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Showing posts from November, 2018

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…

Got wet (or damaged) beans?

by Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist
It has been a tough season for soybean farmers in Minnesota, on many fronts. The icing on the cake has been the difficult and lingering harvest season. Record rainfalls in early October, followed by below average temperatures complicated the lives of many farmers across the state of Minnesota. Fortunately, the USDA-NASS November 19 Crop Progress report indicated that 98 percent of the soybeans in the state have been harvested.

Timely Tips for Soybean Nutrient Management

Nutrient management questions are common for soybean across Minnesota as soybean is a major rotational crop in many areas. While our research has not always shown a great benefit of fertilizer applied directly to soybean it does not mean that soybean should be forgotten about when making fertilizer decisions. Even with yield levels less than corn, nutrient concentrations in the soybean grain are substantial enough where continual removal of nutrients can result in deficiencies over time. Here are a few tips based on current research to get the most out of your fertilizer dollar for soybean.

1. Don’t forget about your beans

Fertilization prior to the crop preceding soybean is common in many areas across Minnesota. Recent data suggests that soybean will respond to nutrients applied ahead of the previous crop as long as you apply a sufficient rate. If soils test low in P or K, you’ll likely be able to maximize yield of the first year crop but with an insufficient rate you may be losing …

Applying Manure When the Soil Is Frozen or Snow-covered

It’s been a wet fall in many parts of the state and now winter has come early. Many producers face the difficult task of getting manure land applied to avoid overflowing storages. While we do not generally recommend applying manure to frozen or snow-covered soils due to runoff risks, sometimes there is no other option. Here are some possible things you can do to minimize the risks:

For liquid manure, empty your storage enough to make it through the winter then apply the rest in spring. This will allow you to apply manure at lower rates in each field.Find fields that are level and have crop residue.Keep a distance from sensitive features. When you cannot incorporate because of winter conditions, regulations state you need a 300 foot setback from streams, lakes, drainage ditches, and open tile intakes.Pay attention to weather and field conditions. Especially avoid surface manure applications when:There are 2 inches of snow, or more, and the weather forecast predicts temperatures to go h…

Controlled Release Nitrogen: Another Tool in the Toolbox

With harvest wrapping up this fall our attentions are being drawn to the next growing season already. Now’s the time to choose what seed hybrid to plant, which tillage method to implement, how much fertilizer to apply, and in some cases what source of that fertilizer to use. Controlled release fertilizers (CRF) have been on the market for some time now and have shown good results in certain situations. Before you jump in, consider how a CRFs work and whether it would be a good fit for your operation.
What are the main forms? CRFs fall under a broader group of fertilizers called enhanced efficiency fertilizers (EEFs). This group includes: Controlled release fertilizers. Physical barrier such as a resin or polymer. Release affected mainly by temperature, but also by thickness of the coating, moisture, handling, and placement. Rate of release is fairly consistent. Slow release fertilizers. Microbial or chemical barrier effected by temperature, moisture, soil pH, and microbial activity. R…

Take a proactive approach to managing Palmer amaranth in Minnesota crop production fields

Jeff Gunsolus, Extension weed scientist
Early detection and eradication of Palmer amaranth will pay you dividends in reduced management costs. Differentiating Palmer amaranth from the other common amaranth species is challenging. However, because Palmer amaranth and tall waterhemp are biologically similar, you can approach this challenge with the weed management tactics that you would use for effective tall waterhemp control.

Register now for the Crop Pest Management Short Course

By Dave Nicolai, Institute for Ag Professionals Program Coordinator
The three-day Minnesota Crop Pest Management Short Course program and Minnesota Crop Production Retailers Trade Show starts Tuesday, December 11th and continues through Thursday, December 13th. The Crop Pest Management Short Course educational sessions will begin on Wednesday, December 12th from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM and continue on Thursday, December 13th from 8:00 AM to 2:20 PM. The trade show and educational sessions will take place at the Minneapolis Convention Center. The University of Minnesota educational session agendas and session descriptions may be accessed at the Crop Pest Management Short Course website.

A Look Back at Soybean and Corn Diseases in Minnesota in 2018

Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist
This article is a recap of some of the most common and problematic diseases of soybean and corn in Minnesota in 2018. Looking back at diseases that affected crop growth and yield can help explain why yields were not as expected in some areas and help prepare for next year. This reflects a broad overview, although much variation occurred across Minnesota fields based on weather, variety, cropping practices, soil type, and geography.