Skip to main content

Posts

Showing posts from November, 2019

Reducing Bt trait acres in 2020 Minnesota corn production? Implications for European corn borer

Bruce Potter, Extension IPM specialist, Ken Ostlie, Bill Hutchison, Extension entomologists, and Angie Peltier, Extension educator

The economics of 2019-2020 corn production has challenged many farmers to minimize production costs. Hybrid selection is one way to reduce costs. Planting corn hybrids without Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins for protection against European corn borer (ECB), corn rootworm, or both will reduce seed costs. However, if not careful, farmers could inadvertently reduce crop revenues if they select hybrids without considering yield potential or insect populations in their fields.

Yield potential is the first thing to consider when selecting a corn hybrid. Bt traits protect the yield potential of a hybrid, but yield benefits only occur when targeted insects are above economic levels. When insect pressure is low or absent, economic benefit with trait-protected hybrids only occurs if higher costs are offset by greater yields. Switching to less-expensive non-Bt s…

Strategic Farming: A new webinar series

The Strategic Farming educational program is taking a new turn in 2020. In an effort to expand opportunities for farmers to gather and learn about research-based, crop production information throughout the year, University of Minnesota Extension is launching the Strategic Farming – Optimizing Management for 2020 webinar series December 19, 2019.

The fourth season of the Strategic Farming Program will feature five, one-hour webinars with university specialists and educators addressing key management topics. You may join live, which enables you to take part in a question and answer session at the end of each webinar, or tune in later as your schedule allows. All sessions will be recorded and available for viewing at your convenience.

The primary target audience for the series is farmers, but all interested agricultural professionals, agency personnel, educators, etc. are welcome to participate as well. There is no fee to join the webinars, but you will need to register for each …

Four years of tillage research wraps up

Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension educator

A variety of tillage practices have been used since the beginning of agriculture. Proper tillage warms and dries the soil, kills weeds, incorporates fertilizers, and breaks up compacted layers. On the down side, tillage breaks apart soil aggregates, creating smaller-sized particles that leads to soil erosion, crusting of the soil surface, hard pans, water quality issues, and over time, a decrease in soil organic matter.

One hundred years ago, there were few choices of tillage tools. However, in the past 25 years, there has been an upsurge in the configurations of shanks, disks, and shovels that till the soil at different depths and aggressiveness levels. These new tools impact soil warming and drying and may ultimately affect crop yield.

Less tillage on cropland allows the soil to take in more intense rainfall before runoff begins, thereby reducing soil loss. Advantages to the crop producer include
better economics. less wear and tear on equip…

Is tillage a fertilizer best management practice?

By: Extension specialists Daniel Kaiser, Lindsay Pease, and Fabian Fernandez

With fall winding down and the hard winter freeze setting in, growers may be asking if fall tillage is an option for some fields. While there are pros and cons in terms of soil conservation, when it comes to fertilizer application, tillage is a good option for broadcast and other surface applications.

Plant nutrients need time to react with the soil in order to reduce the potential for off-target movement. The amount of time needed can vary by nutrient. Commercial fertilizer sources are highly water-soluble but can still take a few days to weeks in order to reduce the risk of nutrient movement off the field. As we push further into the fall and soils freeze, they become impermeable and nutrients cannot move downward into the soil profile as easily.

The potential for loss of nutrients broadcast on the soil surface increases if there is substantial water movement across the soil surface. For example, phospho…

Fall soil sampling: What you need to know

In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, we discuss fall soil sampling. Is there a best time to take samples in the fall? What is a good strategy for sampling banded fields? Grid versus zone sampling, which is the better option? Listen to the podcast:View the podcast transcriptSubscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode on iTunes or 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 in part by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC).

Plan to attend the 2019 Conservation Tillage Conference

Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension educator

Roll up your sleeves for some practical, hands-on information that will save you soil, time, fuel, and money. University of Minnesota Extension is partnering with Stearns County SWCD and the Minnesota Office for Soil Health to host the 2019 Conservation Tillage Conference on Dec. 17-18 in St. Cloud, MN at the Holiday Inn Conference Center.

Whether you are a novice crop consultant or experienced in improving soil health, this conference is for you. Learn how heavier, colder soils aren’t necessarily the challenge they’re made out to be. By improving soil health, farmers can expect better water management, reduced erosion, and a higher return on investment.

This conference emphasizes information sharing between peers highlighting farmer experiences combined with applied science. Hear from long-time no-till, reduced tillage, and cover crop farmers as they share their know-how.

The Conservation Tillage Conference includes a variety of speakers, inc…

Register by November 19th for the UM Crop Pest Management Short Course & MCPR Trade Show Program early discount

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 10th and continues through Thursday, December 12th. The online registration and hotel information for the 2019 Crop Pest Management Short Course and MCPR Trade Show are founds at the Minnesota Crop Production Retailers website. Please note that the early pricing discount concludes on Tuesday, November 19th.

The Crop Pest Management Short Course educational sessions will begin on Wednesday, December 11th at 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM and continue on Thursday, December 12th 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 information may be accessed at the Crop Pest Management Short Course website.
Highlights of the three-day Crop Pest Management Short Course Tuesday…

Precision agriculture and nutrient management

In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, we discuss precision agriculture and nutrient management. What is the current state of precision agriculture? Which areas can growers benefit the most from incorporating precision ag technologies into current farming systems? Is precision agriculture part of the answer for reducing nutrient loss to ground and surface waters? Thank you to the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC) for their support of this podcast.

Gopher Coffee Shop podcast: Tar spot of corn

In this installment of the Gopher Coffee Shop podcast, Extension educators Ryan Miller and Brad Carlson sit down with Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist with the Department of Plant Pathology, to learn a little about Dean’s background, his history with Extension and to discuss diseases of corn and soybean in Minnesota. In 2015, tar spot of corn was first identified in northern Indiana and Illinois. Since then we have watched tar spot spread across the corn producing region of the U.S. Most recently tar spot of corn was confirmed in Minnesota and in this installment of the Gopher Coffee Shop podcast, we chat with Dean about this disease and its potential to affect Minnesota’s corn production. Enjoy!
Listen to the podcast The Gopher Coffee Shop Podcast is available on Stitcher and iTunes.

For a chance to read about various crop management topics, please see our
Minnesota Crop News blog: https://z.umn.edu/cropnewsSign up to receive Minnesota Crop News: https://z.umn.edu/CropNew…

Nitrification inhibitors and manure: Do they work?

By: Extension manure specialist Melissa Wilson and UMN soil scientist Jeff Vetsch

Every fall we get questions about whether nitrification inhibitors work for fall manure applications. Do they keep nitrogen (N) from being lost? Do they help improve yields? To get right to the point, yes, sometimes, but not always.

Nitrification inhibitors prevent bacteria in the soil from converting the ammonium portion of N from the manure into nitrate. This reduces the risk of the nitrate leaching and denitrification, both of which remove N from the crop root zone. However, similar to how a pesticide wears off over time, nitrification inhibitors only last so long in the soil. This means that application timing is important.
Research in Minnesota Two studies have been conducted in southern Minnesota using nitrapyrin, a nitrification inhibitor, for manure applications. The first study was conducted across seven sites over three years (1993-1995), while the second study was conducted at four sites over f…

Iowa State urges growers to cool stored grain now

Source: Kristina TeBockhorst and Shawn Shouse, Iowa State University

You may be in the thick of harvest, but don’t forget to cool stored grain. With forecast average day/night temperatures of 34 to 13 in the coming seven days, the time is right to cool any grain that went into the bin at higher temperatures. This article will review some tips and rules of thumb for cooling and storing grain through the winter.
Tips for cooling grain A good rule of thumb is to cool grain any time the average air temperature is around 20 degrees F cooler than the grain temperature. Repeat this cooling cycle until the grain temperature is 30-40 degrees F for winter storage. This storage temperature minimizes insect activity and mold growth in the stored grain. Cooling grain below 30 degrees F has little added benefit and can cause ice to form in the grain. Air humidity makes little difference when cooling grain.

When cooling, the cooling front moves through the bin in a wave, so the grain temperature w…

Crop quality in 2019: Observations from Iowa State on another unusual year

Source: Dr. Charles Hurburgh, Agricultural and Biosystems Engineering, Iowa State University

This year continues the chain of growing seasons with extremes and rapid changes beyond our long-term experiences. This made for periods of both stress and favorable crop growth despite the planting dates. Variability will be the key issue to manage in 2019 corn and soybeans.
Corn Normal to very late planting guarantees a large range in maturity and harvest moisture. Test weight, which is a good indicator of maturity, will probably average 54-55 lb/bu - less than the long term average of 56-58 lb/bu. Lower test weight means more handling breakage, shorter storage life, and often higher drying costs per unit of water removed. On a weight basis, feed value and digestibility does not decline significantly until test weights fall below the mid 40s. Producers should check the test weights from each field /hybrid. The lightest corn should be sold first.

Test weight should increase about 0.2 lb/bu p…

Gopher Coffee Shop podcast: Harvest weed seed control

In this installment of the Gopher Coffee Shop podcast, Extension educators Ryan Miller and Brad Carlson sit down with Dr. Michael Walsh, a Weed Scientist with the University of Sydney in Australia. A special thanks to goes out our colleagues at Iowa State for hosting Michael and facilitating this podcast. Michael was on-hand to talk about harvest weed seed control (HWSC) and to demonstrate combine setup for HWSC. In this podcast we spent some time talking about Australian Agriculture, herbicide resistance in weeds, and the need for alternative weed management tactics. We talked about use of chaff carts, chaff lining and tramlining, bale direct systems, and impact mills for weed management. Enjoy!

Here is a link to Dr. Walsh’s slide presentation (no audio) from the HWSC workshop at Iowa State, courtesy of Meaghan Anderson, Field Agronomist with ISU Extension and Outreach: https://iastate.box.com/s/3jg6g13tissx50bpgoi5v4zq6b93arhv

Here is a Link to Dr. Walsh’s website: https://sydn…

Sauk Centre October 2019 Hay Auctions

Nathan Drewitz, Extension Educator, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties

Keeping up with current local hay prices is important for livestock producers and growers. The Mid-American Hay Auction in Sauk Centre, MN provides an excellent opportunity to get a glimpse of what current hay prices are for the region. That hay auction information is organized, summarized, and listed below.