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2018 University of Minnesota's variety crop trial results available now

The Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES) and the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) have just published the 2018 Field Crop Trials Bulletin. Simply follow this link to find the results for your crop of interest or follow these links to find cornsoybeansspring wheat, winter wheat, barley, oatsalfalfa or silage corn directly.
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2019 Research Updates for Ag Professionals - January 8-10 & 15-17

by David Nicolai, Institute for Ag Professionals Program Coordinator

The 2019 Research Update sessions are scheduled for these locations: Waseca, Rochester and Lamberton (Jan 8, 9 and 10 respectively) and Morris, Willmar, and Crookston (Jan 15, 16 and 17 respectively) from 12:30 pm–4:40 pm for each location. Registration fee is $55 through 1/4/2019, $60 beginning 1/5/2019 or at the door. Online registration and session abstracts are available on our website at z.umn.edu/research-updates or on-site registration begins at 11:30 a.m. at each location.

Biostimulants: What are they and do they work?

In recent years, biostimulants have sparked an interest with many crop producers. With these products getting more attention, we find there is much to debate on their effectiveness. Before we discuss whether Extension recommends them, let’s talk about the different types and what they actually do.
What are biostimulants? A legal definition of biostimulants has yet to be decided. However, the European Biostimulants Industry Council describes them as “Substances and/or microorganisms whose function when applied to plants or the rhizosphere is to stimulate natural processes to benefit nutrient uptake, nutrient use efficiency tolerance to abiotic stress, and/or crop quality, independently of its nutrient content.”

There are many categories of biostimulants. The most popular are humic acids, seaweed extracts, liquid manure composting and beneficial bacteria and fungi.
Humic and fulvic acids – parts of soil organic matter resulting from the decomposition of plant, animal, and microbial resi…

Optimize corn hybrid selection

By Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist
Hybrid selection is one of the most important decisions in corn production. Results from the 2018 University of Minnesota corn grain and silage performance trials are available at http://z.umn.edu/corntrials.

Hybrids that consistently perform well across multiple locations or years in a region are desirable because next year’s growing conditions are uncertain.

Consider trial results from multiple sources, including universities, grower associations, seed companies, and on-farm trials. Results from other corn trials are available at:
Minnesota Corn Growers AssociationIowa State University University of WisconsinNorth Dakota State University South Dakota State University Criteria for selecting corn hybrids for grain:
Identify an acceptable maturity range based on the growing degree days required for a hybrid to reach maturity. Selected hybrids should reach maturity at least 10 days before the first average freeze to allow time for grain dry-down…

Nutrient Management Podcast: On-Farm Research

On-farm research can provide great management benefits when done the right way. The key is in paying attention to the details and having a plan every step of the way. On this podcast, Brad Carlson, Anne Nelson and Dan Kaiser discuss what makes a good on-farm test, what to do with your data and how to ensure that data is good.
Click here to listen to the podcast.

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Support for this project was provided in part by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC).

On-Farm Research

Anne Nelson, Brad Carlson and Dan Kaiser talk through on-farm research: what makes a good trial, what to do with your data, what makes for good reporting and some snafus they've seen along the way. If you're considering on-farm trials for spring, listen to this first.

Fall Fertilizer Application Outlook

Fall 2018 has brought late fertilizer applications followed by cold temperatures and freezing soils. Frozen soils can present problems for the application of commercial fertilizers. All commercial fertilizers are water-soluble. However, we see variation in how long it takes for the material to fully dissolve. It is important for reactions with the soil for the fertilizer to dissolve. Any material that has not had some reaction with the soil may be susceptible to loss should water move across the field.

Late fall fertilizer applications brings water quality concerns surrounding the loss of nitrogen and phosphorus. Potential loss of urea can occur until hydrolysis converts urea to ammonium which can be held by charges on soil clay. Urea is a neutral molecule and will readily move with water. Full conversion to nitrate also presents issues as nitrate is not retained by soil.

Phosphorus loss can occur when fertilizer is applied to the soil surface and not incorporated. Research in Iowa h…