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Soggy Conditions Hinder Harvest

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

Although conditions were already soggy from rain showers over the past several days, a significant storm front tore across southern Minnesota Thursday, dropping anywhere from 0.5 to over 3 inches of rain across the region. For the month of September to date, many parts of southern Minnesota have received 6 to 9 inches of rain. Soggy conditions have halted harvest across the region and water is standing once again in areas impacted by wet conditions earlier in the growing season. With corn and soybeans at physiological maturity, keep in mind the following as we wait for field conditions to improve and harvest to proceed.

Cover Crops Following Sweet Corn and Processing Peas

In 2017, Minnesota ranked #1 in the US for both processing sweet corn and pea production with over 120,000 acres of sweet corn and 49,000 acres of peas planted.  Both of these crops have a relatively short growing season as they are harvested at an immature stage of growth and then processed for canned or frozen vegetables.  For peas planted early, a second crop of soybean is often planted for a double crop during that season.  For sweet corn and later planted peas, there is not enough growing season left to plant and harvest a second cash crop; however, there is ample opportunity to plant and establish a cover crop that can stabilize the soil and take up residual nutrients from pea or sweet corn residue.

Because peas and sweet corn are harvested as immature crops, significant nutrients and in particular nitrogen, remain in the residue.  In general, sweet corn stover can contain as much as 60-80 lbs of N/A with a C to N ratio of 30 or less.  Pea vines can contain even more nitrogen t…

Late-Season Window for Seeding Cover Crops

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops and M. Scott Wells, Forage and Cropping Systems Specialist

A key window to seed cover crops in soybean in Minnesota is around the time soybeans reach physiological maturity (when 95% of pods on the plant reach a mature, brown color). As soybean leaves drop off the plant, the canopy opens, allowing more sun to reach the soil surface to promote cover crop germination and growth.

Evaluating Fertilizer Purchase Decisions: Frequently Asked Questions

Tight profit margins are making decisions on inputs to crops difficult for farmers. Decisions on when and where to use fertilizers can be important to ensure maximum profitability. Decisions on nutrients such as nitrogen are easy for crops like corn, wheat, and sugar beet as these crops will likely respond to nitrogen. Other nutrients such as phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur can benefit crops but it depends on soil test levels and a crops need for a specific nutrient.. Here are five frequently asked questions we hear about making fertilizer decisions in the fall.

1. Do I need it or not?

The advent of commercial fertilizers is one of the most important reasons why we have seen crop production increase the past fifty years. While the use of P and K fertilizers has increased the fertility levels of some soils there is a point where additional fertilizer doesn’t give an immediate return on investment (ROI) or the chance of an ROI to the nutrient applied is low. Recent AFREC funded resear…

Seeding cereals this fall? Be aware of herbicide carryover risks

Jared Goplen, Jochum Wiersma, and Jeff Gunsolus
Whether planting winter cereals for grain or as a spring or winter cover crop, there is always the potential for herbicides applied to previous crops to carry over and affect the cereal crop stand. The potential for herbicide carryover varies widely based on the product used, when and where it was applied, and what the weather has been like since the time of application.

Tips for Planting Winter Cereals

By Jochum Wiersma, Jared Goplen, and Phyllis Bongard

We are quickly approaching the optimum time for planting winter wheat and rye in Minnesota. The optimum planting date windows are between September 1st and the 15th in the area north of I-94, between September 10th and the 30th south of I-94, and between September 20th and October 10th in the part of the state south of I-90.

New Runoff Risk Tool Determines Best Manure Application Timing

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture, in partnership with the National Weather Service has designed  a new tool for those applying manure in Minnesota called the Minnesota Runoff Risk Advisory Forecast. The interactive map is designed to help farmers and custom manure applicators decide on the optimal time to apply manure by predicting or modeling when runoff events are likely to happen. As a bonus, the tool also provides forecasted precipitation amounts, as well as soil temperatures at 2 and 6 inches of depth to help with manure application decisions.

How does the runoff risk model work? It does more than just look at the rain forecast. It also takes into consideration soil moisture content, temperatures, and if applicable, snow accumulation and melt. With this information, it predicts the chance of runoff in the next one, two, or three days, at least when the ground is not frozen or snow-covered. Once the model moves into “winter mode,” it calculates the runoff risk potential fo…

Research Update Field Day: Interseeding cover crops and alfalfa in corn

M. Scott Wells, Extension agronomist
The University of Minnesota Extension program is sponsoring a Research Update Field Day. Agricultural professionals, growers, and the general public are invited to the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center for a tour of the latest in agricultural research. Extension specialists will lead a guided tour of the Research Center’s test plots, presenting their research on interseeding cover crops and alfalfa into corn production systems.

Agronomic strategies to maximize rotational benefits from alfalfa to corn

By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist
Corn grown after alfalfa usually has increased yield, reduced nitrogen requirement from fertilizer or manure, and reduced pest pressure compared to when corn follows other crops. The extent and consistency of these benefits in first- and second-year corn are influenced by the effectiveness of alfalfa termination, as alfalfa can greatly complete with corn for water and nutrients.

Soybean/orange gall midge: A new insect associated with MN soybeans

by Bruce Potter, Extension IPM Specialist and Bob Koch, Extension Entomologist

A new potential pest, the soybean (or orange) gall midge, is causing injury to soybean in parts of the Midwest. Reports of this insect from Minnesota soybean are summarized here. Please inform us if you are aware of any additional infestations in Minnesota soybean fields.

Earlier this month, we received samples from a Rock County soybean field where stems were infested with small, pale to bright orange gall midge (Diptera:Cecidomyiidae) larvae (Figure 1).

Nutrient Management Podcast: Late Season Nutrient Management

The end of the growing season has presented a lot of variation in weather from wet to dry across Minnesota. Now is also the time to make decisions on fall fertilizer. On this episode, Dan Kaiser, Fabian Fernandez and Jeff Vetsch discuss where growers' minds should be at this point.

We cover:

What to be concerned about, nutrient-wiseWhat can be done at this point with deficiency symptomsQuestions we're hearing across MinnesotaHow to think through decisions on fall nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus and potassium
IPM Podcast: Late summer corn and soybean disease update for Minnesota. http://blog-crop-news.extension.umn.edu/2018/08/ipm-podcast-late-summer-corn-and.html

Click here to listen to the podcast.

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Support for this project was provided in part by the Agricultural Fer…

Predicting the last irrigation for corn and soybeans in central Minnesota*

Updated by: Vasudha Sharma, Assistant Extension Professor-Irrigation Specialist
*Article was first published in July 1988 by Jerry Wright and Extension Agronomists, Leland Hardman & Michael Schmitt.
*Article was revised in 2006 by Jerry Wright, Retired Extension Engineer, Dale Hicks, Retired Extension Agronomist, Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist
Determining the amount and timing of the last few irrigations of the season is one of the most critical water management decisions. Discontinuing too early in the season to save water or reduce pumping cost could mean a much greater reduction in yield returns than the cost of pumping. On the other hand, irrigating right up to crop maturity may mean using 1 to 3 inches more irrigation water than necessary and increasing operating costs $3 to $15 per acre depending on power source. The purpose of this article is to present some guidelines for predicting the last irrigation for corn and soybeans when irrigation water supplies are ade…

Late Season Nitrogen Deficiency Symptoms Across Minnesota

If you’ve seen nitrogen (N) deficiency symptoms in corn popping up in fields across Minnesota, you’re not alone. Crops in the past couple weeks have begun to show substantial N deficiency symptoms around the R3-R4 stages.

We had a lot of moisture early in the season that may have prevented deep rooting, and potentially led to N loss through denitrification. In addition, some growers were prevented from getting into the field to apply N splits. One final factor is that plants now have a big sink – the cob – causing N to mobilize within the plant. These factors, coupled with a recent spell of fairly dry and hot conditions have led to the current conditions.

Between fertilizer and mineralization, the corn plant will have enough N to stay green under normal conditions. This makes it hard to detect deficiency either visually or with sensors, especially early in the season when corn does not need a lot of N. As the season progresses, plants need more N as they accumulate dry matter in the …

Late Season Nutrient Management

Dan Kaiser, Jeff Vetsch and Fabian Fernandez talk through how weather and management factors may be affecting late season nutrient deficiency symptoms. We talk through how to manage deficiencies at this point in the season, the status of fields across the state, and what to consider before making fall application decisions.

IPM Podcast: Late summer corn and soybean disease update for Minnesota. http://blog-crop-news.extension.umn.edu/2018/08/ipm-podcast-late-summer-corn-and.html

Ag Professional and Grower Insect and Disease Field Day at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center

by Dave Nicolai, Extension Crops Educator
The University of Minnesota Extension and IPM program are sponsoring an Ag Professional and Grower Insect and Disease Field Day. The Field Day will be held on Wednesday, September 5 from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center located at 16975 Arkansas Avenue in Rosemount. Agricultural professionals and growers are invited to the field day for a tour of applied insect and disease research conducted by University of Minnesota Extension faculty. Topics will include soybean aphid research, corn and soybean diseases and corn rootworm research and management.

IPM Podcast: Late summer corn and soybean disease update for Minnesota

Welcome to the 6th IPM Podcast for Field Crops – this Podcast is sponsored by the UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program.

In this week’s podcast we feature Dr. Dean Malvick, University of Minnesota Professor in Plant Pathology. Dr. Malvick is the University of Minnesota Extension Specialist for corn and soybean diseases. Dr. Malvick provides an overview of the important corn and soybean diseases effecting Minnesota crops during 2018 including soybean white mold and sudden death syndrome along with corn leaf diseases, Goss’s wilt and bacterial leaf streak. In addition the identification and management of these diseases by growers is also detailed for listeners.

8 Things to Keep in Mind When Planning for Fall Manure Applications

With a potentially tight window for getting on fall manure in the coming months, the best policy is to be prepared. Now’s the right time to start thinking about fall applications. Here are eight key things to keep in mind as you plan.  Start prepping equipment to make sure everything’s looking good for fall application.Plan ahead for which crops will receive manure applications. Remember MPCA regulations for maximum application rates. Wait until soil temperatures are below 50 degrees Fahrenheit. At these cooler temperatures nitrogen is more likely to stay in the organic or ammonium forms. In warmer soil temperatures, nitrogen converts to nitrate, a form that can be lost more quickly.If you want to apply 1-2 weeks earlier, studies have shown some indications that applying with a nitrification inhibitor may potentially help, but don’t expect that to last if you apply in September.If you’re going to apply in late summer or early fall following sweet corn and canning crops, get a cover cr…

Assistance requested with plant and soil sample collection to study Soybean SDS pathogen distribution

Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist
We are working to understand the distribution of the fungal pathogen that causes soybean sudden death syndrome (SDS) and root rot of edible bean and alfalfa in Minnesota. Your help is requested.

The soilborne pathogen (Fusarium virguliforme) that causes SDS of soybean and root rot of edible bean and other legumes is spreading in Minnesota. Our study has the goal of monitoring and mapping the presence of this pathogen in soybean, dry edible bean, and alfalfa production fields across Minnesota. We request help with sample collection from your area.

Kura clover living mulch provides opportunity for high corn yield with reduced nitrogen input

Jonathan Alexander1, Jeff Coulter1, John Baker1,2, and Rodney Venterea1,2
1University of Minnesota, 2USDA-Agricultural Research Service
A living mulch is a cover crop under-seeded into annual crop production. Kura clover is a vegetatively-spreading, nitrogen (N)-fixing, winter-hardy perennial legume native to eastern Europe. Kura clover’s spreading habit gives it the ability to survive harsh agronomic management, which makes it a prime candidate for use as a perennial living mulch.

Kura clover’s N-fixing ability and dense mat of roots benefit the producer and the environment by reducing N application requirements, protecting against soil erosion, and capturing excess N in the soil.

Managing late-season soybean aphid infestations: It isn't getting easier.

by Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist)

Aphid populations continue to increase, especially in southern Minnesota where we are seeing more fields surpassing threshold levels and requiring treatment to protect soybean yield. Late-season management of soybean aphids can be challenging. In this article, I provide some considerations for scouting and making management decisions for soybean aphid in the later part of the growing season. How much longer do you need to keep scouting? What densities of aphids should (or should not) be treated with insecticide?  What about later growth stages? What if there are spider mites in the field too?  Can you stop scouting if you already applied an insecticide to a field?  However, before diving into this discussion, be sure you can accurately determine the growth stage of your soybean field (review Soybean growth stages for a refresher).

Hay auction summary

by Randy Pepin, UMN Extension Educator, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties
pepin019@umn.edu or (320) 333-1369
Keeping up with current hay prices is important for most livestock farmers. We calculate price averages, quality averages, and the corresponding ranges of the various hay lots from recent hay auctions in Sauk Centre, MN. We also keep an updated history of recent years of some selected hay lots and create graphs of four different quality types of medium square alfalfa bales. This is posted every month, about a week after the last auction of the month.

Assistance with 2018 European corn borer and corn disease survey requested

Bruce Potter, Bill Hutchison, Ken Ostlie, and Dean Malvick
Entomologists and plant pathologists at the University of Minnesota continue to document and understand changes in European corn borer (ECB) populations and corn diseases in our state.

Each fall, about 150 corn fields are surveyed for the presence of corn borer damages, overwintering corn borer larvae, and corn diseases. During the growing season weekly updates of ECB moth captures in black light traps are made available: https://www.vegedge.umn.edu/moth-data/ecb-info. Funding from the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council has provided us an opportunity to improve these efforts.

4 Considerations for Fall Sulfur Application

As crazy as it sounds, fall is right around the corner. What’s your strategy for post-harvest fertilizer application?  We’ve been getting questions about sulfur application as farmers look for their best options. If you’re thinking about sulfur, here are four things to consider to ensure the most efficient use for next year’s crop.
1. Your crop
Corn, alfalfa, and canola have shown the greatest benefit to fertilization of sulfur in Minnesota. Applying ahead of, or in the case of alfalfa to an established stand, make the most sense economically. Small grains have shown a potential for response on soils with low organic matter (3.0% or less) while soybean responses have been inconsistent. 
2. Your soil type
Soils with greater potential for leaching are not good targets for fall sulfur application for sources that contain sulfate. Sulfate will move in the soil profile and soils with medium to coarse texture are not good targets for fall sulfur application. Fine textured poorly drained soil…

If you plan to use chlorpyrifos for control of soybean aphid or other pests, keep in mind BMPs for use and respirator requirements

by Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist, Univ. of MN), Trisha Leaf (Research Scientist, MN Dept. of Agric.), Natalie Hoidal (Pesticide Safety & Environmental Education, Univ. of MN)

The challenges posed by soybean aphid resistance to pyrethroid insecticides have resulted in more growers turning to insecticides containing chlorpyrifos for management of soybean aphid outbreaks. Chlorpyrifos is an organophosphate insecticide with broad-spectrum activity that is used for management of pests in various agricultural crops. Chlorpyrifos is an active ingredient in various products, including but not limited to Lorsban, Cobalt, Dursban, Nufos and Yuma. In this article, we urge growers and applicators to keep in mind best management practices (BMPs) for use of chlorpyrifos and provide a reminder about respirator requirements for this insecticide.

Japanese beetles feeding on soybean: What should you do?

by Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist)

In parts of southeastern Minnesota Japanese beetle has been actively feeding on soybean. These large beetles with shiny green- and copper-colored bodies, chew small holes in the leaves leaving a lace-like appearance ( see image 1). Japanese beetles will also feed leaves and flowers of many other plants, including silks of corn. Japanese beetle abundance and activity is most intense through July and August, but some individuals will remain active into fall. Here, I briefly review scouting and thresholds for management of Japanese beetle in soybean.

Soybean Field Day: Winning the Battle Against Yellow Beans – Fighting IDC and SCN

by Dave Nicolai, Extension Crops Educator
The University of Minnesota Extension is offering a workshop and field tour on Tuesday, August 14th highlighting soybean management strategies for battling Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) and Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN). The tour will feature a UMN research site studying the interactions between IDC and SCN, along with trials evaluating commercial products from Bayer, Valent, Monsanto, and West Central Inc.

Reducing risks of insecticides to pollinators and increasing understanding between farmers and beekeepers

by Robert Koch, Extension Entomologist

As soybean aphid populations continue to increase and decisions are being made to apply insecticides to some fields, steps can be taken to help reduce unintended risks to pollinators (such as honeybees, native bees, butterflies and hover flies), which may occur in and near soybean fields. Below, I provide some steps that can be taken to help reduce the risk of exposing pollinators to insecticides. In addition, I provide links to two documents that stem from our larger effort to increase understanding and communication between farmers and beekeepers with a goal of reducing risks to pollinators.

Nutrient Management Podcast: Checking in on 2018

How is 2018 shaping up compared to years past? On this episode of the podcast, Ryan Miller, Brad Carlson, Fabian Fernandez and Dan Kaiser talk through what they've seen this growing season, the biggest questions they've gotten and tips to manage. We talk about how the weather has impacted nitrogen loss, the viability of sidedress applications and variable rate technologies, and how 2018 will affect growers' plans in future years.

Click here to listen to the podcast.

Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode on iTunes or Stitcher!

For the latest nutrient management information, like UMN Extension Nutrient Management on Facebook, follow us on Twitter or visit our website.
Support for this project was provided in part by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC).

Options for drowned-out spots in fields

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops, and M. Scott Wells, Cropping Systems Specialist
A quick review of climate and weather data from the Minnesota DNR reveals southern Minnesota  has received 4 to 7 inches of precipitation above normal since April 1, 2018, with Southwestern MN receiving 4 inches of rain above normal over the past month. Excessive precipitation has led to ponding and flooding in fields, leaving drowned out spots and unplanted areas as the water recedes.

Checking in on the 2018 season

Ryan Miller, Brad Carlson, Fabian Fernandez and Dan Kaiser look at where we are with nutrient management this season. We talk about how the weather has affected N loss, whether you should consider sidedress or variable rate technologies, and how this will impact growers plans in future years.

Look for Wheat Stem Sawfly in NW MN Wheat Fields

Prepared by Phillip Glogoza and Jochum Wiersma

Wheat Stem Sawfly is still infesting wheat in northwest Minnesota. Areas affected last year are now showing symptoms of this year's infestations. Wheat stems are lodging as the sawfly larvae cut the base of the stem. Polk County is the area of greatest concentration, but reports beyond the Crookston area are also coming in.

We are asking ALL wheat growers in the northwest region to report on if they find lodged stems, their location (Latitude-Longitude or Legal description), and some estimate of cut stems per row foot. Also, indicate where in the field (usually the edge, but how far in is useful knowledge). We are trying to determine how big an area is impacted by this insect.

Controlling weeds with winter camelina planted following sugar beet harvest

Maninder K. Walia, M. Scott Wells, Russ Gesch, Frank Forcella – UMN Cover Crop Team
The growing challenge nowadays for sugar beet growers is how to control herbicide-resistant weeds such as waterhemp and redroot pigweed. A recent study has shown that winter camelina planted immediately after sugar beet harvest can provide excellent control of these weeds.

Sugar beet is an economically important crop in Minnesota with approximately 420,000 acres planted in 2017 (USDA-NASS, 2017). An average sugar beet crop rotation is a 4-year cycle with three years between sugar beet crops. However, production of sugar beet, like most annual row crops in MN, has the potential to impact the environment through nutrient and soil losses. Sugar beets grow actively only for a few months out of a year (i.e. planted in April or May and harvested in early September through October) therefore, the remainder of the year becomes a window of opportunity for these losses. Following sugar beet harvest, the ground …

Getting Ready for Small Grains Harvest

The first winter cereals have already been harvested and spring cereals aren't far behind.  I fielded a few calls last week with questions about heavy foxtail and barnyard infestations that will be troublesome with the harvest.  The heavy pressure of these grassy weeds now is a direct consequence of the delayed planting earlier this spring and the warm weather than immediately followed.  It allowed the foxtail and barnyard grass to emerge almost simultaneously with the wheat, barley or oats.  Most other years the wheat, barley, and oat emerge well before the warm season grasses emerge and shade out any foxtail or barnyard seedling that emerge later.  

If no grass herbicide was applied this spring these small grassy weed seedling just hung on in the bottom of the canopy. Now that the wheat, barley, or oats have started to ripen, sunlight is reaching the bottom of the canopy again. As a result, the grassy weeds have started growing rapidly, thereby turning fields in tall, green pastu…

Managing P and K in Flooded or Ponded Soils

Daniel Kaiser, Soil Fertility Specialist

The 2018 cropping season has been a challenging year for those in areas affected by heavy rainfall and saturated soils. Excessive water can result in the loss of soil nutrients with ponding resulting in a significant risk for the loss of nitrogen. The uptake and removal of nutrients depends on the yield. For areas with low or no yield, you likely won’t see substantial amounts of phosphorus or potassium removed. Here’s a look at how removal rate of P and K in 2018 will affect those nutrients ahead of the 2019 crop.

Unlike nitrogen, P and K a relatively immobile in the soil and are not lost unless erosion occurs, so water ponding won’t affect them in the same way. A soil test itself won’t be able to account for all of the P and K applied, as some of these nutrients will react with the soil and change to a form that may not be accounted for by a soil test prior to 2019.

Even though the soil test may not detect all P and K, it does not mean that i…

IPM Podcast: Soybean aphid alert and IPM update

Welcome to the 5th IPM Podcast for Field Crops – this Podcast is sponsored by the UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program.

During the past week soybean aphid populations have been increasing in several soybean fields, in southern and northwest production areas of Minnesota. Consequently, this is the time of year when fields should be scouted for soybean aphid, to determine if treatment is warranted.

Hay Auction July 12, 2018

by Randy Pepin, UMN Extension Educator, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties
pepin019@umn.edu or (320) 333-1369
Keeping up with current hay prices is important for most livestock farmers. We calculate price averages, quality averages, and the corresponding ranges of the various hay lots from recent hay auctions in Sauk Centre, MN. We also keep an updated history of recent years of some selected hay lots and create graphs of four different quality types of medium square alfalfa bales. This is posted every month, about a week after the last auction of the month.

Soybean aphid infestations are developing: Recommendations for scouting and managing insecticide resistance

by Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist), Bruce Potter (Extension IPM Specialist), Phil Glogoza (Regional Extension Educator)

Scouting for soybean aphids in Minnesota soybean fields should be underway. While aphid populations are low in most fields, we have received reports of increasing soybean aphid numbers. In parts of central Minnesota, some of these fields are nearing threshold levels and will likely require insecticide treatment soon to protect yield. Early-planted soybean in areas with moderate rainfall this year might see significant aphid populations first. However, aphids are now spreading to other fields putting them at risk too. Below, we provide an overview of scouting recommendations and updates on insecticide resistant soybean aphids.

Scouting and threshold:  How will you know if any of your soybean fields are at economic risk from soybean aphid? The decision to apply insecticide for soybean aphid should be based on scouting and the economic threshold. Briefly, you n…

5 Tips for Effectively Using Plant Tissue Data

Daniel Kaiser, Nutrient Management Specialist

1. Don’t expect too much.

Tissue sampling is not an exact science, so take care to get the most information you can. Optimal nutrient concentration values are specific to a plant part sampled at a particular stage. Sampling the correct part and the correct time is critical when using book values to determine nutrient sufficiency.

2. Know which nutrients are most likely to be deficient.

Crop species vary in their sensitivity to deficiencies of specific secondary- and micronutrients. Think about which nutrients are more likely to result in yield reductions before you make decisions.

3. Understand that uptake of one nutrient can affect the uptake of another.

Macronutrients such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, and sulfur can limit plant growth and the uptake of other nutrients. When interpreting results, make correcting macronutrient deficiency a top priority. Any perceived micronutrient deficiency may disappear if you correct the deficiency…

Flooded Fields and Saturated Conditions Impact Crops

By Liz Stahl, Extension Educator-Crops, Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Specialist, Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Specialist, and Fabian Fernandez, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist

Flooding, ponding, and saturated soils continue to impact crops across southwestern and south central Minnesota. Intense rains, ranging from 6 to 8 inches or more in several counties in southwestern MN on July 3, has exacerbated the wet conditions. As water from the recent storm events moves downstream, more field flooding and ponding is anticipated. As of July 5, 2018, much of southwestern and south central MN accumulated 4 to 8 inches of rain above normal, or a 3 to more than 4-fold increase above normal precipitation for the previous 30 days.

Managing manure nitrogen with a cover crop

Les Everett, Education coordinator; Randy Pepin, Extension educator; Jeffrey Coulter, Extension corn agronomist; and Melissa Wilson, Extension specialist - manure management and water quality
Producers who apply liquid manure in the fall might consider use of a cover crop as a nitrogen (N) management tool. Recent on-farm research in Minnesota compared manure management with and without a cover crop.

Liquid swine and dairy manure is frequently applied in the fall, prior to planting corn the following spring. However, corn does not begin taking up substantial amounts of N until mid-June or later. Most of the N in swine manure and about one-half in dairy manure is in the inorganic ammonium form, which can rapidly convert to nitrate by microbial nitrification when soil temperatures are above 50 degrees, in either fall or spring. The remainder of the manure N is in the organic form which is more slowly converted to the ammonium form and later to nitrate. Nitrate does not bind to soil par…

IPM Podcast: University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic

Welcome to the 4th IPM Podcast for Field Crops – this Podcast is sponsored by the UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program.

In this week’s podcast we are featuring the services of the University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic, which is a multi-disciplinary diagnostic laboratory that provides testing for: fungal, bacterial, viral, and other plant health conditions for commercial growers, farmers and the general public. This includes routine diagnosis of agronomic and horticultural plant diseases, virus analysis and other services such as molecular diagnostics. The goal of the Plant Disease Clinic is to provide clients with an accurate, unbiased diagnosis of plant diseases.

Goss's Bacterial Wilt and Leaf Blight image showing bacterial streaming from a corn leaf

What a good night's sleep and small grains both require..

According to science, humans sleep best when nighttime temperatures are between 60 and 67 degrees.  I personally like it another five degrees cooler,  much the same way wheat, barley, oats, rye prefer it.  Cooler nights slow down respiration and are more influential than the daytime high temperatures on final grain yield. 

This is well illustrated in Figure 1 in the following article.  The differences between the two top rows of graphs in Figure 1 are much less dramatic than those in the third row of graphs: The length of the kernel fill was reduced by only a few days as daytime temperatures increased but nearly cut in half when nighttime temperatures increased from 17C (62F) to 28C (82F).  Likewise, average kernel weight was cut in half as well when nighttime temperatures rose to 28C.

It is therefore that I wasn't too worried about the daytime highs this past week, but rather the uncomfortable sleeping weather. The immediate forecast, however, looks better across all but the most…