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Showing posts from May, 2016

May 19 2016 Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summaries

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator with Crop Production emphasis, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 320-968-5077

Links are listed for Summaries from May 19, 2016 Sauk Centre Hay auction

1. May 19 2016 Summary - All loads sold, grouped and averaged based on bale and hay or bedding type.

2. History of Selected Lots - averages for recent years, and each sale so far this year, Medium Square Alfalfa by 25 RFV groups, Grass Hay 5-9% Protein, Straw

3. Graph - Medium Square Groups from RFV 101-200. The Red Line is for the 2015-16 market Oct 1 through May 19.

Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 26

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 320-968-5077

Updated May 27, 106

This includes data from 3 Benton County Farms. Central MN Forage Council Board member Greg Lefebvre reports very little hay cut from around Benton County and parts of Stearns County up through Long Prairie and Staples. I'd speculate farther north as well. This is about where the line would be for hay that way on the young side last week when the weather was nice.

Somewhere along the way as we move north in Minnesota, there is likely still alfalfa that is approaching it's prime for milk cow hay and haylage. Farmers are remarkable people for dealing with the variables they deal with in trying to make a living and making the best of the cards they get dealt. The rest of us could have much to learn from them.

Click on May 26 Harvest Alert Data to see numbers for May 26, bold print near the bottom of the first page... and then individual farm data we have gotten…

Stay on top of giant ragweed

Lisa Behnken, Extension Educator, Fritz Breitenbach, IPM Specialist SE Minnesota, Jeff Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist, Weed Science, and Phyllis Bongard, Content Development and Communications Specialist, University of Minnesota

Photo 1. Giant ragweed in corn herbicide trial at Rochester, MN, May 20,2016. Plot was planted April 25, 2016. The recent frost across southeast Minnesota may have slowed down corn and soybean development, but it did not slow down the rate of weed growth. There are plenty of 1-4 inch giant ragweed and 1-2 inch common lambsquarters in corn and soybean fields. Waterhemp is also beginning to emerge (1/4 – 3/4 inch). The current dilemma that needs to be addressed is most evident in fields where a preemergence herbicide was not used or it provided poor giant ragweed control. In addition, our recent 1-2 inch rainfall may limit the ability to get into the field in a timely manner to control the weeds when they are most susceptible to control and before they reduc…

Laundering Pesticide-Contaminated Clothing

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops, and Dean Herzfeld, Pesticide Safety Education Coordinator

A question raised at several Private Pesticide Applicator workshops this year was how to best handle pesticide-contaminated clothing. Although waterproof suits and aprons are key pieces of personal protective equipment (PPE) to wear when handling, mixing, loading, or applying pesticides, conventional work clothing is the primary label-required PPE for many products. Proper handling of pesticide-contaminated clothing can minimize pesticide residues in the home and avoid human exposure.

May 23 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929


Click on May 23 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data to see May 19 information from Hoen and Roerick Farms farms, and May 23rd field observations from Gathje's, Lab RFV numbers also from Winkelman, Scapanski, and O & S Dairy. RFQ numbers should be posted on Tuesday late afternoon. 
Click on Alfalfa Graphs to see line graphs of all tests so far. 

May 19 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, Crop Production Emphasis, 968-5077 if a local call to Foley or 1-800-964-4929.

Click on May 19 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data to see information through 4:30 p.m. on May 20. I expect a few more lab report on Friday and will update the document link here. 
Click on Graphs Alfalfa Sampling to see a crude attempt to graph this data. I added trend lines that are formulated by the spread sheet and a couple that I took a guess at. That levels up some of the hills and valleys, but doesn't necessarily tell you what you can bank on. So don't take it too seriously. Generally unless something pretty drastic happens the crop probably doesn't drop like a rock or soar like a rocket.

Click on Example Field Measurements provided by Nathan Winter and Intern Hollie Donnay. This shows how variations across field are accounted for. 1=Vegetative, 2= Bud.
Maybe the best suggestion is - A thoughtf…

Can I Reduce the Risk of Lodging?

Weather and crop conditions in the 2015 cropping season resulted in widespread problems with lodging in wheat, barley, and oats. The timing of the weather events (heavy thunderstorms and straight line winds) made not only for a cumbersome harvest but also reduced grain yield.

The rule of thumb is that it is ‘three strikes and out’ when it comes to lodging. After both the first and second time the cells in nodes of lodged stems will stretch on the shaded side of the stem in an attempt to raise the stem upright. The crop can only do that approximately two times before it is unable to straighten itself up.

Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 16

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison County,, 320-968-5077

This is a joint project of U of M Extension, Central Minnesota Forage Council as a chapter of the Midwest Forage Association, Cooperating farmers and agribusinesses.

Click on May 16, 2016 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data to see sampling information from Monday May 16 2016 - Updated on Tuesday Evening May 17 about 8:30 p.m.

Click on May 16 Test Questions for a closer look at the issue of some sites showing a significant increase in Lab Test RFV and RFQ from Thursday May 12 to Monday May 16, using the Scapanski site as an example.

Read more for more information about harvest prospects, frost.

Potential impact of cold temperatures on herbicide-induced crop injury and effective weed control

Jeff Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist - Weed science
Last week’s cold and wet conditions followed by the weekend’s frost creates the potential for herbicide-induced crop injury from soil- and post- applied herbicides as well as reduced postemergence weed control.

Postemergence applications
The warmer and dryer conditions projected for this week are encouraging for crop recovery. Therefore it is wise to allow for a few days of warm weather for the crops and weeds to recover before heading out to the field to apply any postemergence herbicide. Your crops need time to recover so they can adequately metabolize the herbicide, thus preventing herbicide-induced crop injury and the weeds will need time to recover before they can take up the herbicide and move the herbicide to active growing sites.

Frost injury to corn seedlings unlikely to greatly impact yield

by Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Specialist Assessing frost injury Air temperatures below or near freezing during the last couple of mornings in some regions of Minnesota have resulted in frost injury to corn. Symptoms of frost injury on corn are initially discolored water-soaked leaves, which later dry and turn brown. The growing point on corn seedlings is currently about 0.75 inches below the soil surface and remains below the soil until the five to six leaf-collar stage. Therefore, frost prior to the five to six leaf-collar stage typically does not kill corn unless prolonged cold temperatures freeze the upper part of the soil where the growing point is located.

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 12, 2016

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties,, 320-968-5077  
UPDATE MAY 13 p.m.

Click on May 12, 2016 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data for sampling information for Thursday May 12 as of 8:30 a.m. Friday evening May 13.

Depending on how quickly things get through the mail, I might have a few more of the results by late afternoon, and will update the link here. I’d expect the Carver County sites would have been somewhere around 24 inches on Thursday, similar to others in that area.

Some Observations and Frost Comments in further reading.

Spring alfalfa management: stand assessments, autotoxicity, and emergency forage

Neith Little and M. Scott Wells

Reports of winter injury have been few this year, but it is still important to take the time to assess your alfalfa stands to make sure that there are adequate alfalfa stems to maintain your yield goals. As the old saying goes, the best fertilizer is the soles of the farmer’s boots!

As you walk your alfalfa fields this spring, here is some information to keep in mind about how to assess winter damage, and what to do next if you need to consider replanting to provide needed forage.

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Info May 9 2016

by Dan Martens Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, or 1-800-964-4929 or 968-5077 if a local call to Foley
UPDATE Tuesday May 10 Evening

The Alfalfa Harvest Alert Project is a joint effort of Central MN Forage Council, U of M Extension staff, and cooperating farmers and agribusinesses.

Click on May 9 2016 Data for a list of data collected as about 6 p.m. on Monday May 9. Due to the variation of some samples going through the mail and some samples being taken direct to labs, this report includes some most recent samples on May 5 and some on May 9. All samples are still in the vegetative stage. Some fields are measuring tallest stems at 20 inches or more. Early bud formation could start showing up in some more advanced fields by the end of this week or early next week. Obviously there is variation with soil types, field management, and local weather variables. Past experience counts.

I will update the linked document as we get more data for May 9.


Crusting and Emergence Problems

Problems with crusting, especially in the southern part of the state reached me in the past few days. Dr. David Franzen , NDSU Extension Soil Scientist, summarized the options available to you in an article more than a decade ago. It has been reprinted here as a refresher.

Crusting results from rains breaking down soil aggregates into particles that cement into hard layers at the soil surface when drying occurs rapidly. In soils that have not been seeded, the crust prevents further soil drying by sealing off the underlying soil from the air. The crust also reflects sunlight, in effect insulating the soil and maintaining cooler soil temperatures that further slow drying.

May 5 Hay Auction and Scissors Cut Data

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Crop Production Focus, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, 1-800-964-4929 or 968-6450 if a local call to Foley
Link here for Summaries from May 5, 2016 Sauk Centre Hay Auction
AND Alfalfa Scissors Cut Harvest Alert Data so far from the week ending May 6

Small quantity at sale May 5 - maybe reflects good field work conditions, maybe for buyers and sellers, so you can figure whether it’s a useful indicator of the markets. 
May 5 Summary - All loads sold, grouped and averaged based on bale and hay or bedding type.  From past Auctions that had not been posted yet:
April 7 SummaryApril 21 SummaryHistory of Selected Lots - averages for recent years, and each sale so far this year, Medium Square Alfalfa by 25 RFV groups, Grass Hay 5-9% Protein, StrawGraph - Medium Square Groups from RFV 101-200. The Red Line is for the 2015-16 market Oct 1 through April 21. May 6 ALFALFA HARVEST ALERT DATA so far from week ending May 6

The Three Biggies: Urea, Anhydrous Ammonia, and UAN

Fabián G. Fernández
Nitrogen (N) fertilizer is extremely important for crop production. There are many sources available in the marketplace, but the three most important in order of tonnage sales for Minnesota are urea, anhydrous ammonia, and urea ammonium nitrate (UAN). Since many are very busy applying N and doing other field operations at this time, my purpose is not to go into a lengthy discussion on N sources but I thought it would be good to review a few important points.   

Black cutworm alert

Bruce Potter, Integrated pest management specialist
Several significant black cutworm flights have arrived in Minnesota, with most activity on a diagonal from Rock to Sibley Counties. Neighboring states have also reported large black cutworm flights. Larvae from the March 28 and April 12 flights should be large enough to produce visible leaf feeding and in the case of March 28 flight, be large enough to cut small corn by May 16.

Areas of southern Minnesota are at risk for stand loss from black cutworm larvae. See the UMN Black Cutworm Reporting Network for the latest newsletters with predictions and articles on black cutworm biology and scouting advice.

Check for aphids in winter wheat now

Bruce Potter, Integrated pest management specialist

Photo 1. English grain and bird cherry-oat colonies on rye leaf. The 85% stems infested action threshold accounts for infestations of cereals by multiple species. The smaller, dark, bird cherry-oat aphid often colonizes leaf sheaths at the base of the plant. Include aphids in your wheat, barley and oat scouting plans this season. Both bird cherry-oat and English grain aphids have increased dramatically in SW Minnesota the past week. This is the most dramatic early-season infestation I have observed in 19 years at the UMN Southwestern Research and Outreach Center (SWROC). Winter wheat populations reached the treatment threshold of 85% of the stems infested, and we are treating variety trials at the SWROC. This does not mean all fields or areas have high aphid populations.

What Do the Results from Recent Seeding Rate Studies Suggest for New Spring Wheat Varieties?

Last season we concluded a rather large multi-year, multi-location experiment to determine the optimum seeding rate for a range of diverse spring wheat varieties. Because of the large number of new spring wheat varieties made available to growers in recent years, we often get questions about how heavy a new variety should be seeded. In most cases we simple do not have data to support a variety-specific recommendation. Furthermore, generating this information can be expensive and since the environment can play a critical role in the outcome of this type of research, testing must be done in multiple environments and seasons to ensure that the results will be relevant to the varied environments in which the new variety is to be grown. In the study we just concluded we tried to elucidate principles that could be used to guide the decision as to how much to seed of a new varieties using its known genetic and agronomic characteristics and information about the environment in which it will b…

New Nitrogen Rate Guidelines and New Website

Fabián Fernández and Daniel Kaiser

A few weeks ago we announce changes in the nitrogen rate guidelines for corn after corn and corn after soybean:

These new guidelines have been incorporated into the Corn Nitrogen Rate Calculator that has been in use since 2006. Along with these changes in the guidelines for Minnesota, the N rate calculator website has been improved and is now located at a new site:

Rolling soybeans: The Good, the bad, and the injured

Jodi DeJong-Hughes, and Phil Glogoza, Extension Educators - Crops
Ground rolling soybean fields prepares the field for harvesting by pushing rocks down into the soil, shattering corn rootballs, and smoothing the seedbed. This allows the combine head to be set low to the ground with less risk of picking up damaging rocks, rootballs, and dirt.

However, land rolling also poses agronomic, economic, and environmental risks. These include potential plant injury, soil sealing, erosion, and added expense. Understanding the advantages and disadvantages of land rolling will help farmers decide if — and when — rolling makes sense.