Skip to main content


Showing posts from August, 2014

Soybean aphid populations increasing in some previously treated fields

by Robert Koch, Extension Entomologist
Soybean aphid populations are increasing in some fields that were previously treated with foliar insecticides for soybean aphid. Soybean fields should continue to be scouted until the R6.5 growth stage, even if they were previously treated. This post-treatment scouting will allow you to catch potential resurgence of aphid populations.

Forage Quarterly Newsletter Re-launched

by M. Scott Wells, Cropping and Forages Specialist

With the recent appointment of M. Scott Wells as the Forage and Cropping Specialist, the Forage Quarterly has been re-launched. The newsletter will highlight innovative approaches and technologies to improve the productivity and sustainability of Minnesota's forage systems.

This August edition contains a research update on emergency forages, a discussion of nitrogen needs in corn following alfalfa, helpful information on maintaining large bale quality and tips on pricing and using alternative forages.

To visit the Forage Quarterly home page,
go to
or to subscribe directly,

In his position, Wells will work closely with Regional and Local Extension Educators, State Specialists, USDA-ARS, and University researchers in developing a research program that provides solutions to current and future issues in forage production. Wells will also leverage the results to prod…

Water Quality Best Management Practices for Agricultural Insecticides

by Robert Koch, Extension Entomologist
In July 2014, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) published a series of best management practices (BMPs) for agricultural insecticides (link to BMPs). These BMPs were created in response to seasonal detections of chlorpyrifos in several rivers and streams in the agricultural areas of Minnesota from 2010 to 2012. Subsequently, MDA determined chlorpyrifos to be a "surface water pesticide of concern" which initiates BMP development. Some MDA samples had concentrations violating water quality standards established by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to protect aquatic life, which led the MPCA to list three water bodies as impaired due to chlorpyrifos.

Maintaining Wheat Yield and Quality

The favorable weather conditions for wheat we have enjoyed to date and the unusually late start of harvest may mean that we will encounter more problems with shattering compared to most years. The rationale for the for this worry is twofold; first the yield potential looks very good and a portion of that yield will come in the form of (very) large kernels, secondly the later start will likely mean a slower dry down and more chances for rain and dews. The resulting repeated wetting and drying can cause the glumes, especially if the kernels are heavy, to open up. This in turn can lead to increased chances of shattering. Two varieties are probably slightly more prone to shattering are LCS Albany and Forefront. Harvest the crop sooner rather than later to reduce shattering losses and chose to dry down the crop in the bin rather than waiting for the crop to reach 13.5%.

Soybean aphid populations are building; you should be scouting your fields

Soybean aphids can now be found in many soybean fields. In some fields (but certainly not all fields) in southern Minnesota, soybean aphid populations are approaching levels requiring insecticide application to prevent economic losses. This critical soybean aphid population level, referred to as the economic threshold, is an average of 250 aphids per plant AND aphids on more than 80% of plants AND aphid populations increasing. Many fields are well below this level and do not require insecticide application for aphids at this time. Scouting is required to determine which fields require or may soon require treatment and which fields do not. A guide for soybean aphid scouting in Minnesota was recently posted.