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Extension > Minnesota Crop News > August 2014

Saturday, August 23, 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.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Tips for planting winter wheat

by Jochum Wiersma, Small Grains Specialist and Phyllis Bongard, Educational Content Development and Communications Specialist

With September just around the corner, we are approaching the optimum time for planting winter wheat in Minnesota. The optimum planting date windows are between September 1st and the 15th in the area north of I-94, between September 10th and the 30th south of I-94, and between September 20th and October 10th in the part of the state south of I-90.

Though seeds that just begin the germination process will vernalize (meet the necessary cold requirement to produce a spike in the summer), a much larger seedling typically has a better chance of overwintering and being more productive. In recent research, the early planted treatments have been more productive than those planted later than the optimal dates, though the difference was not always large, depending on the year and the variety grown. Below are key points to establish winter wheat successfully and give it the best chances to survive Minnesota's winter:

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 produce high-quality research-based educational programs. The educational programming will take many forms, including the Forage Quarterly Newsletter, YouTube videos, online webinars and classes, along with traditional field days and winter workshops.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

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.

Friday, August 8, 2014

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%.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Sauk Centre July Hay Summary and Events

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

In this edition:
  • July 10 Hay Auction Results
  • Dairy Tours / Workshop August 14 and 19

Continue Reading for Links to reports, Farm Event News Releases

Sunday, August 3, 2014

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.
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