more common than usual.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info in Central MN - May 13, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

UPDATED Monday Evening May 17

ALL test and field information for May 13 IS POSTED NOW in the document here:
Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 13, 2010.pdf

For more information about doing scissors cut sampling or using PEAQ sticks or charts look in the center of the U of M Extension forages web page at:
http://extension.umn.edu/forages

Monday, May 10, 2010

Alfalfa Harvest Alert in Central MN - May 10, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

UPDATED May 13 Evening

THINGS HAVE NOT CHANGED MUCH SINCE LAST THURSDAY. This report shows information we have gotten so far from May 10 sampling and field observations. We expect lab reports from two sites yet. 

For more information about doing scissors cut sampling or using PEAQ sticks or charts look in the center of the U of M Extension forages web page at:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/forages
Click the link below to look at the data from May 10, 2010. See when some fields were at today's height in 2009. New May 10 information will be updated by edits to this entry.
Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 10, 2010.pdf

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Alfalfa Harvest Alert in Central MN - May 6, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
UPDATED MAY 7 - 4:15 p.m.

This report shows Alfalfa Harvest Alert information from field observations and forage tests in Caver/Scott, McLeod/Meeker, Stearns/Benton/Morrison, and Wright Counties. It includes RFV & RFQ numbers on some samples and some notes related to samples.

For more information about doing scissors cut sampling or using PEAQ sticks or charts look in the center of the U of M Extension forages web page at:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/forages

Click the link below to look at the data from May 6, 2010. This information will be updated by edits to this entry. Most of these fields will be sampled on Monday and Thursday mornings until they are harvested. Crop height appears to be 1 to 2 weeks ahead of last year.
Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 6, 2010.pdf

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data - Central MN - May 3, 2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties<

Updated May 5.
This report shows information from field observations and forage tests in Caver/Scott, Mcleod/Meeker,Stearns/Benton/Morrison, and Wright Counties. The Alfalfa Harvest Alert Project includes using forage lab tests and the PEAQ process for estimating forage quality as a gauge for making harvest decisions. PEAQ stands for Predictive Equation for Alfalfa Quality. It estimates what the forage test of a fresh cut sample might be based on the height of the tallest steam and the maturity of the most mature stem.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Spring Frost Damage to Early-Planted Corn

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

Early-Planted Corn.jpg
Figure 1. Early-planted corn off to a vigorous start.

The unusually warm and dry spring has facilitated some of the earliest corn planting dates of all time in Minnesota, with an estimated 63 percent of the state's corn crop planted and 1% emerged by April 25. This early start to the growing season should allow the corn crop to pollinate and fill grain earlier than normal, hopefully under more favorable soil moisture levels. From 1966 to 2009 at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, plant-available soil water to a depth of five feet averaged 5.22 inches on July 15, compared to 4.32 inches on August 15. Early corn planting dates should also allow kernels to fill when day length is longer, reduce the risk of a fall freeze before crop maturity, and allow increased time for grain dry-down prior to harvest.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction April 1 and 15, 2010

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auctions held April 1 and 15, 2010.


The reports are a list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold ... grouped by kind of hay, type of bale ... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV point are calculated. Straw and other bedding material is included. Consider averages carefully when they are based on a limited number of entries.

SC Hay Auction 04 01 10.pdf

SC Hay Auction 04 15 10.pdf

History Selected Lots 2009 2010.pdf   A summary of auctions held this year. Medium Square Alfalfa 101 to 200 RFV by 25 point groups, and bedding materials.

Graph SC Hay Auction 2001 2010.pdf   A line graph of auction seasons from 2001 to 2010 for Medium Square Alfalfa groups from 101 to 200 RFV. The orange line is 2009-2010.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

An Interesting Observation: Spring Wheat Volunteers that Survived Winter

I have received reports and observed it myself - there is a lot of volunteer spring wheat that has survived the winter and is happily growing right this moment in some fields in the region (Photos1 and 2). Interestingly, it appears to be limited to certain varieties. The HRSW variety 'Faller' has been positively identified as a variety that is showing this survival. I'm interested to hear whether you have fields in which volunteer spring wheat survived the winter and which varieties, other than Faller, are in those fields. Simply e-mail (wiers002@umn.edu) me or call me (218-281-8629).
Photo 1 small.jpg
Photo 1. Stand of volunteer spring wheat that survived the 09/10 winter near Crookston.
Photo 2 small.jpg
Photo 2. A few volunteer spring wheat plants that survived the 09/10 winter near Crookston.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction 03/18/2010

by Dan Martens
This information is from the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on March 18, 2010. I am posting three reports:
SC Hay Auction 03 18 10.pdf - A list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold ... grouped by kind of hay, RFV, and type of bale ... cost per pound for dry matter and cost per RFV point are calculated.
History Selected Lots 2009 1010.pdf- A summary of auctions held this year: Medium Square Alfalfa 101 to 200 RFV in 25 point groups, and bedding material.
Graph SC Hay Auction 2001 2010.pdf- A line graph of Auction Seasons from 2001 to 2010.


Monday, March 29, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction 03/03/2010

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

This information is from the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on March 4, 2010. I am posting three reports:

SC Hay Auction 03 04 10.pdf  A list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold ... grouped by kind of hay and type of bale ... cost per pound of dry matter and cost per RFV point are calculated.

History Selected Lots 2009 2010.pdf  A summary of auctions held this year: Medium Square Alfalfa 101 to 200 RFV divided in 25 point groups, and bedding material.

Graph SC Hay Auction 2001 2010.pdf   A line graph of auction seasons from 2001 to 2010

You can look at USDA Hay Market Reports at http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/LSMNpubs.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Plan Now for Successful Corn Planting

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

Coulter 3-19-10 Fig 1.jpg

With field work just around the corner, now is the time to evaluate decisions related to corn planting. Corn planting date studies from 1988 through 2003 conducted at the University of Minnesota Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton show that on average grain yield was maximized with an April 28 planting date, but planting dates ranging from April 21 to May 6 produced yields within 1% of the maximum (Figure 1). In central and northern Minnesota, optimum planting date windows generally begin a few days later. When corn planting is delayed beyond mid-May, yield potential is reduced rapidly.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Sulfur for Corn: 2010 and Beyond?

By: Daniel Kaiser, University of Minnesota Soil Fertility Extension Specialist

With spring almost upon us there have been questions regarding sulfur application for corn for the upcoming year.  Our current Minnesota recommendations focus on sulfur application to sandy soils that are low in organic matter.  This is mainly due to the fact that sulfate-sulfur is mobile and may leach out of the soil, and that the organic matter is a large storehouse of sulfur and through mineralization this sulfur can become available for uptake in plants.  In the past sulfur was added through atmospheric deposition, applied (but not accounted for) with other nutrients in some commercial fertilizer sources, and in animal manures.  Over time most of these indirect additions have lessened and it is reasonable to assume that there may be deficiencies showing up more prevalent today then in the past.  However, a large research focus has been placed on determining how widespread this problem is and if only certain soils or regions in the area are impacted by potential sulfur deficiencies.  While much of our research is ongoing we have tried to identify key areas to look for in the upcoming cropping year.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction February 4 and 18, 2010

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auctions held February 4 and 18, 2010.

The reports are a list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold ... grouped by kind of hay, type of bale ... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV point are calculated. Straw and other bedding material is included. Consider averages carefully when they are based on a limited number of entries.

SC Hay Auction 02 04 10.pdf

SC Hay Auction 02 18 10.pdf


Monday, February 8, 2010

Low Protein Wheat in 2009: What Happened?

By Daniel Kaiser and Jochum Wiersma

Decisions about the amount of nitrogen to apply in wheat and barley are challenging each and every year, as the return per acre is not simply a function of the price of the commodity but also on the quality (grain protein%) of those bushels. There are opportunities to capture premiums for protein but more often than not producers are faced with discounts as the grain protein percentages fall below the market's 14% threshold.  While this was already an issue in 2008 with high yields in Northwest Minnesota leading to lower protein, it was greatly magnified in 2009 with producers reporting grain protein percentages of 10% or less.

This issue is not new since it has been long noticed that yield and protein are inversely related. The amount of grain protein produced per acre appears to be relatively constant over years. In high yielding years the extra starch produced  simply dilutes the total protein produced per acre, leading to smaller percentages in the grain  Unfortunately farmers are not paid for total production of grain protein per acre but rather they are paid for concentration in grain.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Sauk Centre Hay Auction January 7 and 21, 2010

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auctions held January 7 and 21, 2010.

The reports are a list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold ... grouped by kind of hay, type of bale ... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV point are calculated. Straw and other bedding material is included. Consider averages carefully when they are based on a limited number of entries.

SC Hay Auction 01 07 10.pdf

SC Hay Auction 01 21 10.pdf


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