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Showing posts from 2011

University of Minnesota Releases Performance Trial Results on Plant Varieties

By Jennifer Obst, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, 612-625-4741

A comprehensive comparison of most crop varieties grown in Minnesota is now available in print and electronic forms. Minnesota Varietal Trials 2012, published by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, provides the results of the 2011 University of Minnesota evaluation of more than 1000 individual entries of plant varieties.

Applying Instinct™ as a nitrogen stabilizer for fall applied manure.

By Jeff Vetsch and John Lamb. University of Minnesota, Southern Research and Outreach Center and Department of Soil Water and Climate.
Waseca MN, (10/1/2011) - Once soybean harvest is complete many swine farmers begin applying manure to those acres for the next year's corn crop. Manure applications in Southern Minnesota begin in early October and usually conclude by mid November. A significant proportion of the nitrogen (N) in swine finishing manure is in the ammonium-N form. If warm soil temperatures persist after application, the ammonium-N can nitrify and be susceptible to loss via leaching or denitrification. These N losses have negative agronomic and environmental implications. The University of Minnesota recommends fall fertilizer N be applied after soils are less than 50° F at the 6-inch depth. This usually occurs in late October in Southern Minnesota.

Crop insurance procedures following early season frost

By Gary A. Hachfeld, University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Ag Business Management
The early season frost in September caught many of us off guard. Damage to crops varied statewide but the fundamental question is, as a farmer, what should I do regarding a potential loss regarding my federal crop insurance? There are some basic procedures that one needs to follow in the event of a crop loss regardless of cause. This article outlines some of those procedures.

Soybean Yield Loss Estimates from Early Frost

Seth Naeve - Extension Soybean Agronomist
Few resources are available to producers and agricultural professionals relative to yield losses from late- season frost injury to soybean plants. A study investigating the risks and benefits of long-season soybean varieties was established in 2008. This work was carried out by the Naeve Soybean Production Project, and was funded by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. While we don't have all of the answers that folks search for after a late-season frost, a small piece of this research effort is described below.

Frost and Freezing Temperature Effects on Soybeans

By Seth Naeve and Dave Nicolai University of Minnesota Extension
A hard frost occurred early Thursday morning (Sept 15th) across much of central and southern Minnesota. The complete effects of this frost or freeze event may not be known for some time. However, most soybean and corn fields have not reached physiological maturity. Yield and quality in these fields were likely affected.

Beyond the minimum temperature and the duration of the freezing temperatures, many cultural and environmental factors will affect the level of damage. Late planting, long season varieties, poor fertility or drainage, and cool temperatures may exacerbate the effects of this early frost/freeze event.

In most crop species, a hard killing frost after physiological maturity has little effect on yields. Physiological maturity is defined as the point at which maximum dry matter accumulation has occurred in the seed. But crops are not ready for harvest at physiological maturity, since dry- down usually ta…

Yield and Harvest Considerations for Frost Damaged Corn

Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist
September 15, 2011

Figure 1. Minimum air temperatures on Sept.
15, 2011. From Minnesota Climatology Working Group Much of Minnesota's corn crop was damaged by frost this morning. For corn, a killing freeze occurs when temperatures are 32 F for 4 hours or 28 F for minutes (Figure 1). A frost or killing freeze can still occur when temperatures are above 32 F, especially in low and unprotected areas when there is no wind.

Weeds: End of season weed control reminders

by Dr. Jeff Stachler, Weed Scientist, UMN and NDSU
Scouting fields for weeds throughout the growing season is extremely important to maintaining herbicide effectiveness and planning for future weed control decisions. Scout fields now and at harvest to determine the effectiveness of this season's weed control practices. If weeds are present now, determine why they are present. If weeds are present due to herbicide resistance, then weed control and cropping practices must be different next season and beyond.

Aphids in Small Grains and Soybeans: an update from NW MN

update prepared by Dr. Ian MacRae, UMN Extension Entomologist, NWROC-Crookston
Many field projects are underway and we're scouting small grain and soybean fields to stay on top of what is happening with aphid populations in these crops. Following are comments based on what our field visits are revealing in northwest Minnesota.

Small Grain Aphids
There have been reports of wheat fields in the area with aphid populations reaching or exceeding treatment thresholds. Remember the treatment threshold for aphids in small grains is 8 out of 10 stems with one or more aphids (this will average out to at least 12-15 aphids per stem).

Small Grains Disease Risk Assessment Tools

Minnesota's small grain disease forecasting model is up and running for the season. You can access the site here. Weather based risk models for tan spot, Septoria leaf blotch, leaf rust, and scab are available on this site. Simple select the disease of interest and a risk map for the state. The models can predict the risk up two days in advance and you can go back up to 365 days prior. You can also drill down to your area of interest with a simply mouse click on your area of interest. Another mouse click on a township's section will give a text summary of the risk for that local for that day and the previous seven days. Scouting reports and other commentary will be updated regularly.

The National Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool is also available here. The National Risk Assessment Tool will also provide real time alerts. You can sign up on the US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative website. Alerts can be delivered as a RSS feed, an e-mail, or as text messages to your…

Early Season Tan Spot (and Risk of Crop Injury When Tank Mixing Fungicides and Herbicides)

Scouts identified tan spot in many spring wheat fields across Minnesota last week. The incidence and severity was generally low. Weekly summaries of this statewide scouting activity that is funded by the Minnesota Wheat Research & promotion Council are forthcoming.

If you are considering controlling early season tan spot, please follow this link to an article that was published in Minnesota Crop News last spring. It describes how and when control of early season tan spot is warranted and lists fungicide choices and rates.

Nitrogen and Sulfur Sources for Side-Dress Application

By Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist
As the growing season moves forward more questions have occurred about what products to use in side-dress situations. While nitrogen is on the minds of many, sulfur deficiencies are starting to be seen in fields as well. Applying the right product in the right situation at the correct time can be crucial in order to maintain yields and minimize damage to growing plants.

Stand Loss and Replanting Decisions

Jochum Wiersma, Small grains specialist
Torrential downpours the week prior and again over the Memorial Day weekend caused saturated conditions in many parts of the Red River Valley at possibly the worst time for not only for wrapping up spring field work but also for the just seeded crops. Now that the wheat has emerged, bare areas are quickly becoming evident. A quick survey suggests that in many cases the bare areas are in the ditches and the slightly depressed portions of fields. This points to excess water likely being to main culprit of these stand losses. Excess moisture (anytime the soil water content is above field capacity) depletes the soil of oxygen and germinating seed will quickly die in these anaerobic conditions. A clue whether excess water contributed to a poor emergence in the affected areas is to dig up the remnants of the seed. If the seed is firm and the radicle and coleoptile are white and firm, the emergence was only delayed (Photo 1). If the radicle and the co…

Heat Canker and Frost Damage in Small Grains

Jochum Wiersma, Small grains specialist

Photo 1. Frost injury on young barley plants The title of this short article may seem a paradox, but leave it to a Minnesota spring to create the conditions for both problems within a day or two. Last night's lows may have caused some frost damage in northwest Minnesota. Fortunately, for spring wheat and barley the damage is cosmetic and will not require replanting. The reason for this is as simple as it is elegant. The tender growing point from which all leaves and eventually the spike is produced is insulated and protected by the soil. Up the approximately the 5-leaf stage the growing point is located at the crown at ± 1.5 inch below the soil surface. The crown is easy to recognize as a hard knob from which both roots as well as leaves start. This evolutionary adaptation to keep the growing point hidden and protected from the elements is precisely why small grains fit so well in this area. Frost damage will initially have a dark green, wat…

Timing of Herbicide Applications is Critical for Effective Weed Control in Sugarbeet

by Dr. Jeff Stachler, U of MN Extension and NDSU Agronomist - Sugarbeet/Weed Science
Sugarbeets have emerged or are beginning to emerge. That means it is time to begin postemergence herbicide applications to sugarbeet. Timing of the first postemergence herbicide application is the MOST critical weed management tactic, regardless of the type of sugarbeet planted.

Switch from corn to soybeans? Not so fast!

Kent Olson, Extension Economist
Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist
May 25, 2011

With a wet spring and delayed planting, many farmers are thinking of switching from corn to soybean due to potential yield losses in corn as planting is delayed. However, if farmers consider potential net revenue, they may not make this switch as fast as if they consider just the potential yield loss.

Crop insurance options for prevented planting

By Gary Hachfeld, University of Minnesota Extension
Originally published in Ag News Wire

Farmers who are prevented from planting their crops due to wet spring weather can manage this risk if they have purchased federal crop insurance.

Yield protection, Revenue Protection and Revenue Protection with Harvest Price Exclusion policies all include prevented-planting coverage. There is no prevented-planting coverage with Group Risk Plan or Group Risk Income Protection insurance.

Guidelines for Late-Planted Corn and Soybean in Minnesota

Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist and Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist

May 24, 2011


Figure 1. Heavy and frequent rainfall have made timely corn and soybean planting a challenge this year in Minnesota.

As of May 22, only 81% of the corn and 38% of the soybean in Minnesota were planted (USDA-NASS, 2011). This is well behind the 5-year average of 93% for corn and 68% for soybean. With significant amounts of rain this past weekend, planting in many fields will be further delayed. This is leading to several questions about late-planted corn and soybean that are addressed below.

Emergency Options for Seeding Small Grains

Jochum Wiersma, Small grains specialist
As the wet and cold weather continues to delay fieldwork and the window for small grain seeding is closing, you may be considering alternatives. Broadcast seeding methods, whether by air or with a pneumatic fertilizer spreader (floater), are an emergency option you can consider if you plan to stick with small grains. The chances of success are greatly improved when you heed the following:

Managing a late start to soybean planting

By Dave Nicolai and Seth Naeve
Originally published in Ag News Wire

With only 28 percent of corn acres planted prior to May 9 in Minnesota, growers face the difficult decision of when to begin planting soybeans in order to maintain adequate yields. Soil conditions are of primary importance when considering delayed planting.

Proper management of waterhemp - now is the time to take control

By Jeff Stachler, Jeff Gunsolus and Rich Zollinger
Waterhemp is an annual weed species in the pigweed family that is capable of producing greater than 1 million seeds per plant and due to a limited number of effective herbicides, especially in sugarbeet and soybean, is difficult to control compared to most weed species.  In addition to the production of large quantities of seeds, continual germination throughout the growing season and an increased frequency of herbicide-resistant biotypes adds to the degree of difficulty in keeping this weed species under control.  The good news is that the longevity of waterhemp seeds in the seedbank is relatively short compared to most species (1 to 12% survival after 4 years), meaning complete control (zero seed production) of all plants over a three to four year time period should significantly reduce the waterhemp seed bank densities, allowing the farmer to take control of this difficult weed problem.

Winter Wheat Stand Evaluation

by Jochum Wiersma, Small grains specialist
It's time to determine whether the winter wheat came through the winter well enough to keep the stand. The best way to do this is to do a stand count. To do a stand count, use one of the following two methods:

Count the number of plants in a foot of row at several locations in the field. Take an average and convert in plants per acre using Table 1.Take a hula-hoop, let it fall, and count the number of plants inside the hoop. Repeat this at random several times across the field and calculate an average. Use Table 2 to convert the count to an approximate population per square foot or acre.

Recommended Malting Barley Varieties for 2011

The American Malting Barley Association, Inc. (AMBA) recently announced the recommended malting barley varieties for the 2011 growing season. Two new six-row varieties and one two-row variety have been added to the list. Quest, the latest release from the University of Minnesota barley breeding program is the first recommended variety developed from Fusarium Head Blight resistant germplasm from Switzerland and China. Quest averages 40% lower in DON than current varieties. The other six-row variety added to the list is Celebration, developed by Busch Agricultural Resources. The other addition to the recommended list is Pinnacle, a two-row malting variety released by North Dakota State University.

Other recommended varieties suited for Minnesota include the two rowed variety Conlon and the six-rowed varieties Lacey, Legacy, Rasmusson, Robust, Stellar-ND, and Tradition. Drummond has been dropped from the list.

Malting barley growers are encouraged to contact their local elevator, grain…