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Extension > Minnesota Crop News > March 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.
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