Wednesday, December 21, 2011
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.
Wednesday, November 16, 2011
Results from the 2011 University of Minnesota corn grain and silage hybrid trials are available online at the following link:
Corn Grain and Silage Hybrid Trials
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.
Tuesday, November 15, 2011
This is a posting of my first summary of the Hay Auction at Sauk Centre for 2011-2012 market year. It appears that the hay price is higher. It's more difficult with small numbers of loads to be confident about averages calculated from sales. The price for quality clean straw in medium square bales appears to be pretty steady in the $25-35 per bale range. See links below for the following reports.
History of Selected Lots 2011-12.pdf Average and range of RFV values and prices for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101 to 200 RFV. Includes average through the sale seasons for the last 4 years and individual sales for each auction so far this year.
Hay Market Graphs 2001-2012.pdf Line graphs of markets for Medium Square Alfalfa for 25 point RFV groups from 2001 to present time. This year's line is gold. Dotted lines indicate there were not lots in a sale between two sale date point.
2011 09 15 SC Hay Auction.pdf Lots sold are grouped by bale type, kind of hay and 25 RFV points. Averages are calculated where it seems appropriated. Look at averages carefully where there are few or 1 load in a group. Look at averages carefully where there is a wide range of price. This probably means some hay in poor physical condition did not sell well and hay in better condition in the group brought a higher price. If you looking for hay with a better physical appearance, you're probably going to pay the higher price.
Thursday, October 6, 2011
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist
U of M Nutrient Management Website
A new nutrient management website has been launched that houses most of the current fertilizer suggestions and data from the University of Minnesota. This website was made possible by funding from the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council and was put together through a joint effort for several researchers from the University of Minnesota who's research focuses on nutrient management issues for several crops growth throughout the state of Minnesota. We would like to thank the AFREC program because without them this effort would not have been possible
Monday, October 3, 2011
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.
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
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.
Friday, September 16, 2011
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.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
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 takes a longer period of time. Soybeans are usually harvested at moisture contents of 14 percent or less.
September 15, 2011
Figure 1. Minimum air temperatures on Sept.
15, 2011. From Minnesota Climatology Working Group
Wednesday, August 24, 2011
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.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Goss's leaf blight and wilt of corn is a damaging disease that is new to Minnesota and has caused problems in fields over the past two years. The weather conditions this summer may favor development of this disease again. It was reported from two fields in southern MN in the past week, and it may be starting to develop in many fields. This is a disease to watch for across Minnesota. If you see infected plants, please send infected leaf samples for a new research study as described below.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Wednesday, July 6, 2011
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).
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A field survey project to inspect wheat and barley fields is underway in Minnesota. The survey program has resumed past efforts where survey scouts visit fields to assess crop progress and pest situations. Inspecting wheat and barley fields for the presence of plant diseases and insects provides a weekly regional snapshot of pest problems present in fields and the status of the infestation levels. The survey project is being coordinated by UMN Extension educators in west central and northwest MN. Funding is being provided through a grant awarded by the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers.
Tuesday, June 14, 2011
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 mobile device.
The North Dakota Small Grains Disease Forecasting System has also come online for the 2011 season. The NDSU now includes a barley DON forecasting model. The model was developed by Dr. Jeff Stein at SDSU.
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.
Friday, June 10, 2011
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.
Friday, June 3, 2011
Check Alfalfa Field Data 06 02 2011.pdf for information updated Friday afternoon June 3 about 5 p.m. for sampling done on June 1 and 2. The end of the report has notes about "yellow alfalfa" and "alfalfa weevils."
Consider YOUR crop conditions, field conditions, feed targets, past experience and expertise, other priorities and your best hunch about the weather.
Farm families are amazing people for the kinds of decisions they need to make on a day to day basis which a wide range of variables and significant factors such as the weather that they cannot control. We can all appreciate their efforts when we sit down at the table ... and the efforts of others for whom their work and livelihood is very weather dependent.
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 coleoptile are soft and discolored and the seed has turned mushy, the young seedling died in the anaerobic conditions as a result of the saturated conditions.
Thursday, June 2, 2011
Check Alfalfa Field Data 06 02 2011.pdf for information we have so far from alfalfa fields sampled on June 1 & 2. This list includes the most recent info from farms where we don't have June 1 or 2 info. It also includes all information for individual farms.
See "Continued Reading" for some notes about "yellow alfalfa" and "alfalfa weevil."
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
Check Alfalfa Field Data 05 31 2011.pdf for Alfalfa Scissors-Cut and PEAQ information we have so far from fields sample May 30/31 ... UPDATED June 1 about 5 p.m. Fields are being sampled on some variable schedules due to Memorial Day Holiday - a couple on May 30, some May 31. The McLeod and Meeker fields will be sampled on Wednesday June 1 for this week.
Many fields in our sampling area are at a place where they could be harvested now with the first good weather opportunity; and weather forecasts continue to look like we'll be dancing around egg shells some.
The end of the report offers a May 30 update on Alfalfa Weevil Growing Degree Days and information from an Alfalfa Grass Mixed Sample a couple miles south of Foley.
Monday, May 30, 2011
With all of the flooded soils and wet fields there likely are questions on denitrification and whether side-dress nitrogen (N) should be applied. The fact is that it can be difficult to predict the amount of N lost. However, two things should be considered when dealing with denitrification:
- Denitrification only occurs when nitrogen is in the nitrate form. For fall applied N as long as application occurred after the soils cooled down to appropriate levels then the risk of N loss over the winter and in early spring should be low, especially since soil temperatures have been fairly low for most of the spring.
- Denitrification is due to microbial processes. Therefore, as soil temperatures decrease microbial activity decreases and the risk for denitrification decreases.
Saturday, May 28, 2011
Check "continued reading" for an update of PEAQ and Forage lab data from fields checked on Thursday May 26 as of Friday May 27 about 5:00 p.m. The NORMAL technology failed me in trying to attach a pdf document. You'll have to look back at the first May 26 posting for previous test results on individual farms.
Weather: Notes at the end of the report include comments from Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley about weather prospects over the next couple of weeks.
Alfalfa Weevil: Notes at the end of the report include a couple observations about alfalfa weevil also.
Look back at archived 1st May 26 posting for previous readings. Some samples have not made it to or through the lab yet.
Friday, May 27, 2011
This information is from Hay Auction held at Sauk Centre MN ON May 5 and 19. An additional Auction will be held on June 2.
SC Hay Auction 05 05 2011.pdf A list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold on May 5... 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 19 2011.pdf Same for May 19 auction
History of Selected Lots 2010 2011.pdf A summary of auctions held this year: Medium Square Alfalfa 101 to 200 RFV divided into 25 RFV groups, and bedding material. Sometime during the next couple of weeks, I'll calculate averages through the 2010-2011 season.
Graphs of Med Sq Alf 2001 to 2011.PDF Line graphs of auction seasons from 2001 to 2010.
Throughout the year, you can also get USDA Hay Market reports at https://www.ams.usda.gov/
Click Alfalfa Field Data 05 26 2011.pdf for Alfalfa PEAQ and Scissors-Cut samples from Thursday May 26. More results will be received on Friday afternoon and an update should be posted later Friday afternoon or evening. Then we will not have new results until Tuesday afternoon May 31.
"Continued reading" offers an note from Extension Climatologist Mark Seeley about weather prospects over the next 2 weeks and another note on "alfalfa weevil."
Thursday, May 26, 2011
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.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
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.
Tuesday, May 24, 2011
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.
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.
Monday, May 23, 2011
Click here Alfalfa Field Data 05 23 2011.pdf for information from field sampling on May 23 that we have back as of 4:30 on Monday afternoon.
The first page shows information received so far for all farms on May 23. The next pages show information for each farm individually so far this spring. These are listed generally from south to north: Scott, Carver, McLeod, Meeker, Wright, Stearns, Benton, Morrison Counties.
Samples from some farms are mailed to the forage lab and it takes another day to get information back.
Friday, May 20, 2011
I'm posting here a link to data from fields checked on May 19. The first page shows information for all farms for May 19, followed by all tests so far listed by individual farms. These are listed generally from south to north: Scott, Carver, McLeod, Meeker, Wright, Stearns, Benton, Morrison Counties.
This information was updated around 3:30 pm. on Friday May 20.
Click here for the updated May 19 report Alfalfa Field Data 05 19 2011.pdf
Tuesday, May 17, 2011
I'm posting a link here to data from fields checked on Monday May 16. Barry Visser from Vita Plus sampled at the Poppler farm in Wright County where alfalfa measured 18 inches; and says most fields he has checked are in the range of 15 to 17 inches for tallest stems.
For the May 16 Field Data Report click here Alfalfa Field Data 05 16 2011.PDF
Monday, May 16, 2011
The information we have so far from sampling on Monday morning May 16 is:
In Wright County, at the Poppler Farm near Waverly, tallest stems 18." With favorable weather, that kind of field could be ready to harvest within the next two weeks.
At the Krause farm west of Buffalo 15.5"
In Benton County at the Scapanski Dairy northeast of Sauk Rapids and at O & S Dairy east of Rice 14 to 14.5 inches.
Of course feed quality numbers are much higher that we want for harvest yet, but we can see as other field work has been at a standstill, the hay crop has been making some progress. I'll post a chart with feed quality tests as we get more of that information. More information about doing scissors cut sampling on your own farm, using PEAQ sticks, or using this information can be found at www.extension.umn.edu/forages
Friday, May 13, 2011
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:
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.
Wednesday, May 11, 2011
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.
Friday, May 6, 2011
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.
Thursday, May 5, 2011
I am posting information here for the April 7 and 21 Sauk Centre Hay Auctions. This includes:
SC Hay Auction 04 07 2011.pdf A list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold... grouped by kind of hay, 25 RFV points ... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV point.
SC Hay Auction 04 21 2011.pdf Same as previous
History of Selected Lots 2010 2011.pdf A summary of auction held this year: Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RF points showing average and range for price and RFV.
Graphs of Med Sq Alf 2001 to 2011.PDF A line graph of auction seasons from 2001 to 2011. The bold red line is this years season. A dash line indicates information not available.
Read more about plans for Alfalfa Scissors Cut Sampling in Central Minnesota for 2011
Wednesday, April 6, 2011
The information posted here is from the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on March 17, 2011. Thanks to the Mid American Auction Co. and the Stearns DHIA Association for sharing information that is used to create these reports report. I am posting three items.
SC Hay Auction 03 17 2011.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
History of Select Lots 2010 2011.pdf A summary of auction held this year of Medium Square Alfalfa from 101 to 200 RFV in 25 point groups and straw bedding, average and range of values
Graphs Med Sq Alf 2001 to 2011.pdf A line graph of auction seasons from 2001 to 2011. The bold red line is the auction for 2010 2011 so farm. The March 17 average price is just a mark because data is not available from March 3 at this time. There were no loads of Med Sq Alf in the 175 to 200 RFV group.
Wednesday, March 16, 2011
I am posting my summary of the Sauk Centre MN Hay Auctions for February 3 and 17, 2011. This posting includes:
1. Summary of lots sold grouped by type of hay or bedding, type of bale and 25 RFV points.
SC Hay Auction 02 03 2011.pdf
SC Hay Auction 02 17 2011.pdf
2. History of Selected Lots sold so far through this sale season, medium square alfalfa and medium square straw.
History of Select Lots 2010 2011.pdf
3. Line Graph of average prices for Medium Square alfalfa for the last 10 years, a visual clue perhaps to any trends in the market.
Graphs Med Sq Alf 2001 to 2011.pdf
Please include strategies for a SAFE spring work season in your spring planting season planning.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
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 handler or processor to gauge market demand for varieties grown in their region prior to seeding.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns - Benton - Morrison Counties
I am posting here a summary of Hay Auctions held at Sauk Centre MN on Jan 6 and January 20, 2011. The loads are grouped by kind of hay or bedding, bale type, and 25 Relative Feed Value Points. The February 3 and 17 posting will include a line graph of auctions through the last 10 years and a history of medium square alfalfa and medium square straw groups through this sale season so far.