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Commercial Animal Waste Technicians (CAWT) who still need to recertify for 2020 can now do so online

For CAWT Site Managers and Applicators who were unable to attend a recertifying workshop in 2020 due to COVID-19, the University of Minnesota Extension, along with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, is now offering Commercial Animal Waste Technicians the ability to recertify by taking the course online. For more information and to register: interactive course includes reading text, watching short videos and taking quick quizzes. The course costs $10 and should take approximately 3 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to print off a certificate, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will be notified and you will be officially recertified.
Note: This course is for recertification only. For initial certification, new applicators must watch this video and take a quiz.

For more information regarding the course, contact Extension educator Brenda Postels at or …
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Fall fertilizer decisions: Research and recommendations to consider this year

In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, four U of M researchers discuss fall fertilizer management. What were summer growing conditions like across Minnesota? Is there any nutrient management research currently underway that crop producers may be interested in? What should growers consider when making fall fertilizer decisions?Listen to the podcastView the podcast transcriptGuests: Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialistFabian Fernandez, Extension nutrient management specialistLindsay Pease, Extension nutrient management specialistBrad Carlson, Extension educator Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode on iTunes and Stitcher!

For the latest nutrient management information, subscribe to Minnesota Crop News email alerts, like UMN Extension Nutrient Management on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, and visit our website.

Support for the Nutrient Management Podcast is provided by Minnesota's Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC).

Prepare for corn harvest

by Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomistCorn maturity Much of the corn in Minnesota has reached maturity. Corn hybrids planted in Minnesota typically reach maturity at about 55 to 60 days after silking, or 10 to 12 days after kernels reach the half-milk stage. At maturity, kernels no longer contain milk, the kernel milk line is no longer visible, kernels have reached maximum dry weight, and a black layer is present at the tip of kernels where they connect to the cob. The black layer can be observed by scratching off the tissue at the tip of kernels or cutting kernels lengthwise.
Grain moisture and dry-down Grain moisture is around 32% when kernels first reach maturity. The optimal grain moisture at which to begin corn grain harvest is a balance among several factors, including the risk of ear loss due to stalk lodging or dropped ears, the likelihood of wet weather and its potential for slowing harvest and favoring the development of ear rots and pre-harvest losses, the time require…

Field Crops IPM Podcast: Weed management in fall and what to do with weed escapes

Welcome to the 4th 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. Debalin Sarangi, who was recently hired as an Associate Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics and as an Extension Weed Scientist at UMN. He discussed some of his background in weed science working in Wyoming, Nebraska, and Texas before coming to Minnesota, and he outlined his research plans and current activities he's been working on in the state. Herbicide-resistant weeds such as waterhemp continue to be a major concern for farmers, and invasive species such as Palmer amaranth pose additional threats if they become established. Integrated weed management will be vital for managing these weeds as resistance issues continue to occur. Dr. Sarangi is currently conducting a survey for weed samp…

Corn yield forecasts and grain dry-down guidelines

By Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist

End-of-season forecasts of corn grain yield were recently made by researchers from the University of Nebraska for several locations across the Corn Belt, including three in Minnesota. These forecasts suggest above-average yield for the Minnesota locations, but high variability in yield for rainfed corn across the Corn Belt. Averaged across locations, the predicted yield is near the long-term (2005-2019) average and 15% less than that in 2019.

Most corn in Minnesota has reached physiological maturity. When corn reaches physiological maturity, a black layer is present at the tip of kernels where they connect to the cob. The black layer can be observed by scratching off the tissue at the tip of kernels or cutting kernels lengthwise. Grain moisture content is about 32% when kernels first reach maturity. 
To help plan harvest, typical in-field dry-down rates for corn grain in Minnesota are listed below. These rates vary due to factors such as solar r…

Managing Foreign Material in Soybeans: Pre-harvest preparations

Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist, David Nicolai, Extension educator-crops, Jared Goplen, Extension educator-crops, and Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed scientist 

Soybeans are an important cash crop to farmers in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Soybean acreage has continued to grow in the region to meet both domestic and export demand. Because of the region’s proximity to infrastructure that can rapidly deliver soybeans to important markets like Asia, a high percentage of soybeans from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota are exported each year.

Customers around the world demand quality products, which includes soybeans with minimal foreign material. Sanitary and phytosanitary concerns are prompting global buyers to focus on the amount and types of foreign material in soybeans they purchase. Weed seeds are of particular concern for buyers as they work to curtail the spread of noxious weeds.

Producing high quality grain for export has a dual purpose. Farmers can help maintain imp…

Ongoing study could help Minnesota farmers use manure more efficiently

By: Paul McDivitt, Extension communications specialist

For Minnesota farmers who apply manure, it can be difficult to know how much nitrogen (N) is in the manure they’re applying and when it is available to the crop. This makes it hard to make decisions about how much additional N fertilizer to apply. An ongoing study by the University of Minnesota is studying six different types of manure over several years in an effort to update the university’s manure guidelines.

One of the key takeaways from the study so far is that the amount of bedding in the manure matters.

“If you are applying dairy or beef manure with bedding, then you should probably be aware that the nitrogen release is going to be slower,” said Melissa Wilson, U of M Extension manure management specialist and lead researcher on the project. 
The six types of manure being studied are bedded beef pack, swine finishing manure, raw dairy manure, liquid separated dairy manure, composted chicken layer manure, and turkey litter.