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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Assistance with European corn borer survey requested

by Bruce Potter

European corn borer
Entomologists at the University of Minnesota continue to document and understand changes in European corn borer (ECB) populations in our state. Each fall, a number of corn fields are surveyed for the presence of corn borer damage and overwintering corn borer larvae. During the growing season weekly updates of ECB moth captures in black light traps are made available: Funding from the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council has provided us an opportunity to improve these efforts.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

The PSNT from Field to Lab: How to Ensure Accurate Results

Daniel Kaiser and Fabian Fernandez

Once you’ve taken the soil samples in the field, it’s time to send them to the lab for analysis. Good soil management from field to lab is imperative to getting accurate results from your samples. Watch Extension Soil Fertility Specialist Dan Kaiser explain best management practices for the PSNT test from the field to the lab, and read on for more advice.

‘Lang-MN' wheat is newest U of MN release

Lang-MN, the newest hard red spring wheat variety released by the University of Minnesota.
The University of Minnesota has released a new hard red spring wheat variety called ‘Lang-MN’ and dates for touring demonstration plots are now available. Released in January 2017, Lang-MN is a well-balanced, high yielding spring wheat variety well suited for much of the spring wheat-growing region. Lang-MN is named after Ben Lang, past president of the Minnesota Crop Improvement Association (MCIA).

Friday, June 23, 2017

What do we know about the value of preemergence herbicides in soybean?

By Ryan Miller and Lisa Behnken

Earlier this spring we shared a couple videos on the lessons we have learned from corn herbicide research at Rochester, MN.  Now we would like to share what we have learned about the value of preemergence herbicides in soybean.  See or video Soybean Preemergence Herbicides: Always Have One Down

We are back in the research plots in Rochester, checking-in to see what we have been learning with our soybean herbicide research plots.  During the past couple of weeks, we shared information on the “reach-back” potential of several preemergence corn herbicide products.  In our soybean plots, we experienced similar weather conditions with a lack of rainfall after the applications of preemergence herbicides.  With that lack of rainfall, the herbicides were slow to activate and we saw an initial flush of weeds emerge, but unlike some of our corn herbicides the soybean preemergence products did not exhibit “reach-back”.  Not to worry, the preemergence herbicides have now activated and are “reaching forward”.  We see that the herbicides are now helping to control future flushes of small seeded broadleaves and grasses, reducing the overall weed pressure.  In addition, they have widened the window of postemergence herbicide application.  Without a pre down we needed our post emergence herbicide applications to go on four days after soybean emergence, with pre’s down we had several weeks to get the post applications on.  We will be following this trial during the 2017 growing season and providing periodic video updates.

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Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Suspect pesticide drift? What to do and how to prevent it from occurring

By Dave Nicolai and Liz Stahl, University of MN Extension Crops Educators

Unfortunately, pesticide applications can sometimes drift onto neighboring crops and vegetation. Damage can range in severity from brief cosmetic symptoms to the inability to market a crop, severe yield losses and/or plant death. Bee kills can also be an issue where pesticide misuse, misapplication, or drift has occurred. The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) has developed standard procedures to follow when pesticide drift is suspected.

2017 Southern Small Grain Field Days

The University of Minnesota Extension is holding four small grain field days in southern Minnesota June 26 - 27. Each field day will take place at on-farm locations to discuss all aspects of small grain production, including variety performance, plant diseases, and small grain management considerations. Events will include hands-on demonstrations in real field scenarios, with discussion relating to the current growing season. Presenters will include Jochum Wiersma, U of MN Extension Small Grains Specialist and Jared Goplen, U of MN Extension Educator in Crops. Attendees are encouraged to bring any field samples for diagnostics and discussion.

Dates and Locations include:

Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 1:00 PM – Ruth Hoefs/Ron Pomiji Farm, 20676 340th Street, LeCenter – Lunch served at the farm prior to the plot tour.

Monday, June 26 @ 5:00 PM – Gieseke Farms, 53031 Co Hwy 15, New Ulm – Lunch served at Schell’s Brewery following the plot tour.

Tuesday, June 27 @ 1:00 PM – Dave Lochen Farm, 10455 Haus Road, Marty – Lunch served at Pearl Lake Lodge prior to the plot tour.

Tuesday, June 27 @ 7:00 PM – John Gorres Farm, 1065 80th Ave SE, DeGraff – Refreshments served at the trial site.

NOTE: There is no charge and registration is not needed.

Questions about the 2017 South Small Grain Field Days can be directed to Jochum Wiersma, Extension Small Grains Specialist, via email:, or by calling (218) 281-8629, or Jared Goplen, Extension Educator-Crops, via email: or by calling (320) 589-1711

The Supplemental Nitrogen Worksheet for Corn: a tool for in-season nitrogen management decisions

Greg Klinger, Fabian Fernandez & Dan Kaiser 

Wondering whether you should apply supplemental nitrogen to your corn fields this year? Find your answer with University of Minnesota Extension’s Supplemental Nitrogen Worksheet for Corn. Meant to be used in early to mid-June, this useful tool asks 3 simple questions of growers and provides a score that rates the need for additional nitrogen fertilizer.  High scores mean that supplemental N should be applied, medium scores suggest taking a “wait and see” approach, and low scores mean no supplemental N should be needed.

Thursday, June 15, 2017

Tips for Accurate Pre-Sidedress Nitrate Tests

Fabian Fernandez and Daniel Kaiser

The pre-sidedress nitrate test (PSNT) is a tool for making decisions on supplemental nitrogen application. Taken during June prior to side-dress N application around the V6 stage of corn growth, the PSNT offers a way to assess insufficient N in the soil. It offers guidance for efficient N management, but only if carried out correctly. Watch our video with Extension Nutrient Management Specialist Fabian Fernandez and read on for tips to make the PSNT count.

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Temperature inversions: Something to consider before spraying

By Ryan Miller and David Nicolai

Fog developing in an early morning temperature inversion. Source: Ryan Miller
We have produced a video, Temperature inversions: Something to consider before spraying (, that discusses the development of temperature inversions, which can affect the drift, or off target movement of pesticides during post emergence applications. Issues relating to temperature inversions and how they develop is summarized below. This content comes to us from neighboring land-grant universities (see references for detailed source information).

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

The downstream effects of hail on pest management

Bruce Potter and Dean Malvick

Hail-damaged corn, Renville County, June 11, 2017. Photo: Matt Wordes
Hail has hit a several areas of Minnesota, including Southwest Minnesota. For those that have not yet seen the article, U of MN Extension recently released revised information on assessing damage and yield loss: Hail damage to corn and soybean. For some farmers and their advisers, the damage is severe or light enough that decisions are easy. For others, in a couple days there will be indecision and a desire to try to help the crop out.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Hail damage to corn and soybean: Evaluation and replant options

by Jeff Coulter and Seth Naeve, Extension Agronomists, and Dave Nicolai, Extension educator

Photo 1. Hail-damaged corn in Kandiyohi County, June 11, 2017. Photo: Wes Nelson, USDA-FSA
Recent storms left a large area of western and central Minnesota affected by severe hail damage. Especially hard hit were Kandiyohi, Swift, Chippewa, and McLeod Counties, where much of the corn was at the V5 stage (5 collared leaves) when damaged and soybean varied from newly-emerged to two fully-developed trifoliate leaves (V2).

Thursday, June 8, 2017

Lessons learned from preemergence corn herbicide research this spring

by Ryan Miller and Lisa Behnken

Last week, we shared a video on Spring herbicide activity concerns ( due to cool and wet conditions following preemergence corn herbicide applications. In the video, we noted that weeds were coming through and wondered if the preemergence herbicides that had been applied would do their job.

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Wet spring weather and nitrogen loss: what has happened to my pre-plant nitrogen?

Gregory Klinger, Fabian Fernandez & Daniel Kaiser

Much of the state has seen periods of very wet weather this spring, especially in southeastern and central Minnesota. Given the heavy precipitation, what – if anything - has happened to spring pre-plant nitrogen? How much N is still available to the plant? Here are the top six things to consider when assessing pre-plant nitrogen loss:

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Brief Review of Key Soybean Seedling Diseases

by Dean Malvick

Conditions are favorable for soybean seedling disease in many areas. Wet soil, slow emergence, and delayed planting have been favorable for seedling diseases in many areas of southern and central Minnesota.  Now as the soil dries and warms up, infected plants may wilt and collapse rapidly due to damaged root systems. Problems with seedling disease have been reported from several areas, and more will likely be noted as plants continue to emerge. Given that seedling diseases have developed in some of the well-drained soil at Rosemount, MN, these problems are not restricted to poorly-drained fields this year.  This is a good time to scout fields for seedling disease problems.

Monday, June 5, 2017

Disease in small grains: When to spray, what to spray, when not to spray!

by Madeleine Smith, Small grains Extension pathologist

Photo: Jared Goplen
Now that Memorial Day weekend has passed and the warmer weather seems to be here at last, many small grains fields are ready for their herbicide application. As always, the question arises, should I include a fungicide as good insurance against leaf disease and what should I spray? In Minnesota it helps to think of fungicide decision making in broadly three time categories.

Thursday, June 1, 2017

Crop disease diagnosis and plant health: The U of M Plant Disease Clinic is ready to help

by Brett Arenz, Plant Disease Clinic director

The improvement of plant health (and yields) can only be successfully achieved after a clear understanding is made of what is reducing plant health in the first place. This is where the Plant Disease Clinic (PDC), can help. The PDC is based on the St. Paul campus at the University of Minnesota. It provides diagnostic services, specializing in microbial pathogens of plants. The PDC diagnoses thousands of samples each year from state and federal agencies, the agriculture and horticulture industry, and the general public. We are also part of the National Plant Diagnostic Network (NPDN) which monitors and tracks the movement of plant pathogens in the U.S.

Pest alert: Scout for armyworm in fields with cover crops

Bruce Potter, IPM specialist

Figure 1. Armyworm larva. Note the banding on the prolegs. Photo: Bruce Potter
A true armyworm infestation at a treatment threshold level was reported in corn yesterday. In addition, there have been several comments about slugs in corn and soybeans. The common variable in these infestations appears to be winter rye cover crops.

At this point, the reported observations are limited so it’s unknown how severe or widespread any problems are. Both of these pests could be occurring over a wide geography.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Sulfur, Potassium and Boron: Scouting for Common Nutrient Deficiencies in Alfalfa

Early season scouting is imperative to good nutrient management in alfalfa. In Minnesota, the main nutrient concerns lie in sulfur, potassium and boron. Read on for tips on how to scout for and manage these common alfalfa deficiencies.

In Minnesota, sulfur deficiencies in alfalfa are found in two main areas: 1) sandy soils where sulfur tends to leach rapidly; or 2) soils with low organic matter content that have a limited capacity to mineralize sulfur. Scout for yellowing in the upper leaves and thin stands. The most susceptible areas of the field will be sandy soils with low organic matter and eroded knolls within in the field. 

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 30 2017

by Dan Martens, UM Extension, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, 320-968-5077,

Click on Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 30 for field and lab information from Monday May 30 posted about 9 PM Monday. New data in this report includes

--Lab results from Meeker County Sample last Thursday

--Feed sample at Gathje Farm on May 30 for alfalfa chopped last week

--Field sample from Scapanski farm in Benton County May 30

--Field sample from OS Dairy farm in Benton County May 30

I will update the report in the link here if we get more information tomorrow.

Read further for some other observations

Saturday, May 27, 2017

Preemergence Corn Herbicides Applied in Dry Conditions Followed by Wet and Cool Growing Conditions

Preemergence Corn Herbicides Applied in Dry Conditions Followed by Wet and Cool Growing Conditions

 Are you are concerned with the amount of activity you are seeing with preemergence corn herbicide applications?  This video discusses some of what we are seeing with preemergence herbicide applications in our corn herbicide trials at Rochester, MN.  We will be following this trial during the 2017 growing season, providing periodic video updates.  If you like content in this format please subscribe to our YouTube channel:

Video at:

Friday, May 26, 2017

May 18 Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summaries

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, 320-968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929,

Use links to see my summaries from the May 18, 2017 Sauk Centre Hay Auction

1. May 18, 2017 Summary- All tested loads sold, groups based on hay and bale type and quality

2. History of Selected Lots 

3. Graph of Selected Alfalfa hay groups.
            The 2016-17 season is the RED line now.

Continue reading for other sources of hay market information and crop information sources.

Herbicide Performance and Crop Injury with Cool Weather

Jochum Wiersma

Herbicide performance and selectivity are a function of how well the small grains and weeds that receive an herbicide are able to metabolize the active ingredient. The ideal temperature for applying most postemergence herbicides is between 65 and 85 F. However, the temperatures following herbicide application will largely determine crop safety as the plant’s metabolism slows during cool or cold conditions. This extends the amount of time required to degrade the herbicide in the small grain plants. Rapid degradation under warm conditions allows crop plants to escape herbicide injury.

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 25, 2017

by Dan Martens, UM Extension, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, 320-968-5077,

Click on Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 25 for field and lab information on Thursday May 25, updated on Friday May 26 about 8 PM. No info from 2 farms, lab info not back from 1. 1 farm reported cutting on Thursday and Friday, could be others. Some watching to see how the weekend weather turns out. Some looking for a little more growth on fields if they can.

Have you lost your N in the past week?

Widespread wet weather and yellow corn has caused concern among Minnesota farmers regarding the status of their nitrogen fertilizer.  Extension Educator Brad Carlson discusses the processes of nitrogen loss from wet weather in context to this past week's weather in the new video, Spring 2017 nitrogen concerns

Additional resources can be found on the University of Minnesota Nutrient management website at and the Extension Crops website,

You may also like UMN Extension Nutrient Management on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Support for this project was provided in part by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC).

NDAWN Network Adds Temperature Inversion Alerts

The North Dakota Agricultural Weather Network (NDAWN) provides current weather data, climatological records, and is the backbone of growth and development models in North Dakota and Northwest Minnesota.  This, for example, includes the orange wheat blossom midge emergence model and the small grains disease development risk models.  This summer a new tool is being added to the suite of NDAWN applications, namely a temperature inversion alert.

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Are soil residual herbicides necessary in late-planted soybean: What are your options if soybeans have emerged?

Jeff Gunsolus, Lisa Behnken, and Fritz Breitenbach

Figure 1. Emerging soybeans at Rosemount ROC on May 24, 2017. Photo: Dave Nicolai
Application of a residual herbicide prior to planting or emergence of the crop is an effective and highly recommended weed management strategy and also a key tool in managing herbicide resistance. Soil-applied residual herbicides are especially important to address tall waterhemp. Tall waterhemp has an emergence period of long duration into the summer and some biotypes are resistant to two to three different herbicide sites of action (SOA). Therefore, it is economically wise to include a soil residual herbicide at the time of planting. However, recent rains have delayed some farmers from getting onto newly planted fields in a timely manner. What are some of our options if soybeans emerged before a preemergence herbicide application was made?

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Delayed Soybean Planting? Big Deal -- or No?

Seth Naeve and David Nicolai

Figure 1. Cumulative rainfall over 7-day period ending May 22, 2017 in the upper Midwest. Source: National Weather Service
As farmers wait for the weather to clear, planting may be further delayed due to increased soil moisture from the recent rains. According to the May 21, 2017 Minnesota Crop report, topsoil moistures were estimated to be 72% adequate, and 27% surplus while subsoil moisture supplies were rated at 79% adequate, and 20% surplus.

4 key nutrient deficiencies to scout for early in the season

Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist 
Fabian Fernandez, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist

As corn starts to emerge amid cool and wet soil conditions, the potential for nutrient deficiencies is high. Proper diagnosis is the important first step to management. Next is deciding how to manage those deficiencies once they’re started. Here’s a look at four key nutrient deficiencies for the early season and what to do when you spot them.


What to look for
Nitrogen deficiencies cause a yellowing in corn leaves, often displayed in a V pattern starting from the tip of the leaf. Because nitrogen is mobile in the plant, the yellowing will show in the older bottom leaves first. Early in the season, nitrogen is required in very small quantities, so a deficiency may not be noticeable unless the soil concentration of nitrogen is very low. Also, since small plants do not have a fully developed root system the nitrogen may be in the soil but in a position that is not available to the plant.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 22 Data 2017

by Dan Martens U of M Extension, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, 320-968-5077,

Click on this link Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 22 for a report of data, updated on Tuesday May 23 for all data from samples on May 22.

Weather has been rainy, cool, cloudy since the last reports on Thursday May 18. For a lot of our area, weather is or likely will be the major driver in harvest feasibility and decisions.

Fields I walked in this morning were quite soggy.

Please join me in thanking sponsors and cooperators listed on the report.

Please prepare and plan for a SAFE hay harvest, especially if the weather and other activities put pressure on the time you have to work with. Again, getting back to the supper table safely each day counts first.

On-farm research: Trial demonstrates importance of a good design

John Thomas, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Sara Berg, South Dakota State University; Josh Coltrain, Kansas State University; Lizabeth Stahl, University of Minnesota

Figure 1. Pinto bean planting method comparison. Left: 90,000 plt/A in 30" rows vs. 120,000 plt/A in 7.5" rows (right).
The crop season is upon us and producers across the state have been planting and getting their crops established. Farmers are interested in knowing what works best, yields the most, and especially, what is most profitable during these tight economic times. Some may want to compare products or practices on their own farm or look at information from other farms or industry studies.

Tips for conducting on-farm research are outlined in the U of MN Extension fact sheet “On-farm research”. The following is a real-life example that highlights the importance of two key factors (randomization and replication) in conducting useful on-farm research.

2017 Black cutworm cooperative trapping update

Bruce Potter - Extension IPM Specialist

Scout corn, sugarbeets and emerging soybean for black cutworm and other stand problems now. Weather systems bring migrant black cutworm moths into Minnesota each spring and this year is no exception.

Tools for on-farm research

Bruce Potter, IPM specialist

Figure 1. A hypothetical small plot with two treatments (A & B) and four replications of each treatment. Plots appear to be placed in regular rather than randomized order.
Paulo Pagliari, University of Minnesota Extension soil scientist, and I recently modified an EXCEL spreadsheet designed to help crop producers and other ag professionals analyze on-farm experiments. This spreadsheet allows you to enter yields for two or three treatments (varieties, pesticides, fertilizers, etc.) with three to eight replications and calculates treatment averages and statistical differences. In addition to yield, the spreadsheet can calculate differences between crop stands, insect, disease and weed control tactics and other variables.

Friday, May 19, 2017

Alfalfa Harvest Alert May18

by Dan Martens U of M Extension, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, 320-968-5077,

Click on this link Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 18 for a report of data collected through May 18. For a lot of our area, weather is likely the major driver in harvest feasibility and decisions. As expected, as we move farther north the crop is not as far along and there can be variation among fields and farms within counties and neighborhoods. 

Please take note of sponsors and cooperators listed on the report, and tell them thanks when you get a chance.

Please prepare and plan for a SAFE hay harvest, especially if the weather and other activities put a little pressure on the time you have to work with. Getting back to the supper table safely each day counts first.

Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Yellow Brick Field

The Wizard of Oz's Yellow Brick Road may have been fictional element.  Some springs solid yellow small grain fields are not .  Although few reports of early seasoning yellowing have come in to date, Memorial Day Weekend is just around the corner and historically that's often the time one of the causes of early season yellowing is observed.  Follow this link to an article I posted in 2016 that discusses the most common causes of early season yellowing.

Tall trees catch much wind..or how to avoid the risk of lodging in small grains.

The meaning of Dutch proverb 'Tall trees catch much wind"  doesn't have anything to do with lodging and more to do with the propensity of people to be jealous of those that stand out but in this context is a nice way to describe the physics off lodging.  Simply put, it takes less wind power for a tall crop to lodge, simply because the amount of force needed to bend the stem is less.

Last spring I wrote a summary about the use of growth regulators to reduce the risk of lodging.  It can be found here:  Can I Reduce the Risk of Lodging?

Barcodes in Wheat, Barley, and Oats?

The beautiful, dry sunny weather with high winds this past week and weekend has allowed many of you to make great strides with planting. Unfortunately this also exposed young small grain seedlings to same conditions. The daytime heat at the soil surface can and has caused heat canker. The tender young tissue at the soil surface basically has been 'cooked' and this appears as a yellow band that is slightly constricted (Photo 1). As the leaf continues to grow, this yellow band (1/8 - 1/4") moves upward and away from the soil surface. If the hot and dry weather last for several days, its is possible to see repeated bands, much like a barcode. The damage is nicely depicted on page 81 of the second edition of the Small Grains Field Guide. Because of the high winds, the tips of leaves may fall over or even break off at the yellow band and give a field a very ragged appearance. Damage from heat canker is temporary and should not affect further growth and development.
Photo 1 - Seedlings with the yellow, constricted appearance symptomatic for heat canker (photo courtesy of  Byron Fisher)

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Using Soil Tests to Effectively Manage P and K

Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Fertility Specialist 

With high crop yields in recent years, many producers wonder how much applied fertilizer is enough to hold soil tests at a desired value. Fertilizer ROI depends on the soil’s ability to supply a portion of a crop’s nutrient needs. Phosphorus (P) and potassium (K) follow a diminishing return for each additional pound of fertilizer applied, and since P and K are not mobile in the vast majority of soils, each nutrient can be found in relatively large quantities but only a small fraction of that total amount is available to plants. Here’s a look at some of the most common questions about soil tests and P and K management.

As a farmer, how do I use a soil test effectively to manage nutrients?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 15

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator in Stearns, Benton and Morrison County, 968-5077 if a local call to Foley, or 1-800-964-4929.    UPDATED MAY 17 6 PM

Please click on this link Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 15 to get updated information for the May 15 sampling, along with data from previous sampling dated.

I expect to see more lab reports on Tuesday; and will aim to update the PDF document here in this posting – late in the day or early evening.

It looks like most fields made pretty good use of sunshine and warmer weather at the end of last week and Sunday.

We will likely be primarily watching the weather more than anything else before long. We are moving into the 4th week of May next week. Past experience with the your crop, your land, and your feed resources count a lot. Plan for a SAFE hay crop harvest.

In cooperation with the Central Minnesota Forage Council, and cooperating farmers, agribusiness sponsors and cooperators - listed in the report. THANKS.

Friday, May 12, 2017

Disposing of Leftover Treated Seed

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops

A significant amount of seed planted this year will have been treated with a fungicide, insecticide and/or nematicide. For one reason or another, farmers may find themselves with leftover treated seed at the end of the planting season. If you leftover treated seed you want to dispose of, key points to keep in mind:

May 4, 2017 Hay Auction and Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, 320-968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929,

Use links to my summaries from the May 4, 2017 Sauk Centre Hay Auction... AND... Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors Cut Data obtained through the end of the day May 11.

1. May 4, 2017 Summary- All tested loads sold, groups based on hay and bale type and quality

2. History of Selected Lots 

3. Graph of Selected Alfalfa hay groups.
     The 2016-17 season is the RED line now.
     Took a bit of a rebound on May 4.

4. Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data through May 11 so far and updated May 12, 5:30 p.m.

Continue reading for other sources of hay market information, an alfalfa notes.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

New stink bug reference for soybean and corn

by Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist)

Stink bugs are an emerging threat to soybean and corn production in the Midwest. The brown marmorated stink bug (BMSB) is invading the region, and was found for the first time in Minnesota soybean last summer (see image below with arrows indicating some key features for identification). In addition, there are reports from the region of increasing abundance of some of the native stink bug species. As part of our response to this emerging threat, we recently wrote an article reviewing the identification, biology and management of stink bugs in soybean and corn, which can be accessed through the Journal of Integrated Pest Management.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Fall N availability: Do these scenarios apply to you?

Greg Klinger and Anne Struffert, Extension Educators 

This week we’ve been exploring how the nitrogen cycle and rainfall timing affect fall N availability. Keeping this in mind, consider these real-world scenarios on the likelihood of nitrogen loss from fall-applied fertilizer.

Monday, May 8, 2017

2017 University of Minnesota Field School for Ag Professionals Registration is Now Open

 By Dave Nicolai, IAP Program Coordinator

The 2017 Field School for Ag Professionals will be held on July 27 - 28 at the University of Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota. The St. Paul campus, located in Falcon Heights, MN next to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at Larpenteur and Gortner Ave, is this year's site for the Field School for Ag Professional which is the summer training opportunity that combines hand-on training and real-world field scenarios that no winter program can offer. The two-day program focuses on core principles in agronomy, entomology, weed and soil sciences on the first day to build a foundation for participants and builds on this foundation with timely, cutting-edge topics on the second day.

Friday, May 5, 2017

How rainfall timing affects fall N availability

Greg Klinger and Anne Struffert, Extension Educators

Many farmers who fall-applied nitrogen have the same question this time of year: how much of the nitrogen (N) I applied can I count on being there now? The answer depends on the nitrogen cycle and the weather conditions at application time.

This past fall was warm and wet throughout much of Minnesota, with soils staying above freezing into December and above-average precipitation into November. At the University of Minnesota’s Research and Outreach Centers in Waseca and Morris, soil temperatures were not consistently below 50°F until the 9th of November, which is several weeks after the typical.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

How the nitrogen cycle affects fall N availability

Greg Klinger and Anne Struffert, Extension Educators 

Many farmers are wondering the same thing this time of year: How much of my fall-applied nitrogen is still available in the soil? To answer that question, we need to consider the nitrogen cycle. Here's a quick refresher.

Source: International Plant Nutrition Institute

Three dominant forms of nitrogen exist in the soil: ammonium (NH4+), nitrate (NO3-), and nitrogen (N). Plants mostly take up ammonium and nitrate nitrogen for their growth, while nitrogen contained within soil organic matter is a slow-release source of ammonium in the soil.

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