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Extension > Minnesota Crop News > November 2017

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Here's How to Assess Fall N Loss

Greg Klinger and Anne Struffert, Extension Educators 

Substantial nitrogen loss from fall applied fertilizer can happen under a few key conditions:


  1. Warm temperatures (especially above 50°) that increase the activity of nitrifying microorganisms
  2. A large portion of nitrogen in the soil in the form of nitrate nitrogen (NO3-N), usually due to nitrifying microorganisms,
  3. Significant precipitation.

Monday, November 20, 2017

Down on the Farm: Supporting Farmers in Stressful Times

Stress factors are on the rise for Minnesota farmers. Many face financial problems, price and marketing uncertainties, farm transfer issues, production challenges, and more. You may know farmers who are struggling with stress, anxiety, depression, burnout, feelings of indecision, or suicidal thoughts.


The Minnesota Department of Agriculture is partnering with a number of other organizations - including the University of Minnesota Extension - to offer a free, three hour workshop to help agricultural advisors (and others who work with farmers) recognize and respond when they suspect a farmer or farm family member might need help. Click here for the locations and times of the six workshops across the state. 

Learn and earn CCA-CEUs at the Conservation Tillage Conference

Jodi DeJong-Hughes

strip-tillage
Do you need to fulfill your Continuing Education Credit (CEU) requirements? Consider attending the 2017 Conservation Tillage Conference on Dec. 5-6 in Willmar, MN. Ten CEU's will be available at the 2-day conference, many in the Soil and Water category. Hurry, early bird prices will end tomorrow, November 21.

New extension bulletin ‘Organic Oat Production in Minnesota' just published

Organic agriculture is the practice of producing food, for human and/or animal consumption where most synthetic pesticides and fertilizers are replaced with inputs that are permissible under the USDA guidelines for organic production and/or independent organic certification agencies. Oat (Avena sativa L.) is a spring-sown cereal that is well adapted to organic production systems.  Demand for organic oat from the oat millers in the region is healthy and growing. A new bulletin ‘Organic Oat Production in Minnesota’ has just been published to assist the producers in the state to produce oat in accordance to organic certification standards.  Just click here to find it.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Field Studies: Blowing the Whistle on Marketing Claims

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

combine-soybeans
Photo: Sara Berg, SDSU Extension

With technology being so prevalent in today’s culture, data and marketing information has become a key part of life. Farmers especially have been targeted with large quantities of new technology to generate more efficient farming systems and easy real-time data access. With large amounts of data and fast access to information and product marketing being the new norm, producing a commodity requires many decisions.

While the number of US farms has dropped, average farm size has risen 23 percent from 2009 to 2016 (USDA, 2017). At the same time, producers have seen a shift in the types of ag services available. With such a wide scope of products and options available, it can be difficult to determine what products or technologies to invest in and what to leave on the shelf.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

Fall vs. Spring: When to Apply Phosphorus


Paulo Pagliari, Nutrient Management Specialist

Among the major nutrients (nitrogen, phosphorus and potassium), phosphorus (P) has the least mobility. As the fertilizer granule dissolves, most of the P in the fertilizer will likely only move a couple eights of an inch away from the granule, primarily by diffusion. The dissolved P will then start to react with cations in solution such as calcium, aluminum, and iron, and will start to adsorb onto soil particles. In general, tie up of P as calcium phosphates is a concern when the soil pH exceeds 7.3. Soils will become more acidic over time if they are not limed. With the decrease in pH, the availability of P will change. When the pH of soils range between 4.8 and 5.5, P is more reactive with aluminum in the soil and is tied up as aluminum phosphates that are not available to the plants. Liming of the soil can help to increase P availability from Fe and Al bound forms. The reaction of sorption and precipitation will limit P availability to plants.

Monday, November 6, 2017

Register now for the Crop Pest Management Short Course

By Dave Nicolai, Institute for Ag Professionals Program Coordinator

cpm-short-course
Photo: Larisa Jenrich
The three-day Minnesota Crop Pest Management Short Course program and Minnesota Crop Production Retailers Trade Show starts Tuesday, December 12th and continues through Thursday, December 14th. The Crop Pest Management Short Course educational sessions will begin on Wednesday, December 13th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and continue on Thursday, December 14th from 8:00 AM to 2:20 PM. The trade show and educational sessions will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center and adjacent Minneapolis Hilton and Hyatt Regency hotels. The University of Minnesota educational session agendas and session descriptions may be accessed at the Institute for Ag Professionals website.

The registration fees and online registration for the 2017 Crop Pest Management Short Course and MCPR Trade Show can be accessed at the Minnesota Crop Production Retailers website. Please note that the early pricing discount concludes on Tuesday, November 14th.

Manure and Nutrients: A Complicated Relationship



Melissa Wilson, Manure Management Specialist

Animal manure - or “brown gold” as some like to call it - is a valuable source of nutrients for growing crops when applied at agronomic rates. In Extension, we often get questions about how to manage manure nutrients. Unfortunately, there is not a simple answer. The nutrient content and availability depend on many factors.

U of M Extension and NDSU Extension to host 2017 Conservation Tillage Conference

strip-till-soybeans
Photo: Jodi DeJong-Hughes
The University of Minnesota Extension along with North Dakota State University Extension Service is hosting the 2017 Conservation Tillage Conference on Dec. 5-6 in Willmar, Minn.

Roll up your sleeves for some practical, hands-on information that will save you soil, time, fuel, and money. This conference emphasizes proven farmer experience and applied science. Straight from the fields, learn how heavier, colder soils aren’t necessarily the challenge they’re made out to be. Hear from long-time no-till and reduced tillage farmers as they share their experiences, so you can be spared the same hard-learned lessons.

Friday, November 3, 2017

Managing wet corn with a late harvest

By Liz Stahl, Dave Nicolai and Jeff Coulter

harvest-ready-corn
Photo: Liz Stahl
There is a significant amount of corn to be harvested throughout the Upper Midwest. Grain moisture for most of this corn is not at a level safe for long-term storage, ranging from 17 to 20 percent. Dr. Kenneth Hellevang, Extension Engineer with North Dakota State University, is a regional expert on corn storage issues. Suggestions from Dr. Hellevang and publications for dealing with wet corn and a late harvest include the following:

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

VIDEO: Interpreting the Basal Stalk Nitrate Test


Daniel Kaiser, Soil Fertility Specialist

Once you’ve taken the basal stalk nitrate test, it’s time to interpret your results. Remember that this test is diagnostic, not predictive. The results will come in measurements of PPM, or parts per million. This is an indication of nitrogen availability throughout the season. Watch the video below for more on how to interpret these results.

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