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Thursday, December 26, 2013

Enhancing Cropping System Performance Under Increased Environmental Variability

Graduate students at the University of Minnesota have organized a first-annual event - Production Agriculture Symposium on Thursday, February 13, 2014 on the Saint Paul campus. The theme for the 2014 event is Enhancing Cropping System Performance Under Increased Environmental Variability.

The symposium seeks to bring together students, growers, crop consultants, and agricultural industry specialists to discuss agricultural production in hopes that, through knowledge sharing and discussion, new solutions to the world's pressing food and environmental problems may be found.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Sauk Center Hay Auction Summary Dec 5, 2013

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

This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on Dec 5, 2013.
Consider averages carefully when they are based on a limited number of entries, or wide range of numbers.

Dec 5 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf - Individual lots sold, sorted by type and quality.

History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf A summary of past 4 years and individual auctions this year, with some comparisons to 2012.

Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf A line graph of for average from each sale 2001 to 20014 for Medium Square Alfalfa groups from 101 to 200 RFV. Yes, the second auctions in November and the first auctions in December in 2012 and 2013 landed on the same line.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Sauk Center Hay Auction Summary Nov. 21, 2013

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


This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on Nov 21, 2013.
Consider averages carefully when they are based on a limited number of entries, or wide range of numbers.

Nov 21 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf  Individual lots sold, sorted by type and quality.

History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf - A summary of past 4 years and individual auctions this year, with some comparisons to 2012. 

Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf - A line graph of for average from each sale 2001 to 20014 for Medium Square Alfalfa groups from 101 to 200 RFV.

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Corn Silage Trial Results Available

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

Results from the 2013 University of Minnesota corn silage performance trials are available at: http://www.maes.umn.edu/publications/field-crop-trials/corn

These trials were conducted across southeastern, central, and west-central Minnesota to provide unbiased and replicated information on the performance of numerous silage hybrids for growers and their advisors.

It is best to choose hybrids that perform well over multiple locations in a region. Consistent performance over multiple locations with different soil and weather conditions reduces risk because we cannot predict next year's growing conditions. A hybrid that performs well over multiple growing conditions in one year has a high potential for performing well in the same region during the next year.

Friday, November 15, 2013

Advance Corn Hybrid Selection with New Trial Results

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

Results from the 2013 University of Minnesota corn grain performance trials are available at:

Corn grain and corn silage field crop trials and resources

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

When selecting hybrids, it is best to choose hybrids that perform well over multiple locations in a region. Consistent performance over multiple locations with different soil and weather conditions is critical because we cannot predict next year's growing conditions. A hybrid that performs well over multiple growing conditions in one year has a high potential for performing well in the same region next year.

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary Nov. 7, 2013

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

Here's my summary of the Sauk Centre Hay Auction on Nov. 7, 2013.

Lots sold are grouped here by bale type, kind of hay, alfalfa sorted in 25 RFV point groups, grass sorted based on protein. Straw and bedding materials are also listed.

Averages are calculated where it seems appropriate. Look at averages carefully where there are a few loads in a group; and where there is a wide range in price.

Nov 7 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf

History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf Average and range of RFV values and prices for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101 to 200 RFV.

Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary October 17, 2013

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

I am posting the results of auction held October 17, 2013. The next auction at Sauk Centre is on November 7. I appreciate the Mid-American Quality Tested Hay Auction and Stearns DHIA Lab for sharing information used here.

Lots sold are grouped here by bale type, kind of hay, alfalfa sorted in 25 RFV point groups, grass sorted based on protein. Straw and bedding materials are also listed.

Averages are calculated where it seems appropriated. Look at averages carefully where there are a few loads in a group; and where there is a wide range of price.

Oct 17 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf

History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf Average and range of RFV values and prices for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101 to 200 RFV.

Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf This is a graph of Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV points from 101 to 200.

The Sauk Centre Hay Auction will be held on the first and third Thursday of each month through May. The Steffes Hay Auction is held in Litchfield with fall dates on November 12 & 26, December 11.

For information about
-Straw and Bedding Materials in Short Supply?
-Other sources of Hay Market Information
-Coming Events

Monday, November 4, 2013

Management of Fields with Un-harvested Sugar beet Fall 2013 for Cropping Year 2014

John A. Lamb, Nutrient Management Extension Specialist

Because of weather, a number of acres of the 2013 sugar beet crop will not be harvested.  It has been a number of years (PIK years) since this many acres have been left un-harvested.  At that time, SMBSC and the University of Minnesota did conduct a number of research studies to answer the main production question:  "What should I do with these fields for next year?"

Friday, November 1, 2013

Nitrogen Crediting for fields with Cover Crops

By Daniel Kaiser, Fabian Fernandez, John Lamb, and Carl Rosen, University of Minnesota Extension Nutrient Management Specialists

The increase number of acres planted to cover crops has raised questions on nitrogen (N) crediting for the 2014 cropping year. While there are many benefits touted for the use of cover crops, there are a lot of unknowns when determining N credits. This is especially true for mixes with multiple plant species.

One of the benefits of cover crops is scavenging of N during the growing season. This N can potentially be released for the following year's crop. While there may be a benefit from additional N available to the next year's crop, the process of mineralization of N through the decomposition of residue can progress over the growing season. Thus, N may not be available during periods of rapid N uptake by corn. This delay in availability makes it difficult to predict the amount of available N using the total amount of N per acre contained in the crop. For small grain crops, if the crop was terminated when the crop was drying down, then no N credit should be used.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Dimethoate Use Survey


EPA is seeking feedback on the national usage and needs patterns for the insecticide Dimethoate. If this product is of use in your cropping systems, you may want to respond to this request for information. Below is the original request I received....

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary Oct 3, 2013

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

I am posting the results of auction held October 3, 2013.
Oct 3 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf
Lots sold are grouped here by bale type, kind of hay, alfalfa sorted in 25 RFV point groups, grass sorted based on protein. Straw and bedding materials are also listed.

Averages are calculated where it seems appropriated. Look at averages carefully where there are a few loads in a group; and where there is a wide range of price. I will update a line graph of auction results over the years when we get results from the October 17 auction sometime next week.

History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf Average and range of RFV values and prices for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101 to 200 RFV.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Soil Fertility Considerations and Fallow Syndrome

By Daniel Kaiser, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist

The increased number of corn acres managed with prevented planting in 2013 has resulted in numerous questions about management in 2014. One major question that arises is the effect of fallow syndrome.  Fallow syndrome is a result of reduced colonization of plant roots by vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae (abbreviated VAM).  Since VAM are important in the uptake of elements such as phosphorus and zinc, questions arise as to proper management for the following years crops.  However, fallow syndrome does not affect all crops nor will it likely be an issue for all prevented planting acres

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Sept 5 and 19

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

This the first posting of my summaries of the Hay Auction at Sauk Centre for the 2013-2014 market year. I am posting the results of auctions held July 11, August 1 Sept 6 and 20, 2013.

It's probably too early to draw firm conclusions about market trends. Drought was generally not as intense across the Midwest this year. Pastures and hay fields did dry up after mid-summer in some areas of Minnesota and other parts of the country. Alfalfa winter-kill was severe in southern Minnesota and Wisconsin. Many people I talk expect better quality alfalfa and grass hay at least to stay on the higher side of the market.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Custom Manure Applicators Asked to Help in Preventing the Spread of Pig PED Virus

Larry D. Jacobson, Extension Agricultural Engineer, U of M Extension

With the harvest season fast approaching, the application of stored manure from animal facilities on the harvested fields will soon follow. This year, pork producers need to be aware of the risk of spreading Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) through equipment used to pump and land apply manure from all farms but especially those with pigs exhibiting clinical signs of the disease. PED can be spread through oral-fecal contact, manure contaminated boots, clothing, birds and wildlife, transport trailers and other equipment.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Diseases Developing in Minnesota's Corn and Soybean Fields in Early August

Dean Malvick, Extension Plant Pathologist

The unusual weather this season in Minnesota has created favorable conditions for various diseases in corn and soybean crops. Some diseases have been appearing since June due in part to delayed planting and crop growth and abundant rainfall in many areas. This article focuses on diseases that have been recently been confirmed and have raised concern. In corn fields, above average levels of common rust are being reported and Goss's wilt was confirmed in two fields. In soybean, Phytophthora root and stem rot and the less important but often noticed leaf diseases bacterial blight and Septoria brown spot are widespread. This is a good time of the year to scout fields for crop diseases.

The Art of Swathing

Swathing or windrowing of wheat, barley and oats were, at one time, the default operations that signaled the beginning of harvest. The primary purpose of swathing is to speed up and even out the dry down of the crop. Swathing always posed a risk as grain in the swath is more prone to preharvest sprouting if threshing is delayed due to adverse weather

Therefore, most wheat and barley is now straight cut in large part because modern varieties allow for it. Preharvest applications of glyphosate have further reduced need to swath wheat. In oats swathing remains more common place.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Protect pollinators while trying to protect your crops

By Robert Koch & Marla Spivak, Extension Entomologists

Honey bees and native bees forage in and near soybean and cornfields, especially during dry weather. When treatment decisions are being made for pests of these crops, it is important to consider minimizing the risk to these pollinators. Bees are the most important pollinators of our fruits, vegetables and crops like alfalfa hay that feed our farm animals. Honey bees and the thousands of native bee species all rely on the flowers they pollinate for good nutrition and health. Bees are being pushed to the tipping point by various factors, such as disruption of natural habitats, diseases and parasites, and widespread overuse of pesticides.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Be Aware of Potential Carryover Concerns when Using Ditch Hay

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

The harvesting of ditch hay (grass and legumes growing along roadsides) has provided livestock owners with a source of forage for years.  Tight forage supplies, however, have led to a greater demand for ditch hay than usual this year.  If you feed or sell ditch hay, be sure you know what, if any, herbicides were applied to the ditch hay to avoid potential herbicide carryover issues in manure from animals fed the ditch hay.

Friday, July 19, 2013

Small Grains Disease Update 07-18-13

The grain fill is rapidly progressing towards physiological maturity in both spring and winter wheat across the State. Actually, the first winter wheat in West Central Minnesota was reportedly harvested today. The scouts continue to predominantly fin the tanspot/Septoria complex of leaf diseases and BYDV. Incidence of leaf rust remains low while no stem or stripe rust was found to date.

Small Grains Disease Update 07-18-13

The grain fill is rapidly progressing towards physiological maturity in both spring and winter wheat across the State. Actually, the first winter wheat in West Central Minnesota was reportedly harvested today. The scouts continue to predominantly fin the tanspot/Septoria complex of leaf diseases and BYDV. Incidence of leaf rust remains low while no stem or stripe rust was found to date.

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Weed Management in Prevented Planting Acres

By Jeffrey L. Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist - Weed Science

The wet weather pattern this spring and early summer has left a significant number of acres, especially in southeastern MN, unplanted. Current estimates in southeastern MN project 30% of the tillable acres have not been planted and on many of these acres weeds such as giant ragweed, common lambsquarters and waterhemp are thriving.

Although weeds are beneficial from an erosion control perspective their rapid growth will make seedbed preparation for planting cover crops very difficult and weed seed production potential will challenge even the best weed management tactics available in 2014.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Small Grains Disease Update 06/27/13

It may have taken some time to get in to the fields this year, but the small grains crops are now roaring away in the warmer weather. The earliest seeded fields are rapidly approaching heading and with that decisions about whether to use fungicide at anthesis are now front and center.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction June 6, 2013 and other Forage Info

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

I am posting links here to May 16 and June 6 Hay Auction Summaries for the Mid American Quality Tested Hay Auction at Sauk Centre Minnesota. It shows lots sold, grouped by hay and bale type and quality, along with straw and corn stalks sold.

May 16, 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf
June 6 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf
History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf
Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV point groups from 101 to 200 RFV, Grass Hay 5-9% Protein and Medium Square Straw. A "season long average" has been calculated.

Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf  Averages of each auction through the season since 2001

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Reduce Risk of "Fallow Syndrome" with a Cover Crop

By Lizabeth Stahl and Jill Sackett, Extension Educators

The challenging spring of 2013 resulted in wide-spread planting delays across the state and a significant amount of acres that remain unplanted at this time.  If the decision has been made to take the "prevented planting" option for insurance purposes, the question remains about what to do with these acres.  Leaving the ground bare greatly increases the risk of not only soil erosion, but also the risk of "Fallow Syndrome" the following year.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Late Planted Forage Crop Options

by Dan Martens, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

Some farmers have been still trying to plant corn for silage or other forage crops to meet feed needs for dairy and beef cattle. Recent rain has made a mess of these efforts again recently. One of the more recent field trials done to look at late planted forage crop options was done in Pelican Rapids and Rosemount in 2002 and 2003. I am posting a report of that study here.

Late planted forage trial 02 03.pdf

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

When it rains, it pours! What is happening to my nitrogen? v 2.0

By Daniel Kaiser and John Lamb, Extension Soil Fertility Specialists

Many of our earlier planted fields in Minnesota have been exhibiting some significant variation in plant growth and yellowing this spring.  Our conditions in May and early June have been less than favorable for corn growth and for the release of nutrients from organic matter.  Due to the heavy rains nitrogen loss is being increasingly questioned and the decision of whether to side-dress or not will need to be made sooner or later.  There are a few considerations to make when deciding if more nitrogen should be applied.

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Central MN Alfalfa Scissors-Cut Data June 13, 2013

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

Posted Originally June 13 Evening; UPDATE June 14 about 9:45 a.m. Note to watch potential insect issues.
The "PDF" document listed here is information from field observations and lab tests we have so far from June 13. We may get a couple more reports on Friday and then I will aim to update the PDF posted here later in the day on Friday. I will note the UPDATE time.  
Alfalfa Field Data June 13 2013.pdf

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Soybean aphids found on soybean in southeast Minnesota

By Robert Koch, Extension Entomologist

On June 11, 2013, we found soybean aphids on soybean at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center near Rosemount, MN. Not many beans were out of the ground there, but in the two fields we sampled, we found aphids. We sampled one commercial soybean field at the VC growth stage (unifoliate leaves unfolded) and found 7.5% of plants infested with 1 to 9 aphids on each infested plant. The other field we sampled was a small plot trial, also at the VC growth stage, and had 10% of plants infested with 2 to 3 aphids on each plant.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Central MN Alfalfa Scissors-Cut Data June 10, 2013

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

Posted Originally June 10 Evening
UPDATED JUNE 11 8pm... NO UPDATES June 12

The "PDF" document listed here is information from field observations and lab tests we have so far from June 10. We may get a couple more reports on Wednesday and I will aim to update the PDF posted here later in the day on Wednesday. I will note the UPDATE time.  

Alfalfa Field Data June 10 2013.pdf

Friday, June 7, 2013

Volunteer Corn: It's More Than a Weed Control Issue

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

Volunteer corn has become one of the more prevalent weeds in fields across the Midwest. Conditions experienced in 2012, however, have combined to create almost a perfect storm in some fields for potentially high volunteer corn populations in 2013.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Central MN Alfalfa Scissors-Cut Data June 6, 2013

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

Posted Originally June 6 about 10 p.m.
UPDATED JUNE 7 about 4:30 p.m. Added Wanderee info.
UPDATED JUNE 10 Evening. Added Dreier and Hoen

The "PDF" document listed here is information from field observations and lab tests we have so far from June 6. We will likely get a couple more reports on Friday and I will aim to update the PDF posted here later in the day on Friday. I will not the update time.  

Alfalfa Field Data June 6 2013.pdf

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Snow, rain, mud, now what?

crop news late plant  pic 4.jpg

The weather has put us in a bind. Significant amounts of planting have yet to be completed, which has led to questions on the "correct" course of action. There will be no one "correct" course of action and with fields unsuitable for planting and more rain in the forecast there will be no easy decisions. One choice could be to utilize prevented planting, a choice that is appropriate for some and will lead to many other decisions to be made. A second option is to switch corn acres to soybeans; this may also be a wise and appropriate decision for some acres. Remember when planting soybeans after June 10th it is generally recommended to drop 0.5 RM from your typical full season varieties. The final choice is to stay the course and plant corn, a perfectly viable option for some acres.
A full set of delayed planting resources can be found at: http://z.umn.edu/lateplanting

Central MN Alfalfa Scissors-Cut Data June 3, 2013

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
Posted Originally June 4 about 11 a.m.
UPDATED 5 PM JUNE 4
UPDATED 4:15 JUNE 5

The "PDF" document listed here is information from field observations and lab tests we have so far from June 3. We will likely get a couple more reports on Wednesday and will update again Wednesday afternoon as needed. l will note accordingly. 

Alfalfa Field Data June 3 2013.pdf

Friday, May 31, 2013

Small Grains Disease Update

Early Season Scouting in Small Grains: Tan Spot


With the overcast and humid days which many parts of the state have been experiencing in the last week, be sure to scout smalls grains for signs of early tan spot infection. Tan spot will be particularly prevalent on previous wheat ground. Spring wheat in trials on the Northwest Research and Outreach Center at Crookston has 100% incidence with tan spot. There is some tan spot in the winter wheat. Early signs of tan spot in fields south of Moorhead, Minnesota, have also been identified.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Central MN Alfalfa Scissors-Cut Data - May 30, 2013

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
Posted Originally in the evening on May 30
UPDATE LATE MONDAY JUNE 3 - MORE DATA, A COUPLE OF NOTES

The "PDF" document listed provides data from fields we have information from so far for May 30 sampling and previous sample day information. We might get a couple more lab reports on Monday. We aim to sample fields again on Monday June 3 and will make a June 3 posting later in the day. 

Alfalfa Field Data May 30 2013.xls

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Soil Residual Herbicide Options after Soybean Emergence

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops, and Jeff Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist - Weed Science

With very tight windows of opportunity to plant this year, preemergence herbicides may not have been applied as planned.  Application of a residual herbicide prior to planting or emergence of the crop, in both corn and soybean, is a great weed management strategy overall and also a key tool in managing against herbicide resistance.  What are some of our options if soybeans emerged before a preemergence herbicide application was made?  

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Central MN Alfalfa Scissors-Cut Data - May 28, 2013

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

Posted Originally May 28 10 p.m.
UPDATED May 29 about 5:30 p.m. with more data and a couple of notes about situations where PEAQ data is greatly different from lab test results.

The "PDF" document listed here is Central MN Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors-Cut Data and PEAQ readings received so far for May 28. We aim to sample again on Thursday May 30 and will post some of that information on Thursday and Friday afternoon.  

Alfalfa Field Data May 28 2013.pdf

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Central MN Alfalfa Scissors-Cut Data May 23, 2013

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

Posted originally May 23 10 p.m. UPDATED May 24 5 p.m.

The "PDF" document listed here is Central MN Alfalfa Harvest Alert scissors-cut data and PEAQ readings received so far for May 23. We will be getting more information from May 23 and I will update the "PDF" document listed here and note when it was updated. We will take samples again on Tuesday May 28.
Alfalfa Field Data May 23 2013.pdf

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Central MN Alfalfa Scissors-Cut Data May 20, 2013

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
May 20 about 5:45 PM

The link listed here provides Central "MN Alfalfa Harvest Alert" scissors-cut data and PEAQ readings received so far for May 20. If we get more information from May 20 I will update the information in the link posted here. So far we have information from farms in McLeod, Wright and Benton Counties. Samples will be taken again on Thursday May 23.
Alfalfa Field Data May 20 2013.pdf

Friday, May 17, 2013

Hybrid Maturity Considerations for Delayed Corn Planting

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

For much of Minnesota, the windows of opportunity for corn planting have been late to arrive and interrupted by weather. This article addresses several concerns about late-planted corn.

Expected yield remains high for corn planted by May 25


University of Minnesota Extension planting date studies show that highest corn yields typically occur when corn is planted by early to mid-May. However, high corn yields can still occur if planting is completed prior to Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

University of Minnesota Extension Launches Websites for Alfalfa Weather Damage and Survey to Determine Extent of Alfalfa Damage

By David Nicolai and Doug Holen, Extension Educators - Crops

The University of Minnesota Extension Forage Team has developed a list of resources available to livestock and alfalfa producers affected by the recent alfalfa winter injury and winterkill in 2013. These resources are available at the U of MN Extension forage website:
http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/forages/growth-and-development/

Friday, May 10, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Report May 2, 2013

by Dan Martens, U of M Extension Educator in Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

Three Items:

1. Reports from May 2, 2013 Sauk Centre Hay Auction (here)
2. Winter Alfalfa Injury Resources (read more)
3. Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors Cut Project in Central MN (read more)

MAY 2 HAY AUCTION REPORTS

May 2 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... A summary of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold... grouped by kind of hay, type of bale and 25 RFV points... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV point are calculated.

History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf ... A summary of hay auctions held this year showing Medium Square Alfalfa 101-200 RFV divided in 25 RFV groups, and medium sq. straw.

Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... A line graph of these auctions from 2001 to 2013. For the Feb 16 auction, the 176-200 RFV group is just one load - so not really an average.
The next auction at Sauk Centre will be held on Thursday May 16.

Starter and Sulfur Fertilizer use for Corn:Spring 2013

By Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

With the variation in conditions we have seen this spring there are a few issues that may show up in fields related to cool and wet soils. Purpling of corn leaves due to phosphorus (P) deficiency and early season interveinal striping due to sulfur (S) may occur if temperatures remain cool and we continue to have frequent rains. I want to take some time and outline these issues and some of the related research that has been conducted in the past five years.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Iron Deficiency Chlorosis Research in NW Minnesota

By John Wiersma, Agronomist
Northwest Research and Outreach Center

High pH, highly calcareous soils, common in western Minnesota, restrict the availability of soil Fe needed for optimum soybean growth and yield. On such soils, the amount of Fe fertilizer applied must surpass a threshold before there is sufficient available Fe in the soil solution to induce a positive growth response. Only a limited number of management tactics designed to improve the availability of Fe have been studied with soybean. These include variety selection, seeding density, seed-applied or in-furrow materials, and foliar treatments.

Friday, May 3, 2013

Maximizing forage in winter injured and killed stands, Spring 2013

By Dr. Craig Sheaffer, David Nicolai and Doug Holen

An unusual amount of winter injury and winterkill of alfalfa stands occurred in south central and southern Minnesota. While reports do not represent a detailed analysis of where injury to alfalfa has occurred across Minnesota, they do suggest a need for producers to check on stands and evaluate them for potential winter injury.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Using Grid Soil Sampling to Guide Manure Application

Les Everett, Randy Pepin and Jose A. Hernandez, University of Minnesota


Using grid soil sampling to guide manure application can be a profitable investment, is the conclusion from case studies based on eight Minnesota farms. In fields where there is a history of non-uniform manure application, targeting new manure applications to areas with lower phosphorus and potassium soil test values can result in considerable economic returns above the cost of grid soil sampling. Variable rate manure applicators are not required when fields can be divided into application and no-application zones, with supplemental nitrogen fertilizer in the no-manure zones. The brief case studies are available on the University of Minnesota Extension web page for Manure Management and Air Quality http://www.manure.umn.edu, under Grid Soil Sampling for Manure Application. An introduction, the eight case studies, and a set of short video presentations based on the case studies are available at http://z.umn.edu/gridsoilsampling.

Funding for the development of these case studies was provided by the McKnight Foundation.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Sauk Center Hay Auction - April 18, 2013

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

I am posting 3 items based on information from the April 18, 2013 Hay Auction at Sauk Centre Minnesota. The next auction is scheduled for May 2, starting at 12:30.

April 18 SC Hay Auction.pdf.. A list of tested lots sold an bedding materials, grouped by bale type and quality.
History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf... Average and range of values for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101 to 200 RFV, listed for each sale this year.
Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... Line graph for market years since 2001 for Medium Square Alfalfa in groups by 25 RFV points from 101-200 RFV.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Update on Iron Deficiency Chlorosis Research for Soybean

By Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

Management of Iron (Fe) deficiency chlorosis (IDC) in soybean is seemingly and endless topic of research in soybean growing areas with high pH, calcareous, parent materials. We are just finishing a three-year summary of a series of IDC management strip trials that began in 2010. Our main focus for this work was to study the variability in response for a tolerant and susceptible variety to an oat companion crop and a 6% EDDHA-Fe treatment applied in-furrow (we used Soygreen at a rate of 3 lbs of product per acre). The field areas were selected to have some variation in the severity of IDC.

Soil Testing Sentinel Program in Minnesota

By Daniel Kaiser, University Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

With the extreme variability in growing conditions there have been some questions regarding the variability in soil test. A project is being launched to establish a series of sentinel plots to study the monthly variation in soil test values over the next two growing season. We are looking for participants that are willing to take samples from a single point within a field and mail them off to us at Saint Paul. The goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of what is happening over the growing season for a number of different nutrients commonly measured.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Black cutworm pheromone trapping network

By Bruce Potter, IPM Specialist SW MN

The late spring has had one advantage. Migration of insect pests from the south into Minnesota has been delayed.

The black cutworm, one of the migrant pest species that sporadically causes problems in Minnesota crops, reduced stands in some 2011 and 2012 corn fields. The females prefer to lay eggs in un-worked fields where areas of winter annual or early spring germinating weeds, common lambsquarters for example, occur.

Does my soybean crop need sulfur?

Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

I know there are still questions on the application of sulfur for soybean.  Between me and a number of other researchers in Minnesota, we have been working on a number of projects focusing on sulfur management on corn, soybean, and spring wheat.  Recently the soybean research has been fully summarized so I want to take a minute or two to highlight some of the findings to outline where we are at with the current guidelines for fertilizer management on soybean.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Safely Handling Treated Seed

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

Much of the seed planted this year will have been treated with a fungicide, insecticide and/or nematicide. As when working with any pesticide, care should be taken when handling treated seed so that exposure to the handler, non-target organisms, and the environment is reduced or prevented as much as possible.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Planting Window for Small Grains Already Closing

While nearly all the small grains were seeded in Minnesota by this date in 2012, this spring is a different story. The unseasonably cold temperatures and relentless snow fall is setting us up for a (very) late spring. This will mean that, already, the planting window for small grains is closing for parts of the state. Understand that you can still plant spring wheat, barley, and oats after the last recommended date but that the chances to have good, competitive grain yields and quality are greatly reduced.

Check out this post from 2014 to understand how and why the planting window for wheat, barley and oats is.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Report April 4, 2013

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

I am posting 3 items based on information from the April 4, 2013 Hay Auction at Sauk Centre Minnesota. The next auction is scheduled for April 18, starting at 12:30.
Apr 4 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf.. A list of tested lots sold an bedding materials, grouped by bale type and quality.
History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf .... Average and range of values for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101 to 200 RFV, listed for each sale this year.
Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf.... Line graph for market years since 2001 for Medium Square Alfalfa in groups by 25 RFV points from 101-200 RFV.



Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Report March 21, 2013

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

I am posting three items based on the March 21 Sauk Centre Hay Auction:

Mar 21 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf... a list of loads sold, divided by kind and type of bale of hay or bedding, RFV in 25 point groups for alfalfa, grass based on protein... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV are calculated.

History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf... Average and range for Medium Square alfalfa RFV 101-200 in 25 point groups, medium square straw and round bales grass hay 5-9% protein

Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf.. Line graph for Medium Square Alfalfa groups 101-200 RFV.

Read further for discussion about evaluating alfalfa stands this spring

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

How Much Starter Can I Use on My Corn?

Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist
University of Minnesota

Seemingly unpredictable weather conditions each spring inevitably bring up questions on placement of fertilizer with the seed.  Starter fertilizer has played an important role in nutrient management in corn in Minnesota.  However, tools for deciding on how much that can safely be applied have not been widely available.  While these tools can be used common sense is still needed in making a decision on what should be done.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Spring Nitrogen Management Options for Small Grains

Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

A few questions arose over the winter as to options for spring applied nitrogen for small grains in areas where fall application was not possible. One option that was questioned was increasing application rates with the air seeder.  While this does present increased risk, with spring approaching I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some resources available for helping make decisions on what to apply. Application with the air seeder allows for more options due to a wide range of seedbed utilized with the various seed spread patters available.

Soil Testing For K

By Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

With spring finally approaching it is a good time to address some questions on soil testing that came up of the winter concerning testing soils in a field moist state versus the standard dried samples that are run through soil testing labs.  First I would like to make it clear that the issue of drying of a soil sample mainly pertains to potassium. Most other tests routinely run through the lab are not affected by drying of the sample.  The reason why potassium is different is due to its chemistry in the soil.  We currently have finished the second year of potassium studies looking at both testing methods but will be continuing this work for the foreseeable future to gain a better understanding of what is going on within the soil.

Friday, March 29, 2013

Establishing a Better Understanding for 2013 Alfalfa Productivity Potential

By Doug Holen, Dr. Phil Glogoza and Dr. Craig Sheaffer
March 28, 2013

The increasing cost of forages, fearing continued 2012 droughty conditions, and extending the winter season has many producers wondering about the productivity of their hay fields in 2013. While temperatures have been respectively cold this winter, the good news is that an insulating layer of snow has persisted across most of the state for an extended period of time.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Report March 7, 2013

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

41 LOADS - That's just the Loads of Large Round Bales-Grass Hay in the 5-9% protein range...41. What a pile of hay! Prices continue to run strong.

I am posting links to the my summary reports following the March 7, 2013 Hay Auction at Sauk Centre ... should try to get this posted at least one day ahead of the next auction on March 21 - don't ya' think...

Mar 7 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf .... A list of all tested hay lots and bedding material sold... grouped by kind of hay, RFV, and type of bale ... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV point calculated
History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf... A summary of auctions held since September; Medium Square Alfalfa 101 to 200 in 25 RFV point groups, bedding material, round grass bales protein 5-9
Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... A line graph of Auction seasons since 2001

The next auction at Sauk Centre is on March 21.

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Report Feb. 21, 2013

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

I am posting links to the following reports following the Feb. 21, 2013 Hay Auction at Sauk Centre.

Feb 21 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf .... A list of all tested hay lots and bedding material sold... grouped by kind of hay, RFV, and type of bale ... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV point calculated
History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf ... A summary of auctions held since September; Medium Square Alfalfa 101 to 200 in 25 RFV point groups, bedding material, round grass bales protein 5-9
Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... A line graph of Auction seasons since 2001

The next auction at Sauk Centre is on March 7

Monday, February 18, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Report Feb. 7, 2013

By Dan Martens

This information is from the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on February 7, 2013. I am posting three reports:

Feb 7 2013 SC Hay Auction.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 of dry matter and cost per RFV point are calculated.
History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf ... A summary of auctions held this year: Medium Square Alfalfa 101 to 200 RFV divided in 25 point groups, and bedding material.
Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... A line graph of auction seasons from 2001 to 2010

Monday, February 4, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Jan. 17, 2013

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

I am posting three items based on information from the Jan. 17 2013 Hay Auction at Sauk Centre MN.

Jan 17 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... A list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold... grouped by kind of hay, bale type, RFV in 25 point groups for alfalfa and by protein for grass.. cost per pound of dry matter and cost per RFV point are calculated.

History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf ... Average and range of RFV values and prices for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101-200 RFV. This include average for each of the last 4 years and for each auction so far this year. Medium Square Straw is also listed.

Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... Line graph for average price of Medium Square Alfalfa by 25 RFV groups. Dotted lines indicate where sales did not have hay in that group.

Hay Stocks Dec 1 2012.pdf... USDA Hay Inventory Dec 1, 2012 USDA report by states for hay on inventory December 1, 2011 and 2012.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Jan. 3 2013

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

I am posting three items based on information from the January 3 2013 Hay Auction at Sauk Centre.

Jan 3 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... A list of all tested hay lots and bedding materials sold... grouped by kind of hay, bale type, RFV in 25 point groups for alfalfa and by protein for grass.. cost per pound of dry matter and cost per RFV point are calculated.
/> History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf ... Average and range of RFV values and prices for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101-200 RFV. This include average for each of the last 4 years and for each auction so far this year. Medium Square Straw is also listed.
Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... Line graph for average price of Medium Square Alfalfa by 25 RFV groups. Dotted lines indicate where sales did not have hay in that group.

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