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Showing posts from June, 2019

Timely crop scouting as summer finally arrives

Welcome to the 3rd IPM Podcast for Field Crops – 2019

The purpose of the IPM (Integrated Pest Management) podcasts is to alert Growers, Ag Professionals and Educators about emerging pest concerns on Minnesota Field Crops - including corn, soybean, small grains and alfalfa. We also review recent pest trends and research updates.

Our guests this week were Bruce Potter, Extension IPM Specialist, with the UMN Extension IPM Program. Bruce is located at the Southwest Research & Outreach Center (SWROC) at Lamberton and Curt Burns, Independent Crop Consultant, CB Agronomics. Curt is a certified crop advisor who specializes in corn, soybeans, dry beans, sugarbeets, alfalfa, sweet corn, peas and small grains in south central Minnesota.   We met with Bruce and Curt on June 28th for an update on early summer crop scouting recommendations for Minnesota growers and ag professionals. Bruce and Curt reviewed this year's crop growing season and the impact that weather, disease, soil fertility,…

Small Grains Disease Update 06/28/2019

I visited the different yield trials near Rochester, LeCenter, Kimball, and Benson this week past week and talk with producers about their small grains so far this season at the different field days held at those trials.

Both the crops in the trials and in fields I visited look very good. The earliest barley, oat, and spring wheat fields have started to head across not just the south but even northwest Minnesota.  These fields will quickly approach anthesis if they did not already with the rapid increase in daytime highs over the past few days.

Overall very little if any disease or insect problems could be found in the trials.  The only exception being leaf rust in the lower canopy on susceptible rye varieties in the rye variety trials, a few stripe rust pustules on Prosper HRSW, and the start of net blotch on Pinnacle barley.

The scouts continue to find tan spot and aphids south of the US Hwy 2.  Aphids counts are increasing and approaching threshold in a few instances.

The risk asse…

Managing hail damaged corn and soybean

By Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist, Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist, and Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist

Storms during late last week left crops in an area of southern Minnesota affected by severe hail damage. Especially hard hit were Brown, Redwood, Watonwan, and Martin Counties, where much of the corn was around the V6 stage (6 collared leaves) when damaged and soybean was from emergence to around the V2 stage (two fully-developed trifoliate leaves).

Assessing hail damage and making replant decisions can be difficult, with many variables to consider for making a decision to replant or maintain an existing stand. Information regarding crop yield loss and replanting can be found at:

Corn Hail Damage and Replant Guide
Soybean Hail Damage and Replant Guide
Survivability of corn plants Yield potential of hail-damaged corn depends on the remaining plant population with healthy growing points that will recover, the amount of leaf area lost on these plants, and th…

Soybean gall midge make it through a Minnesota winter

Bruce Potter, Extension IPM specialist and Bob Koch, Extension entomologist

As part of a multi-state project funded by the soybean checkoff, three adult soybean gall midges were captured between June 17 and June 20 in emergence cages placed in a field in Rock County, MN. Another adult was captured in that field between June 20 and June 24.

This was one of three Rock Co. fields, infested with soybean gall midge during 2018, where we are currently tracking emergence of this pest. The other cages located in this county and elsewhere in Minnesota (Olmsted, Stearns, Ottertail, Wadena counties) have not yet detected adults.

Compared to some of the fields in nearby states that were heavily infested in 2018, these Minnesota captures are low. However, not all heavily infested fields located outside Minnesota have produced large captures in emergence cages this year. Soybean gall midge adults are tiny. Excluding the long legs, the bodies of the specimens we have captured are less than 1/8 i…

Late planting and seed corn maggot

Anthony Hanson, Extension Postdoctoral Associate, Entomology

With delayed planting and growers considering alternatives on prevented plant corn and soybean ground, crops planted in late June this year run the risk of infestation by seed corn maggot.

Seed corn maggot (SCM) feeds on newly emerging seedlings where females lay eggs in disturbed soil beginning in spring, and multiple generations continue throughout the growing season. Infestations are common in cool wet springs and areas with high organic matter (e.g, manure or recently incorporated plant material). Corn and soybeans are the most economically affected crops, but SCM has a wide host range on various agronomic and horticultural crops.

Damage is most likely in fields planted during the population peak for each generation, which can be predicted by calculating degree-days specific to SCM. As of June 24, 2019, the second generation peak at 1080 degree-days is occuring at the southern Minnesota border and will progress northw…

Advanced Corn Agronomy Summit, July 16, 2019

Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist

Plan now to attend the Advanced Corn Agronomy Summit on Tuesday, July 16, 2019 at the University of Minnesota Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca.

This new program, developed for ag professionals and crop producers, is focused on advanced agronomic strategies to enhance the profitability of corn production.
Program Agenda This program will be indoors from 8:30 a.m. – 12:40 p.m. and outdoors from 12:40 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.
TimeTopic and speaker8:30 - 9:00Registration9:00 - 9:50Strategies to increase corn yield and profitability across variable growing environments
Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist9:50 - 10:30Taking control of corn hybrid selection to maximize profitability
Tom Hoverstad, Southern Research and Outreach Center10:30 - 11:20Increasing fertilizer cost effectiveness for corn
Jeff Vetsch, Southern Research and Outreach Center11:20 - 12:00Advancing intensive management of corn systems for yield, profitability and environmenta…

Fertilizer recommendation technology: What is success?

By: Brad Carlson, Extension educator

One of the hottest areas in precision agriculture the past few years is technology designed to make fertilizer recommendations. The technology can be used on a whole field basis, but typically is designed to make variable rate recommendations within a field. There are several very different technologies currently being used, including crop color sensors, drone imagery, in-season soil and tissue testing, and crop models. In general, most of these technologies focus on nitrogen, but some will make recommendations for other nutrients too. Despite the differences, there are some overarching concepts that need to be understood if you are going to use them.

To begin with, let’s look at traditional fertility research. University of Minnesota researchers conduct field trials across the state every year, with a variety of rates applied – from too little to too much. Crop response is measured in yield. From the data, a “response curve” is developed, where…

Small Grains Disease & Pest Update 06/21/2019

My apologies for not updating this blog earlier this week.

Things are relatively quiet and the overall the small grains are looking very good.

Scouts continue to find tan spot in both winter wheat and spring wheat in their third week of scouting. Although the scouts have not encountered any leaf or stripe rust, others have found it in research trials on the St. Paul campus. Likewise, I have positively identified Septoria spp. in both oats and spring wheat in a few fields. The reported incidence in all cases has been relatively low. Tan spot severity is by far the highest in wheat on wheat.

The risk assessment models for all three leaf diseases have been trending higher this past week across most of the State. The immediate forecast suggests that this trend will continue.

The earliest seeded oat has or soon will reach Feekes 9 when the flag leaf has fully extended. There are enough parallels with leaf rust to suggest the risk of crown rust is on the rise. The buckthorn in my yard is co…

USDA-RMA announces change to Haying & Grazing date for Prevent Plant acres in 2019

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

USDA-RMA has announced an important update to Prevent Plant guidelines by adjusting the final haying and grazing date from November 1 to September 1 for the 2019 season. See below for the full press release (reprinted below).

Note, be very strategic in what herbicides you use or be mindful of what you have used on prevent plant acres if you plan to hay or graze the cover crop so you do not run afoul of herbicide rotational restrictions (the amount of time you must wait after herbicide application before planting a cover crop for forage or grazing). More common species such as cereal rye, oats, barley, and wheat often have much shorter rotational restrictions compared to species like radish or turnip. Many cover crops may not be listed on the herbicide label, so would fall under the most restrictive rotational restriction. If you are planning to graze or hay the cover crop, you must follow rotational restrictions listed on the herbicid…

What’s your risk from corn rootworms? Assess it by scouting and join the MN Rootworm Survey Project

Ken Ostlie, Extension entomologist and Bruce Potter, IPM specialist

Corn rootworm management is not getting easier. In addition to the ongoing issue of Bt resistance issues with populations western corn rootworm, resistance to Bt has now been documented in the northern corn rootworm. With corn rootworm populations already at low levels in 2018, this year’s weather and planting delays will further shift threat levels and raise management questions for 2020.
Winter survival The brutal cold weather this winter may have caused egg mortality, especially with western corn rootworms. However, much of the state had decent snow cover (>8”) by the time brutal cold arrived. But, if you were in an area with minimal snow cover, egg mortality could be significant and further drive the surviving populations towards northern corn rootworms.
Spring rainfall Small, newly hatched larvae can “drown” in soils saturated from heavy rains but soil moisture has little effect on diapausing eggs, which hav…

5 things to consider before collecting plant tissue samples

By: Dan Kaiser, Extension specialist 
Interpreting plant tissue reports can be challenging due to variation in tissue concentrations from one field to the next. Plant tissue sampling has been used for years to help diagnose potential nutrient deficiencies in fields. Variations in nutrient concentrations in plant tissues can be impacted by many factors; some which can be controlled and some cannot. When planning tissue sampling, there are a few factors you should consider to get the most out of the information you receive.

1. Don’t sample too early or too late in the growing season: Proper sample timing is critical to ensure that you get accurate data which can be utilized to help diagnose issues in the field. Tissue concentrations vary over time and knowing when to sample is important if the samples are being compared to a known sufficiency value. The optimal time to start taking plant tissue samples is near the point where rapid growth occurs through early reproductive growth s…

U of M releases new oat variety MN-Pearl

The University of Minnesota (UMN), in collaboration with the University of Saskatchewan, has released a new white hull oat variety called ‘MN-Pearl.’ MN-Pearl is a high-yielding variety with good straw strength and high groat percentage. It also has good overall disease resistance including moderate crown rust resistance and excellent smut resistance.

“In state trials MN-Pearl established itself as a late-maturing, high-yielding variety with good overall disease resistance,” said Kevin Smith UMN oat breeder, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. “In particular, MN-Pearl has excellent smut resistance, thus continuing the University’s tradition of releasing oat varieties that do not require chemical seed treatment to protect them from this disease.”

The new variety was bred as part of the collaborative oat-evaluation program established by longtime UMN oat breeder Deon Stuthman, who retired in 2009, and Brian Rossnagel, who led the oat and barley breeding program at the Crop Dev…

Small grain summer plot tours

University of Minnesota Extension is offering five on-farm Small Grain Summer Plot Tours in Central and Southern MN in June to address small grain production issues, variety performance, and insect and disease pests.

These programs are designed to provide farmers and crop consultants the tools needed to make small grains a successful crop in their operation. This includes information on production agronomics, variety selection, disease identification, fungicide use, fertility, and economics. These programs are interactive and discussion based, featuring a tour of current research plots and discussion of on-farm experiences.
Dates, locations, and times  Rochester Monday, June 24, 2019 – 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Lunch served prior to the plot tour at noon.
    Lawler Farms (GPS: 44.023382, -92.341649)
LeCenter Tuesday, June 25, 2019 - 1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Lunch served prior to the plot tour at noon.
    Morning crops program begins at 11:00 AM.
    Ruth Hoefs/Ron Pomije Farm (GPS: 44…

U of M releases new disease-resistant wheat named for mill - MN-Washburn

The University of Minnesota (UMN) has released a new hard red spring wheat variety called ‘MN-Washburn.’ MN-Washburn features excellent straw strength and good overall disease resistance. In particular, it contains the bdv2 gene for resistance to Barley Yellow Dwarf Virus (BYDV) making in an excellent choice in years when BYDV is prevalent.

“In state trials MN-Washburn stood out due to its consistent yield, superior straw strength and overall disease resistance,” said Jim Anderson, University of Minnesota wheat breeder, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics. “While lower in protein than other recent UMN releases, MN-Washburn still provides excellent milling and baking quality.”

The new release is named after the Washburn A flour mill (built in 1874 and then rebuilt in 1880 after a fire). The Washburn A mill was once the largest flour mill in the world and at its peak milled approximately two million lbs. of flour a day. The Washburn A flour mill, along with others in the area, h…

2019 Field School for Ag Professionals July 30 &31

by Dave Nicolai, IAP Coordinator

Register soon for the 2019 Field School for Ag Professionals which will be held on July 30 - 31 at the University of Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station in St. Paul. Field School for Ag Professional is the summer training opportunity that combines hands-on training and real world field scenarios. The two-day program focuses on core principles in agronomy, entomology, weed and soil sciences on the first day to build a foundation for participants; and builds on this foundation with timely, cutting-edge topics on the second day. Watch the 2019 Field School video for more information: https://z.umn.edu/2019-field-school

The University of Minnesota Institute for Ag Professionals Field School offers an opportunity to enhance troubleshooting and crop management skills in specially designed plots that display actual cropping situations. A key feature of the Field School is the small learning groups to enhance the learning experience. Register early (by J…

Check Driftwatch/FieldCheck (FieldWatch) before you spray

Tana Haugen-Brown, Pesticide safety and environmental education coordinator, and Larry VanLieshout, MN Department of Agriculture

The Driftwatch program has been around for a number of years. This voluntary program’s goal is to promote pesticide sensitive site awareness and enable communication between applicators and producers of sensitive crops to prevent unwanted pesticide drift. DriftWatch is not owned by MDA and it is not a regulatory program. 

Larry VanLieshout from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture shares this important information to help your spray season go well: 

To reduce the potential for pesticide drift injury to sensitive crops and beehives check the FieldCheck (FieldWatch) map prior to application.

FieldCheck, DriftWatch, and BeeCheck are free, voluntary online registries that allow specialty crop producers (including beekeepers) to communicate the location of their pesticide-sensitive sites to pesticide applicators. Applicators can then take necessary precautions to…

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update 06/14/2019

Scouts continue to find tan spot in both winter wheat and spring wheat in their second week of scouting. There were no reports for Septoria spp. or leaf rust. The reported incidence and severity of tan spot increased a bit from the previous week. The risk assessment models mirror their findings as conditions for septoria and leaf rust were not as favorable as have been for tan spot.

As temperatures and relative humidities are forecasted to increase in immediate weather forecast so are the risk for all three leaf disease complexes are also trending higher.

If you have not completed weed control in spring wheat yet, consider tank-mixing half a labeled rate of a registered fungicide with your weed control program to control early season tan spot in spring wheat when tan spot can found in your fields.

Winter wheat is flowering or Feekes 10.51 in the southern half of Minnesota. To date, the risk model for FHB continues to be trending low, largely because of the cooler temperatures rather t…

Palmer amaranth in manure: What can you do?

Chryseis Modderman, Extension educator – manure nutrient management

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture has identified manure as a pathway of introduction for Palmer amaranth. Specifically, Palmer amaranth seeds that contaminated sunflower screenings were fed to cattle. Some of those seeds survived digestion, and when that manure was spread onto cropland, those seeds germinated.

As a newly-identified problem in this state, it is worth taking a moment to examine seed viability in manure and what this might mean for Minnesota livestock and crop producers. Note that this article’s focus is manure and it will not delve into the specifics of Palmer amaranth and the challenges it presents. In short, this is an Eradicate Prohibited Noxious Weed, meaning the goal is to entirely eradicate this weed; and it is illegal for this seed to be transported or sold. UMN Extension has more information, and MDA has put out a press release about this problematic weed.
Reducing Palmer amaranth seed in …

IPM podcast: Weed management under delayed planting conditions

Welcome to the 2nd IPM Podcast for Field Crops – 2019 The purpose of the IPM podcasts is to alert Growers, Ag Professionals and Educators about emerging pest concerns on Minnesota Field Crops - including corn, soybean, small grains and alfalfa. We also review recent pest trends and research updates.

Our guest this week was Dr. Jeff Gunsolus, University of Minnesota Extension Weed Specialist for corn and soybeans. Since 1986, Dr. Gunsolus has had an active extension and research program in Minnesota that is focused on helping growers’ diversify their weed management programs. We met with Dr. Gunsolus on June 12th to provide an update about weed management under this year's delayed corn and soybean planting conditions.


This podcast was held at the Entomology Department, University of Minnesota and hosted by Dave Nicolai, Crops Extension Educator & Coordinator for the Extension Institute for Ag Professionals. Special thanks to Anthony Hanson, Extension Post-Doctoral Associate fo…

Gopher Coffee Shop podcast: Late planting and fertility concerns

In this installment of the Gopher Coffee Shop podcast, Extension educators Ryan Miller and Brad Carlson sit down with Jeff Vetsch, Soil scientist at the Southern Research and Outreach Center, to chat about Minnesota agriculture and the current 2019 growing season. This week’s conversation includes a variety of topics related to the late start of the growing season with a focus on fertility concerns.

Recent Minnesota Crop News blog posts that have focused on these topics can be found at:
Minnesota Crop News blog: https://z.umn.edu/cropnewsSign up to receive Minnesota Crop News: https://z.umn.edu/CropNewsSignupListen to the podcast The Gopher Coffee Shop Podcast is available on Stitcher and iTunes.

For more information, visit University of Minnesota Extension Crop Production.

Scouting for insects in alfalfa

Anthony Hanson, Extension postdoctoral associate and Bill Hutchison, Extension entomologist

Late-May and June is the time to begin scouting for insect problems in alfalfa. Primarily two insects can occasionally cause economic damage in Minnesota: alfalfa weevil in spring, and potato leafhopper throughout the growing season as population levels increase.
Alfalfa weevil Alfalfa weevil is an early-season pest of alfalfa in Minnesota. Larvae are the most damaging stage that can skeletonize leaves where only leaf veins or holes remain (Fig. 1). Larvae are yellow to green color with a black head and a white stripe along their back. Often, growers become aware of the larvae when they find them on their mower during the first cutting of the year.
Scouting Scouting should occur in mid-May through June by using a sweep net to determine if larvae are present. If present, select and cut 30 plants across the field at ground level. Record each plant’s height and shake in a 5-gallon bucket to determ…