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Showing posts from June, 2018

Using Canopy Sensing to Manage Nitrogen

Gabriel Paiao, PhD Student and Fabian G. Fernandez, Nutrient Management Specialist

In Minnesota, we’ve seen more in-season nitrogen applications due in part to wetter springs. More precipitation means less time to apply before planting, or more nitrogen loss in season. Many are turning to canopy sensing technologies to guide fertilizer application rates during in-season applications. Here’s a look at how it works and what to consider when using sensing.

Uncertainty of the risk and reward for various weed control options increase as we transition from late June into July

Jeffrey L. Gunsolus Extension Agronomist-Weed Science

Giant ragweed escapes in soybean. Photo: Dave Nicolai To say this has been a challenging crop production season is an understatement, and some parts of the state understand this more than others. The limitations of field working days due to wet fields and high wind and temperature continues to limit corn and soybean weed management practices. As we enter July, safe and effective weed management practices begin to diminish rapidly.

In my June 18th Crop News Blog I made the comment that “Nothing Good Happens in July”. This, of course, was in reference to corn and soybean weed management options. I would highly recommend that you re-read this article and based on this week’s phone calls I would like to elaborate on a few key points as we enter July.

Nutrient Management Podcast: Managing Micronutrients

Though they may seem inconsequential in the grand scheme of things, micronutrients can significantly affect yield if they’re deficient in the plant. Experts Seth Naeve, Austin Dobbels and Dan Kaiser discuss which micronutrients are most important in Minnesota, how fungicides and biologicals affect soybean response to micronutrients and the best way to assess iron deficiency chlorosis in soybean. 

Continued Rainfall and Excessively Wet Field Conditions

Ryan Miller, Extension Educator - Crops, Liz Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops, Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist, Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist, Dean Malvick, Extension Plant Pathologist, and Fabian Fernandez, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist

It has been wet, for much of Southern Minnesota this has been one of the wettest growing seasons on record. Precipitation maps from June 12th show just how wet it has been.  In the week since these maps were published many areas have continued to see above average precipitation (see below).


The continued rainfall has made it difficult to implement postemergence weed control and has now created concerns about crop health due to saturated soils and flooded field conditions in some locations.

With the recent heavy rains, many corn and soybean fields have areas where crops are in flooded or saturated conditions. This article discusses agronomic and disease issues for corn and soybean exposed to prolonged periods of high soil…

Hay Auction June 7, 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.

Evaluating responses of soybean to foliar fungicides in Minnesota

Bruce Potter, Extension IPM Specialist and Dean Malvick, Extension Plant Pathologist
Why worry about the disease control benefits of fungicides? Soybean growers and their advisors are faced with a bewildering array of information, from many sources, about products and practices that might increase yield and profits. Management of soybean diseases is no exception. Foliar fungicides are valuable soybean disease management tools. However, when applied in the absence of controllable, yield-limiting plant disease, they are typically not a profitable input.

As June transitions into July what soybean weed management options are still available?

Jeffrey L. Gunsolus Extension Agronomist-Weed Science

Waterhemp in soybeans. Photo: Liz Stahl The combination of a long duration of wet weather and advanced growing degree days has created serious weed management challenges for many corn and soybean growers. Due to the impending June 20th cutoff date for approved dicamba formulations on Xtend soybean and weeds moving into their rapid growth phase, most of the questions I am receiving, and I hope to address, are focused on soybean.

Are Inversions Really That Common?

by Andrew Thostenson, Pesticide Program Specialist, North Dakota State University Extension Service; Jared Goplen, David Nicolai and Ryan Miller, University of Minnesota Extension Educators - Crops

Pesticide applicators have long been obliged and directed by pesticide labeling to understand, identify, and NOT apply during air temperature inversions. This has become acutely important because of the off-target movement of dicamba over the last couple of years. But a similar statement is also found on many other pesticide labels. 
EPA and pesticide manufacturers have made it abundantly clear they do not want pesticides applied during an inversion. But that is easier said than done. Until recently, very few people actually monitored inversions. That is fast changing. North Dakota and NW Minnesota via NDAWN now have 31 stations monitoring this in real time with alerts being posted to smart phones. Missouri has 11 stations. Pesticide manufacturers have also spent a fortune on predictive mod…

Winter Camelina Field Day to be held June 27 in Waseca

The University of Minnesota Forever Green Initiative and the Agricultural Utilization Research Institute (AURI) invite processors, food entrepreneurs, culinary professionals, farmers, and the curious public to an open house event at the Southern Research and Outreach Center 35838 120th Street Waseca, MN. Throughout the event, scheduled for June 27, 2018, attendees will learn about winter camelina, an exciting new oilseed crop currently in the research and development phase, which has the potential to transform food, fuel and feed in Minnesota.

Small Grain Summer Plot Tours

by Jared Goplen, Extension educator and Jochum Wiersma, Extension small grains specialist
University of Minnesota Extension is offering four Small Grain Summer Plot Tours across MN in June and July to address small grain production issues, variety performance, and insect and disease pests.

These programs are designed to provide farmers and crop consultants the tools needed to make small grains successful and profitable. This includes information on production agronomics, variety selection, disease identification, fungicide use, fertility, and economics. These programs are interactive and discussion based, featuring a tour of current research plots and discussion of on-farm experiences.

Corn and soybean weed management tour scheduled for July 3

Lisa Behnken and Ryan Miller, Extension educators
Weed management has changed dramatically in recent years with herbicide resistant weeds, new herbicide technologies and challenging weather conditions. How do we develop resilient strategies to deal with all of the different challenges? The 2018 Corn and Soybean Weed Management Tour will highlight ongoing research that addresses these challenges and introduces new ideas for crop producers and Ag Professionals on Tuesday, July 3.

Cutoffs for postemergence herbicide applications in corn and soybean

By Liz Stahl and Dave Nicolai, Extension Educators - Crops

A late start to the planting season, combined with warm temperatures and an abundance of moisture in areas of the state has led to quick crop emergence, and crops that are rapidly advancing through the growth stages. Crops may also be in a range of growth stages due to varying planting dates that resulted from working around a wet planting season. Almost all herbicide labels have a maximum growth stage and/or crop height after which applications should not be made. Application restrictions exist to help prevent potential crop injury, herbicide carryover, environmental or food safety concerns, or other potential issues.

Heavy seedcorn maggot infestations reported in some Minnesota soybean fields

by Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist) and Bruce Potter (Extension IPM Specialist)

Some fields in Minnesota have experienced significant stand loss caused by seed corn maggot. In a field in Dakota County (southeast Minnesota), research plots planted in the last week of May with untreated soybean seed incurred greater than 90% stand loss. This field had none of the typical risk factors for infestation by seedcorn maggot, except for likely planting during a period of fly activity. In addition, a report was received of a central Minnesota soybean field with seedcorn maggot injury. Portions of the neighboring fields had some seedcorn maggot injury as well. It turns out, that this field had been planted to sweetcorn in 2017, but the field was passed and not harvested. The resulting decaying sweet corn may have attracted egg-laying adults last fall and subsequently supported a very large population of overwintering pupae. Soybean planting into the still decaying sweet corn this spring was…

No change in the June 20, 2018 dicamba application cutoff date for Xtend soybeans

Jeffrey L. Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist - Weed science
On June 8, 2018 the Minnesota Commissioner of Agriculture released a letter to stakeholders indicating that the MDA will be keeping the 24(c) restrictions for XtendiMax, Engenia and FeXapan in place for 2018. The Commissioner’s letter also explains the rational for holding to the 24(c) restrictions, despite the challenges presented by late planting dates for soybean in many parts of the state.

Sidedressing Nitrogen in this Challenging Minnesota Growing Season

Fabian G Fernandez, Nutrient Management Specialist

Most corn in Minnesota is between V3 and V8 and developing rapidly now with most fields around V5-V6. Up to this point corn has taken up around 20 to 25 lbs N/acre. That’s about 10 percent of the total N it will need by the time it reaches physiological maturity in the fall.

Herbicide drift symptomology

by Ryan Miller, Extension educator

Dicamba damage in soybean As we enter peak postemergence herbicide application season, there is an elevated risk for off target herbicide movement. Of particular concern is the movement of growth regulator herbicides onto soybeans. Growth regulator herbicides include products like 2,4-D and dicamba. These products cause leaf puckering, and epinasty or twisting of stems. Injury symptoms are most commonly observed on the newest most recent growth in soybeans.

IPM Podcast: Update on Recent Corn Rootworm Activity and Bt Resistance Trends in Minnesota

Welcome to the 3rd IPM Podcast for Field Crops – this Podcast is sponsored by the UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program.

The purpose of the IPM podcasts is to alert Growers, Ag Professionals and Educators about emerging pest concerns on Minnesota Field Crops - including corn, soybean, small grains and alfalfa. We also review recent pest trends and research updates.

Nutrient Management Podcast: Mastering the Pre-sidedress Nitrate Test

The pre-sidedress nitrate test (PSNT) is a tool for making decisions on supplemental nitrogen application. Taken during June prior to side-dress N application around the V6 stage of corn growth, the PSNT offers a way to assess insufficient N in the soil. It offers guidance for efficient N management, but only if carried out correctly. Listen as guests Dan Kaiser, Fabian Fernandez, Brad Carlson and Jeff Vetsch talk through how to effectively use the PSNT to manage nutrients on your farm.

Refocusing attention on the most yield limiting pathogen of soybean

Angie Peltier, Phillip Glogoza, Jared Goplen and Seth Naeve (University of Minnesota Extension) and Sam Markell (North Dakota State University Extension)

Figure 1. Soybean cyst nematode identification and spread in Minnesota What causes an estimated 90,000,000 bushel yield loss of soybean in the North Central U.S. each year? What can cause an eye-popping 30% yield loss without above-ground symptoms? What can move any way that soil moves? What can invade a soybean plant and worsen brown stem rot and sudden death syndrome symptoms?

The answer to each question is the same: the soybean cyst nematode (SCN). SCN is a microscopic roundworm that was first found in the U.S. in North Carolina in 1954. SCN has since moved north and west, reaching southern Minnesota in 1978. Little by little SCN continues to spread, marching north in the state along with soybean production, cutting soybean yield-potential along the way (Figure 1).

Alfalfa Scissor Cuts May 31 & June 1, 2018

by Randy Pepin, UMN Extension Educator, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties
pepin019@umn.edu or (320) 333-1369
Harvesting high quality alfalfa hay is a prime concern of most dairy farmers.  The ideal time to cut first crop alfalfa has many variables such as: spring weather, severity of the winter, the weather last fall, how the field was managed last fall, age of the alfalfa stand, alfalfa variety, fertility level, and each farmers criteria on desired hay quality.  Collecting a series of scissor cuts samples of an alfalfa stand beginning early in the growth stage will monitor the progress of the alfalfa maturity.  We harvest scissor cuts on a number of fields throughout central Minnesota to help dairy producers observe the maturing progress across several fields.

Here's What the Research Says About Managing Sulfur in Soybeans

Daniel Kaiser, Nutrient Management Specialist
Jeff Strock, Professor

Soybean plants need sulfur to complete their lifecycle. It’s a key component of amino acids and deficiency can affect soybean concentration and grain yield. While sulfur provides all these benefits to the soybean crop, research shows that the best way to manage sulfur in soybeans is not to apply fertilizer S directly to soybeans, but to corn in a corn-soybean rotation.

Off-target herbicide movement

by Ryan Miller, Extension educator

Photo: Liz Stahl As we are all well aware, last year saw the addition of dicamba tolerant soybeans to weed management options in the U.S. The addition of this technology was not without the troubles of off target movement and subsequent plant injury.

This led to changes in the federal label for all brands of dicamba that can be applied to dicamba tolerant soybeans.

Alfalfa Scissor Cuts May 28-29, 2018

by Randy Pepin, UMN Extension Educator, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties
pepin019@umn.edu or (320) 333-1369
Harvesting high quality alfalfa hay is a prime concern of most dairy farmers.  The ideal time to cut first crop alfalfa has many variables such as: spring weather, severity of the winter, the weather last fall, how the field was managed last fall, age of the alfalfa stand, alfalfa variety, fertility level, and each farmers criteria on desired hay quality.  Collecting a series of scissor cuts samples of an alfalfa stand beginning early in the growth stage will monitor the progress of the alfalfa maturity.  We harvest scissor cuts on a number of fields throughout central Minnesota to help dairy producers observe the maturing progress across several fields.