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Field School for Ag Professionals: Registration Deadline Fast Approaching

The last day for standard registration for the Field School for Ag Professionals is July 16. Register now to reserve your spot for this premier summer educational opportunity that combines hands-on, interactive training with real world field scenarios. The first day of the Field School program focuses on core principles in agronomy, entomology, weed and soil sciences to build a strong foundation of skills and knowledge. The second day builds on this foundation with timely, cutting-edge topics that participants can select. Featured sessions: Basic Crop Diagnostics : Just getting started in crop diagnostics? This session will help you learn the process of crop troubleshooting in demonstration plots and learn how to use the “tools” of the trade, including how to interview farmers, ag professionals and others to learn more about the crop. Advanced Crop Diagnostics : Get your hands dirty practicing crop diagnostics skills. This session is intended for practitioners with at least a basic
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Protect honeybees when spraying insecticides

Larry VanLieshout, Pesticide and fertilizer management, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Reviewed by Tana Haugen-Brown, Extension educator and Private Pesticide Applicator Program manager and co-coordinator  A number of insecticides that are applied to agricultural crops are toxic to honeybees. The labels of these products carry warnings such as, “This product is highly toxic to bees exposed to direct treatment or residues on blooming crops or weeds” or “Do not apply this product or allow it to drift to blooming crops or weeds if bees are foraging in the treated area.”  To protect honeybees from foraging on treated crops, use the FieldWatch Map to see it there are beehives within 2 miles of your application area. Pins on the map mark the self-reported locations of beehives.  Selecting a pin brings up additional information about that site, including contact information for the beekeeper. Use this information to inform local beekeepers of a planned insecticide application so they ca

Field Notes talks disease and weed management in a very wet year

Phyllis Bongard, Educational content development and communications specialist, Alison Robertson, Field crops pathologist, Iowa State University, and Tom Peters, Extension weed management specialist Giant ragweed escapes After the rainiest April through June period recorded at many Minnesota weather stations, growers are facing increased challenges in weed and disease management in corn and soybeans. To address these issues and discuss management strategies, Dr. Alison Robertson, Field crops pathologist at Iowa State University, and Dr. Tom Peters, Extension weed scientist at University of Minnesota Extension, joined moderator Liz Stahl, Extension educator-crops, in the July 3 session of Strategic Farming: Field Notes. Get out and scout! In this unusual year, crop development can vary widely in a single field, complicating management decisions. Getting into the field to assess both crop health and weed management practices is more important than ever. Got water? Watch for these soybean

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update 07/09/24

Fusarium Head Blight Risk I took a few days off over the July 4th Holiday weekend. The risk for Fusarium head blight did not; the risk for spring wheat varieties with a rating of 6 or worse continues to be moderate to high across all of Minnesota through the end of the week  (Figure 1). The marked difference in the risk of infection between highly susceptible and moderately resistant varieties remains the same (Figure 2).  Figure 1. Fusarium head blight risk for very susceptible varieties for July 9 through 12. Darker orange indicates moderate risk and red indicates high risk. Figure 2. Fusarium head blight risk for moderately resistant varieties for July 9 through 12. Darker orange indicates moderate risk and red indicates high risk. Have I found FHB?  It takes about a week for symptoms of FHB to start showing after the initial infection. It was not hard to find FHB in the winter rye, winter wheat, spring wheat, and barley variety trials on the Sand Plains Research Farm near Becker la

Soybean growth stage cutoffs for postemergence herbicide application

Sachin Dhanda, Weed science postdoctoral researcher, Sithin Mathew, Weed science graduate student, and Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed scientist Soybean field treated with postemergence Cobra  herbicide (within the label cutoff) showing  temporary leaf injury. Photo: Sithin Mathew) The erratic rainfall pattern this cropping season has led to disjointed soybean planting across Minnesota, with some farmers needing to replant their crops. As a result, soybean fields are currently at varying growth stages. Many acres are either receiving postemergence herbicides this week or have not yet been treated. It is essential to adhere to the growth stage cutoffs specified on herbicide labels for postemergence applications and to comply with the preharvest interval (PHI) which is legally required. The PHI represents the minimum time between the last herbicide application and the crop harvest. The restrictions are in place to prevent potential crop injury, herbicide carryover, environmental or food

Corn growth stage cutoffs for postemergence herbicide application

Sachin Dhanda, Weed science postdoctoral researcher, Sithin Mathew,  Weed science graduate student, and Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed scientist Figure 1. Corn field planted in mid-May requires  postemergence herbicides for weed control. Photo: Debalin Sarangi This season’s erratic weather has resulted in very few good spray days in Minnesota, leaving some corn acres without a postemergence herbicide application. Many fields received postemergence treatments very early in the season, prompting farmers to consider a second application to control problem weeds like waterhemp. Herbicide labels typically specify growth stage or crop height cutoffs (whichever comes first) for herbicide application, and the preharvest intervals (PHI) indicate the minimum time required between the last herbicide application and crop harvest. The restrictions are crucial to prevent potential crop injury, herbicide carryover, environmental or food safety issues, and other potential concerns. When tank mixing h

Field Notes session talks crop management considerations for soggy fields

Angie Peltier and Liz Stahl, UMN Extension crops educators, Seth Naeve, UMN Extension soybean agronomist and Jeff Vetch, UMN researcher at the Southern Research and Outreach Center The following information was provided during the June 26, 2024 Strategic Farming: Field Notes session. Use your preferred podcasting platform or listen online to a podcast of this Field Notes session hosted by UMN Extension crops educator Claire LaCanne. The concern with soybeans sitting in ponded or flooded fields Photo: Dean Malvick, UMN Extension Soybeans can survive under water for a couple of days, but the number of days or even hours that they are able to survive when submerged declines as temperatures increase. Those soybeans that were under water for more than ~2 days are likely dead. Soybeans that are not under water are still likely to have experienced saturated soil conditions for much longer than normal and so, depending upon a variety’s resistance, would have been susceptible to water mold pat