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Extension > Minnesota Crop News > May 2017

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.

Sulfur 
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, marte011@umn.edu

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: https://www.youtube.com/user/UMNCrops

Video at:
https://youtu.be/dKX5JY2rvgQ

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, marte011@umn.edu.

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, marte011@umn.edu

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  http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/nutrient-management/ and the Extension Crops website, z.umn.edu/crops.

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.

Nitrogen 

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, marte011@umn.edu

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

plot-comparison
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

small-plot
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, marte011@umn.edu

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 marte011@umn.edu, 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, marte011@umn.edu.

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:
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