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5 tips for continuous corn nutrient management

By: Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist, & Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist When it comes to nutrient management, continuous corn can present challenges. Research has identified a few things that you should consider when managing continuous corn to maximize yield and profitability. 1. Residue management is key Probably the biggest challenge when it comes to managing continuous corn is the amount of residue that can be left in the field. Corn residue can be slow to break down and tends to be high in carbon and low in nutrients, like nitrogen (N), which are needed for soil organisms to break the residue down.  More N is suggested when corn follows corn compared to corn following soybean to account for less available N from the soil due to N being used for microbial decomposition. The application of N as UAN or sulfur (S) as ATS in the fall has been studied as a means of speeding up residue decomposition, but it has not been found to be effective. 2. Do not st
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Be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth

Jared Goplen, Extension educator-crops and Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed specialist Palmer amaranth in a Tennessee field. Note the long terminal seedhead. As we approach harvest this year, be on the lookout for Palmer amaranth, September's Weed of the Month . Palmer amaranth is on Minnesota’s prohibited noxious weed and seed list with the intention to eradicate it before it becomes widely established in the state. Now is a good time of the year to scout for it, when mature Palmer amaranth plants are easier to distinguish from other closely-related pigweeds like waterhemp. Identification is key Palmer amaranth is closely related to other amaranth (pigweed) species and it can be challenging to differentiate between them during the early vegetative stages. When scouting for Palmer amaranth at this time of year, be on the lookout for pigweeds with these distinguishing characteristics:  Look for long, terminal seedheads or pollen heads, up to 2-3 feet long, which are usually longer

Gopher Coffee Shop podcast: Using weather data from the ROCs

In this installment of the Gopher Coffee Shop podcast, Extension educators Ryan Miller and Brad Carlson sit down with Jeff Vetsch and Tom Hoverstad, scientists at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, MN. We learn about the weather data they collect at Southern Research and Outreach Center and reflect on this year’s observations and crop production and discuss what might be in store for next season. Enjoy! There are many articles related to what we've discussed on the Crop News blog linked below.  Minnesota Crop News blog: Sign up to receive Minnesota Crop News: Listen to the podcast The Gopher Coffee Shop Podcast is available on Stitcher and iTunes . Enjoy! For more information, visit University of Minnesota Extension Crop Production at .

Fall 2021 soil testing considerations for the 2022 growing season

By: Dan Kaiser & Fabian Fernandez, Extension nutrient management specialists On top of limiting the yield potential of crops, dry soils also have other important impacts which need to be considered when making nutrient management decisions for future years. Here are few tips to keep in mind when taking soil samples and interpreting soil test results this fall to help make decisions for the 2022 growing season. 1. Pay attention to soil sampling depth With dry soils, soil sampling depth can be an issue. As this video covers, a standard series soil test is calibrated for the top six inches of soil, so it isn’t a good idea to scrape off the soil surface or go deeper than six inches. There are other measurements that call for a deeper sample, such as for nitrogen analysis, but for most purposes you want to stick to six inches. It also may be difficult to take the appropriate number of soil cores needed to get a good, representative soil sample. Sticking to the appropriate sampling dept

Nutrient Management Strategies Field Day - Friday, Sept. 10

Join us on Friday, September 10  near Le Sueur for the Nutrient Management Strategies Field Day. This event will highlight the various ways that livestock manure can be successfully and economically implemented into your cropping system. The events begins at 10am and goes until 12pm (noon), followed by a free lunch . Registration Registration is free. To register, email Emma Severns at  or call your Extension office (Nicollet County 507-934-7828 or Sibley County 507-237-4100). Location The event will take place on Dave Pfarr's farm at 40899 320th Street, Le Sueur, MN 56058 (Driveway east of location). Details Extension manure management specialist Melissa Wilson will present on her on-farm study on one of Pfarr's fields looking at sidedressing liquid swine manure into corn. The study is assessing what corn growth stage is optimal for sidedressing swine manure with a tanker system. SROC soil science researcher Jeff Vetsch will present on manure research includi

Got weeds in your beans? You're not alone

 Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist, Jared Goplen and Dave Nicolai, Extension educators - crops Patch of volunteer corn in a soybean field. Volunteer corn, a weed in soybeans, competes for resources, adds foreign material to the harvested soybeans, and minimizes crop rotation benefits. Photo: Jared Goplen It’s been a memorable year for Minnesota soybean producers, but mostly for the wrong reasons. Dry conditions were problematic most of the year. Soybean emergence was affected by dry soil conditions in some fields. Preemergence herbicides laid dormant until rainfall and hot and dry conditions favored weed development over the crop. Dry soils this spring also delayed weed emergence of some weeds until later in the season. Poor canopy development has allowed waterhemp, volunteer corn, and other weeds to establish and poke out of the canopy in fields statewide. Do these weed escapes really matter? While farmers all strive for clean fields, it is likely that the sporadic escaped

Planning the rotation from alfalfa to corn

Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist Photo: Matt Yost Alfalfa provides many benefits to the corn crops that follow it, with the most notable being higher yield and reduced need for nitrogen (N) application compared to when it is grown in other rotations.  Across 15 years at one location in southwestern Wisconsin and 21 and 30 years at two locations in northern Iowa , grain yield of first-year corn following alfalfa averaged 8 to 18% greater than that of continuous corn and 0 to 8% greater than that of corn following soybean (Mallarino and Ortiz-Torrez, 2006; Stanger and Lauer, 2008).  Additionally, grain yield of second-year corn following alfalfa averaged 0 to 8% greater than that of continuous corn, but 2 to 8% less than that of corn following soybean. Higher yields for first-year corn following alfalfa, and sometimes second-year corn following alfalfa in these experiments may have been due to improved soil aggregation and soil infiltration rate, and a reduction in soil compaction