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Showing posts from July, 2015

Hay Auction Summary July 2015 and Other Info

By Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 320-968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929

I am posting information and links to documents with data from:
July 2 2015 Sauk Centre Hay Auction and SEASON AVERAGES
And sources of other hay market information

1. July 2, 2015 Summary - All loads sold, grouped and averaged.

2. History of selected lots - Averaged for recent years, and each sale so far this year.

This include AVERAGES CALCULATED FOR THE 2014/2015 SEASON – listed on the first and third page.

3. Graph - Medium Square Groups from RFV 101-200, Grass Hay 5-9% Protein, Straw

The “heavy red line” is for the 2014-15 auction season. The vertical lines on the June 4 and July 2represents the range in price from high to low with a spot at the average.

4. Straw and Grass Graphs – Large Round Straw sold by the ton, Large Round Straw sold by the bale, Medium Square Straw sold by the bale, Large Round Grass 5-9% protein sold by the ton…

Topics Addressing Small Grain Crop Dry-down and Harvest

Jochum Wiersma, Small Grains Specialist, 
Doug Holen, Crops Extension Educator and 
Phyllis Bongard, Educational Development and Communications Specialist

Small grain harvest is underway in parts of southern Minnesota including winter wheat, winter rye, barley, and even spring wheat.  The common theme to date is harvest maturity.  Many calls and questions are circulating addressing crop dry-down and removal.  Most of this concern comes on the back side of strong wind events across the state resulting in significant lodging. 

Parasitic wasps attacking Minnesota soybean aphids: Summary of a collaborative statewide survey

by Joe Kaser (Graduate Student), George Heimpel (Professor), and Robert Koch (Assistant Professor & Extension Entomologist)

An important group of beneficial insects that help control soybean aphids are tiny parasitic wasps (also known as aphid parasitoids). These wasps do not sting or harm humans, livestock, or any insects besides aphids. The biology of these parasitic wasps is like something out of a science-fiction movie. The female wasps inject their eggs into aphids. The larvae that hatch from the eggs then develop inside of their aphid hosts, eventually killing the aphid, and later emerging as winged adult wasps. Aphids attacked by these parasitic wasps become “mummies,” which are the slightly swollen, brown- or black-colored bodies of the dead aphids.  When managing soybean aphid, use of scouting and the economic threshold (250 aphids per plant) will help reduce insecticide inputs and conserve these aphid-killing wasps.  

Managing Cercospora leaf spot of sugarbeet

by Mohamed Kahn, Extension Sugarbeet Specialist
Cercospora leaf spot (CLS) (Figure 1 A, B) is the most damaging leaf disease of sugarbeet in North Dakota and Minnesota. CLS is caused by the fungus Cercospora beticola which does most damage in warm weather (80 to 90 degree F during the day and over 60 degree F in the night) and in the presence of moisture from rain or dew on the leaves. The fungus destroys the leaves (Figure 2) and thus adversely impacts photosynthesis resulting in reduced tonnage and lower extractable sucrose.

Figure 1A. Typical early symptoms of Cercospora leaf spot - circular spots or lesions about 1/8 inch in diameter with ash gray centers.
Figure 1B. Cercospora lesion with "black pepper–like" spots and conidiospores in the center.

Midsummer Corn and Soybean Disease Development in Minnesota

by Dean Malvick

Several different crop diseases have appeared in corn and soybean fields across Minnesota. Although most are at minor levels now, diseases are dynamic and it is important to be alert for these and other diseases that may be developing. More information can be found at the Minnesota Crop Diseases web site:

Sugarbeet crop update

Mohamed Khan, Extension Sugarbeet Specialist
In North Dakota and Minnesota, ideal planting time is in mid- to late-April so that plants can close rows by June 21 to maximize photosynthetic activity during long daylight hours for highest yields. The lack of snow and rainfall preceding and during early April resulted in growers being able to plant over 90% of their sugarbeet crop during April. However, inadequate soil moisture in many areas resulted in delayed emergence, and in some fields, uneven seedling emergence. Fortunately, several rainfall events in May and June have resulted in adequate moisture for the sugarbeet crop as well as recharging of the soil moisture content. May was relatively cool but since June 1, average daily bare soil temperature was over 55°F resulting in rapid crop growth. As such, most fields in Minnesota had a full canopy by the 4th of July.

Corn development and forecasted yields

Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Specialist
Much of the corn in Minnesota is silking or rapidly approaching silking. As a guide, corn typically reaches physiological maturity (black layer) at around 55 to 60 days after silking.

Stress occurring between now and early August, resulting from dry soil conditions and hot air temperatures, can greatly reduce grain yield by reducing the number of kernels per plant. Hail damage to corn at this time also will greatly reduce yield, since all leaves are completely exposed by silking. Fortunately, the season has started with favorable conditions for corn growth in many areas.

To evaluate, in real time, the impact of this season’s weather on corn yield potential and its spatial variability across the Corn Belt, simulations of 2015 yield potential were performed on July 15 by University of Nebraska researchers as part of a multi-state project. Results are available at:

Updated yield forecasts wil…

Pest alert - Two-spotted Spider Mites in Soybeans

Bruce Potter, Bob Koch and Ken Ostlie.

In spite of the abundant rainfall and the relatively mild temperatures, some Minnesota soybean fields have populations of two-spotted spider mites (TSSM) at or near economic damaging levels and mites can be found at lower levels in others.

Cancellation of Small Grains Plot Tours This week

Madeleine Smith

Due to unforeseen circumstances, the 2015 Small Grains Plot Tours have been cancelled with the exception of the Fergus Falls location. The plot tour scheduled for today, Monday, July 13 will take place at 5:00 p.m. at the John and Chad Walkup Farm located at 11301 150th Ave in Campbell MN.

All other plots tours are cancelled. We apologize for any inconvenience caused. If you wish to talk to any of the speakers please feel free to contact them through the University of Minnesota Extension website where their contact details can be found  @

The field day at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston is still planned for Wednesday July 15th. If there is rain, an alternative program will be conducted indoors.

Perley, July 13 cancelled
Oklee, July 14 cancelled
Hallock, July 17 cancelled
Strathcona, July 17 cancelled
Roseau, July 22 cancelled

"What Impact is My Tillage System Having on Soil Health" Presentations Now Available Online

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

If you were unable to attend the "What Impact is My Tillage System Having on Soil Health" field day at the SWROC in Lamberton on July 1 or would like to review some of the information presented, you can now view copies of several presentations online.  They have been posted on the U of MN Extension Soil management and health website ( under "Presentations".

The following is the direct link:

The downside of insurance insecticide applications for soybean aphid

by Robert Koch, Extension Entomologist; Bruce Potter, IPM Specialist; and Jeff Gunsolus, Extension Weed Scientist

For soybean aphid management, we encourage you to rely on scouting (actually getting into the field and looking at plants) and the validated economic threshold (average of 250 aphids per plant, aphids on more than 80% of plants, and aphid populations increasing) to determine when to apply insecticides for soybean aphid (see "Scouting for soybean aphid"). The threshold number of aphids is below the number required to cause yield loss and allows time to apply an insecticide before economic loss is incurred. However, you might be tempted to apply insecticides for soybean aphids at low population levels or without regard to the size of the aphid population in field, just in case you might have a problem. These "insurance" applications of insecticides can have negative impacts.

Refresher on scouting for and managing defoliating insects in soybean

by Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist), Tavvs Alves (Grad. Student), Anh Tran (Grad. Student), and Wally Rich (Junior Scientist)

As you begin scouting soybean fields for soybean aphid, you should also be on the lookout for other insect pests and the injury they can cause on the plants. One such group of additional pests is referred to as “defoliators” or “defoliating insects.” Defoliators are insects that eat the leaves of plants. In soybean, we can find a diversity of defoliators, including various beetles, caterpillars and grasshoppers.

Armyworms in Small Grains

We are receiving calls regarding armyworms in small grains in NW MN.

At this time they are small larvae (1/2"-3/4" long) and feeding in the lower foliage.  Scout for armyworms at grassy margins of the fields, low, weedy areas in fields or in lodged grain; populations are more likely to develop in these areas first.  Armyworms prefer the edges of leaves first and are messy, wasteful eaters.  They generally retreat during the day under soil and plant residue on the ground and feed more often beginning at dusk, it’s easier to scout for armyworm damage than the armyworms themselves.  Look for leaves that have been notched/cut, partially eaten leaf material on the ground, and small round pellets (armyworm frass, i.e. poop) near the base of the plants.

Consider applying insecticide if: there are 4-5 armyworm larvae per sq. ft., caterpillars are ¾ - 1 ¼ in. long, leaf feeding or head clipping is found, and parasites are not evident.  By the time armyworms are more than 1 ½ in long,…