University of Minnesota Extension
Menu Menu

Extension > Minnesota Crop News > January 2018

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

New Research Shows Increased Yield with Liming Treatments

Jeff Vetsch, Soil Scientist

When needed, liming materials can be major beneficial inputs for crop production in Minnesota. When soils are acid, lime will neutralize the soil to the ideal pH. pH can affect the availability of plant nutrients and impact microbial activity, so managing it can be of great benefit, but can also cost a lot. Here’s a look at what to consider before liming your agricultural soil.

Monday, January 29, 2018

Jan. 18 & Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, Crops Focus, 320-968-5077,

This is a catch up effort. I'm listing the January 18 Summary, History and Graph and then also listing links to a few recent auction that I have not posted for the late fall season. I am including a couple of related notes and resources.

Click on individual items to see the.

1. Jan. 18 2018 Summary- All tested loads sold, groups based on hay and bale type and quality.
2. History of Selected Lots. Averages from recent years, and summer and fall sales so far.
3. Graph of Selected Alfalfa hay groups.
           The 2017-18 season is the RED line.

MFA Winter Forage Workshops are being planned again for:
      SE MN January 30- St. Charles Community Center
      Central MN January 31- Shady's Tavern in Albany
      NE MN February 1 - The Event Center in Floodwood

Featuring: EV THOMAS

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Nutrient Management Podcast: Soil pH and Liming 101

Starting with the basics, this episode of the podcast is your guide to managing soil pH on the farm. Melissa Wilson, John Lamb and Dan Kaiser discuss how fertilizer and manure affect soil pH, what makes a good liming material and why we should care about soil pH in the first place.

Friday, January 19, 2018

University of Minnesota Soil Testing Lab Completes Renovations

The University of Minnesota's Soil Testing and Research Analytical Lab has undergone a $3 million renovation. The lab is now has fully modernized infrastructure and work space to fulfill the soil testing needs of the state.

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Your Guide to Soil pH and Liming

On this episode, Dan Kaiser, John Lamb and Melissa Wilson talk about soil pH. What is it? Why is it important? How do you change it? How does fertilizer affect it? What about manure? Find out all these answers and more 

For more the latest on nutrient management, follow us on facebook at or Twitter at

Five Tips for Profitably Managing Sulfur

Daniel Kaiser, Soil Fertility Specialist

Sulfur is becoming increasingly important to crop production in Minnesota. Soil organic matter is a large storehouse for sulfur, but we still run into situations where the crop needs fertilizer S to maintain high yields. Here are five tips for getting the most out of sulfur applied to your fields:

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Crookston Research Update for Ag Professionals Program Rescheduled

by Dave Nicolai, Coordinator for the Institute for Ag Professionals

The final University of Minnesota Research Update Session in Crookston, MN originally scheduled for January 11, has been rescheduled for Wednesday, January 24, 2018 due to a winter snow storm.

Monday, January 8, 2018

Take advantage of crop education this winter

Dave Nicolai, Extension Educator-Crops and Phyllis Bongard, Educational Content Development and Communications Specialist

Several opportunities to learn about the University of Minnesota's research in crop production are available this winter at locations throughout the state. Crop producers, their advisors and other ag professionals are encouraged to attend. The following events are listed in chronological order. To see all events (including PPAT workshops), visit UM Extension Crops calendar.

Rye Cover Crops in Corn Production on Irrigated Sands

Natalie Ricks and Fabián Fernández

In Minnesota, approximately 500,000 acres of irrigated farmland are highly productive but susceptible to nitrate leaching to groundwater. Irrigated sandy soils are especially vulnerable to leaching. A recent study from University of Minnesota, with support from Pope County SWCD and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, evaluated the use of winter rye as a cover crop in corn production. Early results show that a rye cover crop can help reduce nitrogen leaching in a corn after soybean rotation by 45 percent.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

Minnesota-specific dicamba training and use requirements

Natalie Hoidal, Tana Haugen-Brown, Dean Herzfeld, and Dave Nicolai

An estimated 10,000+ Minnesotans will use Monsanto, DowDuPont, and BASF’s new dicamba products this year. All individuals applying XtendiMax™ with VaporGrip™ Technology (Monsanto, EPA Reg. No. 524-617), FeXapan™ with VaporGrip™ Technology (DowDuPont, EPA Reg. No. 352-913), or Engenia™ (BASF, EPA Reg. No. 7969-345) dicamba products must undergo special product label-required training in order to comply with Minnesota Pesticide Control Law. Because these products are now Restricted Use Pesticides, all applicators of these products must also be a certified Private pesticide applicator or a licensed Commercial or Noncommercial pesticide applicator.

Wednesday, January 3, 2018

Evaluating the Need for Sulfur in High Organic Matter Soils

Daniel Kaiser, Soil Fertility Specialist

Approximately 95 percent of the total sulfur in soils is found in organic matter. As soil organic matter breaks down, the S in the organic form mineralizes to sulfate-sulfur, the only form that plant roots can absorb. While we have an understanding of how sulfur reacts with crops, there still is a lot we don’t know about the forms of sulfur in soil over the growing season.

Reducing Bt trait acres in the 2018 corn crop to cut production costs? Implications for European corn borer

Bruce Potter, Extension IPM Specialist, Ken Ostlie and Bill Hutchison, Extension Entomologists

brown European corn borer larvae tunneling in corn
European corn borer larva and damage. Photo: Bruce Potter
The economics of 2018 corn production challenge many farmers with minimizing losses per acre. One area some farmers have targeted for reducing costs is hybrid selection. Planting corn hybrids without Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins for protection against 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.
  • © Regents of the University of Minnesota. All rights reserved.
  • The University of Minnesota is an equal opportunity educator and employer. Privacy