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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 received as of 6 PM on May 22. I will update this document here later in the day on Tuesday as we get more information back.

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.

Monday, May 1, 2017

Farm business transitions: Where do I begin?

Betty Berning

"Farm Business Transition: Where Do I Begin", presented by the Women in Ag Network, is an interactive program designed to help families understand how to start the transition planning conversation. Participants will learn about different communications styles; transferring labor, income, management, and assets; retirement considerations for the senior generation; assessing an operation’s financial viability; and goal-setting. Through fun, hands on exercises, families will learn how to apply these concepts to their farm and begin their own transition and succession plan.

Corn and Soybean Planting when it is Cold and Wet

By Jeff Coulter, Seth Naeve, and Dave Nicolai

Unseasonably cold temperatures, wet conditions, and potentially snow are impacting corn and soybean planting in much of the Upper Midwest. The regional climate service partnership between the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and U.S. Department of Agriculture released the following weather briefing for the Upper Midwest on April 27, 2017:

Friday, April 28, 2017

Sauk Centre Hay Market Summaries March/April

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

Here are links to my summaries from the Sauk Centre Hay Auction for March and April 2017. Click on date or item underlined to see reports.

1. March 2, 2017 Summary- All tested loads sold, groups based on hay and bale type and quality

2. March 16, 2017

3. April 6, 2017

4. April 20, 2017

5. History of Selected Lots past 6 years and each sale this year.

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

7. Check other Minnesota Crop News article here for discussion about Alfalfa Winter Survival and other current topics.
YouTube fans can check out a Dan Undersander discussion on “Alfalfa Assessment” at:

Continue reading for other sources of hay market information, related notes, and calendar reminders

Do you need to worry about the early seeded small grains?

Yesterday morning the NDAWN station near Eldred recorded a low of 19 degrees Fahrenheit while the NDAWN station near Stephen dipped as low as 13 degrees Fahrenheit. Luckily the blanket of snow ensured that soil temperatures were much milder and at a 4 inch depth the soil temperatures never dropped below 32 degrees Fahrenheit at either location. Nonetheless, I have heard a fair amount of worries about the viability of the seed that made it into ground last week and terms like imbibitional chilling were mentioned.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

And then it snowed...any free N with that?

With the 5 inches of snow or so that fell overnight in Crookston, I was asked earlier this morning how much free N we received with that.  Ron Gelderman, former Professor & SDSU Extension Soils Specialist, wrote an article a few years ago for iGrow on how much N is deposited when it snows in early spring. This is a re-posting of his original article.

Tracking risk of potential 2017 cutworm damage

Bruce Potter, Extension IPM

We have been tracking black cutworm migration into southern Minnesota this spring. Volunteer cooperators in the southern part of the state have been checking pheromone traps daily.  On April 15th, a localized, but significant flight was detected by one of the traps in Brown County. One of the traps in Redwood County captured a moderate number of moths a couple days later. 

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

It's not all about herbicides: Three key tactics for managing weeds

Lizabeth Stahl, Jared Goplen, and Lisa Behnken, Extension educators - crops

Effective cultivation can add durability to weed management programs. Source: Lisa Behnken
Weed management tools can be divided into three main categories: mechanical, cultural, and chemical. Historically in conventional systems, chemical control options, or herbicides, have been relied on heavily.

Herbicide-resistant weed populations, however, are limiting herbicide options and effectiveness in many fields. Implementing non-chemical options, such as cultural and mechanical control tactics, can help make weed management systems more effective and durable. Understanding and considering weed biology is a key step in developing a successful program. To develop a more robust weed management program, consider the following three key strategies:

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Sufficiency or Build and Maintain? Best Bets for Phosphorus Management

Karina Fabrizzi, Daniel Kaiser and Albert Sims

When it comes to phosphorus management, there are two schools of thought: 1) the sufficiency approach, which is designed to maximize economic return for each dollar of P fertilizer applied; and 2) the build and maintain approach, which seeks to mitigate risk by keeping soil test P at a level that minimizes the potential for yield loss. In 2011, University of Minnesota, with funding provided by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC), set out to test these phosphorus management strategies in long-term replicated field experiments.

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Alfalfa winter injury in Minnesota

Jared Goplen, Lisa Behnken, and Dan Martens

Photo 1. Severely winter-injured alfalfa in Carver County, 2013. Photo courtesy of Dave Nicolai
As the weather warms and the 2017 growing season gets rolling, it is time to evaluate alfalfa stands for winterkill and winter injury. There have been numerous reports of alfalfa fields across Minnesota with varying levels of winter injury and winterkill. Many reports are of low areas in the field suffering the greatest damage, with affected field areas ranging from 10 – 40%. Lack of snow cover along with cold temperatures, freezing and thawing in February, and ice sheeting are some possible causes for winter injury and winterkill this year.

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Southern Minnesota research and demonstration highlights - 2016

Lisa Behnken, Fritz Breitenbach, and Phyllis Bongard

Photo 1. Field day highlighting weed management at Rochester, MN.
A research team comprised of faculty from Extension, the Research and Outreach Center at Waseca, and the University of Minnesota St. Paul campus conduct field research and demonstration trials annually in southern Minnesota to address local, timely crop production issues. Highlights from the 2016 research report include demonstrating 1) the benefits of using preemergence (PRE) herbicides in corn and soybeans, 2) systems to control giant ragweed and waterhemp, 3) new herbicide technologies used in soybeans, and 4) use of mechanical cultivation for waterhemp control in soybeans.

Friday, April 14, 2017

Cutting Production Cost in HRSW

This post may be a day late and a dollar short as the drills are already rolling across much of Minnesota.  Nonetheless, I'm going to share some thoughts about how to reduce input cost in HRSW without sacrificing much, if any, yield. Consider whether you really need to:

  • Use a seed treatment - only if you have scabby seed with poor germination, know that you had a loose smut in the field that you saved for seed, and/or have a history of common root rot and/or wire worm in a field should you consider a seed treatment.   
  • Use a grass herbicide across every acre - Wild oat is a very competitive weed and already causes yield losses at very low densities.  Fortunate, presence of wild oat tends to be patchy and therefor you may not need a grass herbicide across every acre. The use of Roundup Ready crops has reduced wild oat pressure over the years in many fields, further reducing the need to use a grass herbicide across every single acre. 
  • Use a fungicide mixed in at he time of weed control -  If there is no tan spot, powdery mildew, or stripe rust already present, tank mixing a fungicide at the time of weed control doesn't make sense as the application will not protect any new growth anyway. Research has shown that only when disease was already present at the time of application that an economic return could be expected.
  • Use an insecticide mixed in with your fungicide at the time of your late season disease control - Likewise if there are no or very few aphids present at Feekes 10.51, you shouldn't expect an economic return of the insecticide.
  • Use a pre-harvest glyphosate application to control any late season weeds. Research has shown that in Minnesota, there is little to no advantage to using pre-harvest glyphosate to speed-up dry-down of the HRSW crop itself.

The last inputs to debate their need are fertilizer (in particular N) and the late season fungicides. Ultimately it is not about being the lowest cost producer per acre but being the lowest cost producer per bushel.  

Evaluating Winter Cereal Stands

One of the hardest decisions with growing winter wheat or winter barley is evaluating the amount of winter kill and making the decision whether to keep a stand. Winter cereals are planted in the fall and develops in the spring during relatively ideal conditions for tiller development. Therefore the optimum plant stands of winter cereals can be less than that of their spring counter parts. A stand of 900,000 - 1,000,000 plants/acre or 21 - 23 plants/ft2 will be enough to maximize grain yield.

Winter kill is to be expected in Minnesota. The least amount of winter kill is to be expected with rye, while winter barley is only marginal winter hardy for Minnesota. This past winter was not very cold but snow cover was intermittent which means that some winter kill is likely this year. Roots are generally less winter hardy than crowns and regrowth may be slower than expected.

This past week was probably the first time that evaluating surviving plant density was fairly straightforward. The problem that remains, however, is that winter survival in all likelihood will variable within a field and depending on topography (windblown hilltops having less stand than protected areas of the field). If stands are reduced uniformly across the field, stands of 17 plants/ft2 can still produce near maximum grain yields. If there are bare areas due to desiccation or drown-out consider replanting a spring cereal in those areas.  

Mixing of Hard Red Spring and Hard Red Winter wheat varieties maybe not ideal for management of the field itself as the areas will likely grow and mature at different rates but it should not pose a problem with marketing as they are not contrasting classes of grain as defined by the Federal Grain Inspection Service.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

Spring Management of Cover Crops

By Jill Sackett Eberhart and Liz Stahl

Winter rye cover crop planted in September ready for termination in late May.
Spring management of cover crops is as varied as the different farming operations across Minnesota. The plan of action any given farmer decides to follow will lean heavily towards two things: his or her reason for using cover crops in the first place and the specific cover crops planted.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Got waterhemp? Layer residual herbicides to maintain control

Lisa Behnken, Fritz Breitenbach, Jeff Gunsolus, Liz Stahl, and Phyllis Bongard

Photo 1. Waterhemp in soybeans. Photo: Liz Stahl
Tall waterhemp (Amaranthus tuberculatus) is expanding its reach across Minnesota, and herbicide-resistant populations are becoming more commonplace. Most waterhemp populations have been resistant to ALS (Group-2) herbicides, such as Pursuit, for a while. In addition, glyphosate-resistant (Group-9) populations were first reported in 2007, and PPO-resistant (Group-14) populations were confirmed in southern Minnesota the past two growing seasons. Herbicides in Group-14 include Cobra, Flexstar and Spartan. To add to management challenges, some waterhemp populations have developed resistance to two or all three herbicide groups. In this situation, what herbicide control options are left?

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Key factors for successful corn planting

by Jeff Coulter, Extension corn specialist

Soil conditions

Avoid tillage and planting when soils are wet. In general, a field is ready for seedbed preparation when soil in the depth of tillage crumbles when squeezed. Pre-plant tillage when soils are wet can create a cloddy seedbed that reduces seed-to-soil contact. Achieving excellent seed-to-soil contact is essential for rapid and uniform imbibition of moisture by seeds and uniform emergence. Tillage when soils are wet can also create a compacted layer below the depth of tillage that can restrict root development.

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Updated nitrogen and agronomic guidelines for corn following alfalfa

By Jeff Coulter, Extension corn specialist

First- and second-year corn following alfalfa usually benefit from increased yield, reduced or eliminated nitrogen requirement from fertilizer or manure, and reduced pest pressure.

Nitrogen management guidelines for first- and second-year corn following alfalfa were updated in 2016 and are available at

Monday, March 20, 2017

Should I reduce the Bt trait acreage in the 2017 corn crop to cut production costs?

Bruce Potter, Extension IPM and Ken Ostlie, Extension entomologist

Figure 1. European corn borer larva and damage. Photo: Bruce Potter
The economics of 2017 corn production have challenged many farmers with minimizing losses per acre. One area that some farmers have targeted for reducing costs is hybrid selection. Planting corn hybrids without Bt protection for European corn borer (ECB), corn rootworm or both will greatly reduce seed costs. However, if not careful, farmers could inadvertently reduce crop revenues if they select hybrids without considering yield potential or insect populations in their fields.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Herbicide resistance ready workshops rescheduled due to weather

Lizabeth Stahl, Extension educator

Due to the weather, the "Strategic Farming – Are You Resistance Ready" workshops scheduled for Hutchinson and St. James on Friday, February 24, have been postponed.

They have been rescheduled for:
  • March 1 at the American Legion (620, 1st Ave. S.) in St. James, from 9:00 – 12:00 a.m.
    (On-site registration starts at 8:30 a.m.)
  • March 7 at the Event Center (1005 Highway 15 S.) in Hutchinson, from 1:30 – 4:30 p.m.
    (On-site registration starts at 1:00 p.m.)

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

2017 Extension Drainage Design Workshop

The annual Extension Drainage Design Workshop will be held at the Grand Forks County Office Building in Grand Forks, ND March 2 – 3. The workshop is a collaborative effort between the University of Minnesota, and North Dakota State University Extension.

The 2-day workshop starts at 8:00 a.m. and ends at 5:00 p.m. on day two. The workshop will focus on planning and design of agricultural tile drainage systems to meet both profitability and environmental objectives. The course content is taught in a hands-on manner with lots of discussion time.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Jan. 5/19 & Feb. 2 Sauk Centre Hay Auction

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

See links to my summaries from Jan. 5 & 19 and Feb. 2, 2017 Sauk Centre Hay Auction
1. Jan. 5, 2017 Summary- All tested loads sold, groups based on hay and bale type and quality
2. Jan. 19, 2017 Summary
3. Feb. 2, 2017 Summary
4. History of Selected Lots
5 Graph of Selected Alfalfa hay groups.
              The 2016-17 season is the RED line now.

Continue reading for other sources of hay market information, related notes, and calendar reminders...

Workshop offers insect management advice under low crop prices, Bt and insecticide resistance

Bruce Potter, IPM specialist

Corn and soybean growers, and those who advise them, often have insect management questions for which the correct answer is, "It depends."

Insecticide resistant populations increase the difficulty of soybean aphid management decisions. Which insecticide group should be used? What about a pre or tank mix? Will seed treatments or earlier applications help?

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Reminder: Are you resistance ready? workshops offered Feb 22, 23, and 24

by Lizabeth Stahl, Extension educator - crops

Weed management has changed dramatically in recent years. Herbicide-resistant weeds are a significant management challenge, and resistance issues are expanding in scope and geography. Once herbicide-resistance is discovered in a weed population, it doesn’t just go away, and an increasing number of weed populations in MN are resistant to multiple herbicide chemistries or site of action (SOA) groups.

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Invitation to Complete (Another) Survey

Oats have been a component of horse diets for centuries.  The University of Minnesota Extension Horse and Crop Teams are interested to learn how oats are currently used in the horse diet.  Please help us by completing this 13 question survey by Monday, March 20, 2017:  
Your responses are anonymous and the survey should take approximately 5 minutes to complete.  All horse owners (includes pony, miniature horse, draft horse, mule and donkey) throughout the world are encouraged to complete the survey, but please only complete the survey once.  Thank you for your assistance.    

Learn how to improve cover crop management at workshops

Jake Overgaard, UMN Extension educator

Farmers are gaining confidence in using cover crops more each year. Whether used for soil erosion, capturing nutrients, breaking disease cycles, improving soil health, adding organic matter, or one of the many other benefits, cover crops can be beneficial.

However, in spite of the many benefits, challenges exist. Upcoming workshops in St. Charles on February 28th and in Owatonna on March 2nd will address some of these challenges, including  managing residual herbicide effects, establishing the cover crop and interseeding, and managing manure application timing.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Willmar Research Update rescheduled for January 24

Due to weather, the Research Update postponed on January 10 in Willmar has been rescheduled for Tuesday, January 24. The event will be held at the Willmar Conference Center (2100 E. Highway 12)  from 12:30 to 4:40 p.m.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

January 10 Research Update in Willmar postponed

The Research Update scheduled for today, January 10, in Willmar has been postponed due to weather. The rescheduled event will be announced on Crop News and also on the IAP Research Update website and on the UM Extension Crops Event calendar.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

U of M Extension launches new soil management and health website

by Phyllis Bongard

Balancing the economic and environmental benefits of soil management strategies can be a challenge. U of MN Extension Crops team has launched a website that offers research-based resources to help producers improve soil and crop productivity, while minimizing environmental risks. The website, Soil management and health, features articles and videos in three primary sections:

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

2017 Research Updates for Ag Professionals - January 4-12

by Dave Nicolai, Extension educator

There are five remaining locations scheduled for the 2017 Research Updates: Kasson, Lamberton (January 4 and 5 respectively) and Willmar, Morris and Crookston (January 10, 11 and 12 respectively) from 12:30 pm–4:40 pm. Registration fee is $60. Online registration and session abstracts can be found on our website at or onsite registration begins at 11:30 a.m. at each location.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Two Conferences Dedicated to Soil Fertility for Crop Production and Environmental Stewardship

Registration is open for two important conferences dedicated to soil fertility for crop production and environmental stewardship. These events were co-organized by the University of Minnesota Extension and the Minnesota Agricultural Water Resource Center (MAWRC) with a common planning committee to bring the latest advancements in nutrient management presented by University of Minnesota and other university researchers, fertilizer industry experts, and state agency personnel. 

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