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Supplemental nitrogen fertilizer: Is it time to pull the trigger?

Photos taken June 14, 2024 at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, Minnesota. In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, we’re talking about supplemental nitrogen fertilizer. What are conditions like around the state? What practices do the worst looking fields seem to have in common? How does a producer assess their situation? What are some recommendations moving forward? (This episode was recorded June 14, 2024.) TRANSCRIPT Guests: Fabian Fernandez, Extension nutrient management specialist (St. Paul) Daniel Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist (St. Paul) Jeff Vetsch, U of M researcher (Waseca) Brad Carlson, Extension educator (Mankato) Additional resources: Should you apply supplemental nitrogen fertilizer this year?  (June 4, 2024) Supplemental Nitrogen Worksheet for Corn Split-applying nitrogen for corn: Three keys for successful sidedress applications Should you add inhibitors to your sidedress nitrogen application? Fertilizing corn in Minnesota
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New Field Day Workshop for Commercial/Noncommercial Pesticide License Recertification

Photo: Liz Stahl, UMN Extension Do you need to recertify in 2024 for categories C or H? UMN PSEE has a new opportunity for you that doesn't involve sitting in a classroom! We are offering a field day for pesticide recertification on July 10, 2024, at the UMN Southern Research & Outreach Center in Waseca, MN. Our agenda includes a variety of demonstrations and hands-on activities: Equipment calibration and application techniques Drift management Mixing, loading and safety systems Storage and container cleaning Integrated Pest Management and pollinator protection Pest identification and management tools Chemical updates Safety scavenger hunt and demonstrations Drone application technology Seed Treatment demonstrations and safety Lunch and refreshments will be provided for all attendees. Commercial applicators Fee for commercial applicators: A/C--$145, A/C/H--$190 Link to registration for recertification:  A/C/H: 2024 Pesticide safety recertification   To see other workshops, visi

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update 06/14/24

This week's drier weather has been great for small grains and many, including us, have had an opportunity to catch up on their weed control programs. Winter wheat and winter rye are well into grain fill in southern Minnesota and are either approaching or have reached anthesis in the Red River Valley. The earliest seeded spring wheat in south and west central Minnesota has or will be heading soon while it is reaching the flag leaf stage in the Red River Valley.   The scouts completed their second week and found more of the same on their routes this week; low numbers of grasshoppers in field margins of half the fields that they scouted and very low numbers of aphids in a third of the fields across the state. Cereal leaf beetle was confirmed for a second year in two fields in Norman County.  The scouts reported tan spot in just two fields and no incidence of stripe rust or leaf rust.  To date, stripe rust has only been confirmed on the St. Paul campus and leaf rust was detected in on

Alfalfa weevil forecasting - June 2024

  Anthony Hanson (, Extension IPM Regional Educator - Field Crops Since the previous mid-May Minnesota Crop News post detailing tools available for 2024 alfalfa weevil management , multiple calls have come in showing just how difficult of a season this has been alfalfa growers dealing with this pest. The end of weevil season should be in sight for most growers possibly this week, though scouting should continue through June. Forecasting the timing of pest development (i.e., phenology) is a key tool for an integrated pest management (IPM) plan for alfalfa weevil. Temperature-based forecasts of alfalfa weevil development are based on degree-days for the eastern strain. As of June 13, 2024, at least according to the forecast model, larvae should cease feeding and develop into pupae across central Minnesota at 595 Fahrenheit alfalfa weevil degree-days (Fig. 1). Figure 1. Forecast alfalfa weevil development as of June 13, 2024 based on observed daily high and low temperatu

Field Notes talks crop disease diagnosis resources

Angie Peltier, UMN Extension crops educator and Brett Arenz, associate teaching professor and director of the University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic An example of a photo submitted to Digital Crop Doc. The following information was provided during a 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 Liz Stahl. Crop Disease Plant disease is an “impairment of the normal state of a plant that interrupts or modifies its vital functions” ( Britannica ). There are both abiotic causes of plant disease (think nutrient deficiency, flooded fields, herbicide injury, drought) and biotic causes. Just like animals, plants can be infected by bacteria, fungi, nematodes and viruses. Plants can also be infected by organisms called oomycetes, viroids, phytoplasmas and parasitic plants. Three things need to be present in order for plant disease to occur: a susceptible h

Evaluating new alfalfa stands

Craig Sheaffer, Extension forage agronomist, Krishona Martinson, Extension equine specialist, and Claire LaCanne, Extension educator-crops Alfalfa seeded with an oat companion crop. Are  there enough plants to develop a productive  long-term stand? This has been an unusual spring with above normal and intensive rainfall throughout Minnesota. Adequate levels of soil moisture should provide for high levels of germination as seeds normally need to absorb 125% of their weight, but excessive rainfall can cause problems with seedling emergence and persistence. Sources of these issues include: Soil crusting . Medium and heavy textured soils, can experience crusting that prevents or delays seedling emergence. Crusting problems are compounded when seeding depths exceed ¼ inch, therefore, controlling seeding depth is essential. Washing of seed and seedlings . On soils prone to water erosion, heavy erosion can wash shallow planted seed away as well as uproot small seedlings. Using companion crops

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update 06/10/24

It is that time of year to start up the biweekly small grains disease and pest updates to help guide your input decisions between now and the beginning of grainfill. I should have started up two weeks ago when the first winter rye fields reached anthesis, but I was distracted by fieldwork and finishing seeding. I'm using the fact that the three crop scouts funded by grants from the Minnesota Wheat Research & Promotion Council and the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council started their work last week as an excuse to start this yearly cycle. Bruce Potter found English grain and bird cherry-oat aphids in Lamberton in early May.  Aphids since have made it north; I found both a few aphids and plants that are symptomatic for the Barley Yellow Dwarf virus (BYDV) in my winter wheat trials and the scouts reported one lonely aphid in one of the ten fields they scouted last week in the southern parts of the Red River Valley. NDSU has updated its thresholds for the control o