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Friday, May 27, 2016

Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 26

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Ste arns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 320-968-5077

Updated May 27, 106

This includes data from 3 Benton County Farms. Central MN Forage Council Board member Greg Lefebvre reports very little hay cut from around Benton County and parts of Stearns County up through Long Prairie and Staples. I'd speculate farther north as well. This is about where the line would be for hay that way on the young side last week when the weather was nice.

Somewhere along the way as we move north in Minnesota, there is likely still alfalfa that is approaching it's prime for milk cow hay and haylage. Farmers are remarkable people for dealing with the variables they deal with in trying to make a living and making the best of the cards they get dealt. The rest of us could have much to learn from them.

Click on May 26 Harvest Alert Data to see numbers for May 26, bold print near the bottom of the first page... and then individual farm data we have gotten this spring.

Click on Graphs to see line graphs corresponding to farms that were samples on May 26. Graphs for other cooperating farms are posted in the May 23 posting.

Hope you have a meaningful Memorial Day Observance.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Stay on top of giant ragweed

Lisa Behnken, Extension Educator, Fritz Breitenbach, IPM Specialist SE Minnesota, Jeff Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist, Weed Science, and Phyllis Bongard, Content Development and Communications Specialist, University of Minnesota

Photo 1. Giant ragweed in corn herbicide trial at Rochester, MN, May 20,2016. Plot was planted April 25, 2016.
The recent frost across southeast Minnesota may have slowed down corn and soybean development, but it did not slow down the rate of weed growth. There are plenty of 1-4 inch giant ragweed and 1-2 inch common lambsquarters in corn and soybean fields. Waterhemp is also beginning to emerge (1/4 – 3/4 inch). The current dilemma that needs to be addressed is most evident in fields where a preemergence herbicide was not used or it provided poor giant ragweed control. In addition, our recent 1-2 inch rainfall may limit the ability to get into the field in a timely manner to control the weeds when they are most susceptible to control and before they reduce crop yield potential.

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Hail damage and replant options for corn and soybean

By Jeff Coulter and Seth Naeve, Extension Agronomists

Recent storms caused hail damage to crops, especially in central Minnesota. Much of the corn was in the V2 to V3 stage (2 to 3 collared leaves) when damaged, while soybean was in the V1 stage (1 fully-developed trifoliolate leaf) or younger.

In late May, assessing hail damage and making replant decisions can be difficult, with many variables to consider. Answers to many questions regarding crop yield loss and the need for replanting can be found in:

Corn Damage and Replant Guide (48 KB PDF)
Soybean Damage and Replant Guide

Laundering Pesticide-Contaminated Clothing

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops, and Dean Herzfeld, Pesticide Safety Education Coordinator

A question raised at several Private Pesticide Applicator workshops this year was how to best handle pesticide-contaminated clothing. Although waterproof suits and aprons are key pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear when handling, mixing, loading, or applying pesticides, conventional work clothing is the primary label-required PPE for many products. Proper handling of pesticide-contaminated clothing can minimize pesticide residues in the home and avoid human exposure.

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

May 23 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929


Click on May 23 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data to see May 19 information from Hoen and Roerick Farms farms, and May 23rd field observations from Gathje's, Lab RFV numbers also from Winkelman, Scapanski, and O & S Dairy. RFQ numbers should be posted on Tuesday late afternoon. 

Click on Alfalfa Graphs to see line graphs of all tests so far. 

Thursday, May 19, 2016

May 19 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, Crop Production Emphasis, 968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929.

Click on May 19 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data to see information through 4:30 p.m. on May 20. I expect a few more lab report on Friday and will update the document link here. 

Click on Graphs Alfalfa Sampling to see a crude attempt to graph this data. I added trend lines that are formulated by the spread sheet and a couple that I took a guess at. That levels up some of the hills and valleys, but doesn't necessarily tell you what you can bank on. So don't take it too seriously. Generally unless something pretty drastic happens the crop probably doesn't drop like a rock or soar like a rocket.

Click on Example Field Measurements provided by Nathan Winter and Intern Hollie Donnay. This shows how variations across field are accounted for. 1=Vegetative, 2= Bud.

Maybe the best suggestion is - A thoughtful walk in the field related to what the farmer sees the hay to be like based on past field and feeding experience is core to the process.
And … You’re kind of on your own with whatever weather clues you find the most useful.

Can I Reduce the Risk of Lodging?

Weather and crop conditions in the 2015 cropping season resulted in widespread problems with lodging in wheat, barley, and oats. The timing of the weather events (heavy thunderstorms and straight line winds) made not only for a cumbersome harvest but also reduced grain yield.

The rule of thumb is that it is ‘three strikes and out’ when it comes to lodging. After both the first and second time the cells in nodes of lodged stems will stretch on the shaded side of the stem in an attempt to raise the stem upright. The crop can only do that approximately two times before it is unable to straighten itself up. (For additional details on the mechanics of lodging click here)
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