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Video: Tips for conducting on-farm research

If you’re interested in doing your own research on your own farm, this short video is the perfect place to start. Extension educator Liz Stahl provides useful tips to get you started, including which questions to ask and how to properly set up a trial. University of Minnesota Extension also has several resources (below) to help you do the job right from start to finish. Additional resources Stahl helped create a series of videos and fact sheets on on-farm research as part of the 2017 North Central Region Agriculture and Natural Resources Academy. Topics include on-farm comparisons, setting up an on-farm trial, understanding the least significant difference, and blowing the whistle on ag marketing claims. Extension also has a series of web pages on how to do research on your farm . These web resources walk you through how to conduct your own on-farm experiments and interpret your experiment's results, and includes a spreadsheet for making comparisons and tips for on-farm research.
Recent posts

Farm safety webinar series

 Emily Krekelberg, Extension educator - farm safety and health University of Minnesota Extension is partnering with North Dakota State University Extension to offer a series of farm safety webinars this winter. Many of us has been impacted in some way by an accident, injury, or fatality that has occurred on the farm. These events are devastating to communities and impact the livelihoods of those we know and love.  The purpose of these webinars is to empower communities and individuals to prioritize safety on the farm. The webinar series will be January-March on Thursdays at 11:00am. Each webinar will last one hour. Grain bin safety - January 21 The Grain Bin Safety session that will feature a panel moderated by Angie Johnson, Farm & Ranch Safety Program Coordinator and Extension Agent with NDSU Extension. Panelists include Rich Schock, captain of the Sheyenne Valley Technical Rescue Team and Ken Hellevang, agricultural engineer with North Dakota State University Extension. Trac

Over-application of potash containing chloride can hurt soybean yields

By: Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist In past posts , I have discussed the potential issues which chloride (Cl) in potash can present for soybean production in Minnesota. The 2020 growing season was the fourth year of a long-term study funded by the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion council which compares potassium sulfate and potassium chloride (KCl) to calcium chloride (CaCl 2 ) and a no fertilizer control. In addition, a study was established to determine the effects of a very high rate of Cl (500 pounds per acre) applied in the spring ahead of soybean. 2020 results Examination of the long-term data found small yield increases from potassium (K) fertilizer application regardless of source at three of the four locations. Yield increases were found for hard red spring wheat and corn at one location as well. Chloride was associated with a yield decrease of one bushel per acre at one of the four locations. The locations where yield was increased had low K soil

Reducing Bt-trait acres in 2021 Minnesota corn production? Implications for European corn borer

Bruce Potter, Extension IPM Specialist; Ken Ostlie, Bill Hutchison, Extension Entomologists; Angie Peltier & Anthony Hanson, Extension Educators The recent economics of corn production have challenged many farmers to minimize production costs. Hybrid selection is one way to reduce costs. Planting corn hybrids without Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins for protection against European corn borer (ECB), corn rootworm, or both will reduce seed costs. However, if not careful, farmers could inadvertently reduce crop revenues, if they select hybrids without considering yield potential or insect populations in their fields. Yield potential is the first thing to consider when selecting a corn hybrid. Bt traits protect the yield potential of a hybrid, but yield benefits only occur when targeted insect population densities are above economic injury levels.  When insect pressure is low or absent, economic benefit with trait-protected hybrids only occurs if higher costs are offset by greater

How to take a good manure sample

By: Chryseis Modderman, Extension manure educator While it seems exceedingly basic, one of the most common questions I get asked is how to take a good manure sample. When planning to apply manure to a field or pasture, you need to know the nutrient content to determine how much manure to apply and to make sure you don’t over-apply; this requires manure sampling. And taking a good, representative sample is important for accurate application. There are many tables out there that give average nutrient values for manure, called book values, but we advise against using these as the actual values can vary widely due to a variety of factors, such as storage facility, bedding, and diet. When to sample There are two main options for sampling timing: prior to application or during application. For large operations, we recommend sampling manure at application right off the spreader or during pumping to get the best estimate of what is actually being applied. The main drawback with this approach i

Reducing weed seed and foreign material in soybeans for export - a new video series

Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist, Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed management specialist, and David Nicolai, Extension educator - crops  Beginning in 2018, Chinese officials began rejecting shipments of soybeans from the US that contain more than one percent foreign material and contain weed seed listed on their prohibited species list.  During trade disputes between China and the US, the few shipments of soybeans from the US to China were not overly scrutinized. As soybean exports to China increase, however, China will return to its #1 position in soybean trade with the US. Increased volume will likely lead to increased inspections. Foreign material (FM), including weed seed, corn, and wheat, found in shipments could cause significant hardship for exporters. In order to reduce their risk, it is expected that exporters will be pushing narrow restrictions on FM levels onto their suppliers moving forward. Local elevators are likely to impose stringent dockages on incoming loa

Field Crops IPM Podcast: What exactly is IPM anyway?

  Welcome to the 5th IPM Podcast for Field Crops of 2020. Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode on iTunes , Google Podcasts, and Spotify. This Podcast is sponsored by the UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program. In this week’s podcast, we feature Dr. Anthony Hanson , co-host of this podcast who was recently hired as an Extension Educator for Field Crops IPM through University of Minnesota Extension. Dr. Hanson recently began his new position as a Regional Extension Educator based out of Morris, MN. He coordinates fields crops IPM related programming across Minnesota with researchers and other educators for issues such as diseases, insects, and weeds. He grew up farming near Brooten in west-central Minnesota raising corn, soybean, alfalfa, and beef cattle, and he previously worked in the Department of Entomology where he received his Master's and PhD. To wrap up 2020, Dr. Hanson talked about IPM as a toolbox that all farmers and agricultural scientists