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Showing posts from February, 2020

Natural resources group looking for website feedback

University of Minnesota Extension's Natural Resources group  is looking for participants to complete a couple of short activities that will help them organize the natural resources and water content for their website. Please consider participating. Each activity should each take about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. Go here for the Natural Resources activity Go here for the Water activity Thank you for your help!

Video: Fall vs. spring urea in Minnesota

By: Fabian Fernandez, Extension nutrient management specialist Urea is an increasingly popular nitrogen fertilizer source in Minnesota. With some retailers switching away from anhydrous ammonia, there is an increased emphasis on urea use in certain areas of the state. Around half of farmers in the state now use urea as their main nitrogen source, and it is the dominant source in northwest Minnesota. In the southwest, south-central and west-central areas of the state, about 45 percent of nitrogen is applied in the fall, 50 percent in the spring, and 5 percent at sidedress. Applying nitrogen in the fall can be tempting for several reasons, including generally lower fertilizer cost and greater supply, better distribution of labor and equipment, typically drier soil conditions to support field traffic, and time availability. Urea applied in the fall has been included as a Best Management Practice in Minnesota because the potential for nitrate loss has typically been low in the

Sign up to receive Minnesota Crop News email alerts

Minnesota Crop News is the best way to learn about the latest University of Minnesota Extension agronomic research and events. Subscribe Extension specialists and educators write blog posts, participate in podcasts, and produce videos to share what they're seeing and learning across the state. We cover all of the crops and topics relevant to Minnesota farmers and ag professionals. Here are some recent examples of popular posts: Video: Fall vs. spring urea in Minnesota When You Inherit the Farm from Your Children 2019 University of Minnesota's variety crop trial results available now Nutrient Management Podcast: Nitrogen management lessons from a wet 2019 Reducing Bt trait acres in 2020 Minnesota corn production? Implications for European corn borer Four years of tillage research wraps up Phosphorus fertilizer application only needed every other year in corn-soy rotation 2019 U of M SE Minnesota regional soybean yield results available Managing froste

Is managing nitrogen fertilizer for corn getting more difficult?

By: Jeff Vetsch, University of Minnesota soil scientist If farmers don’t have enough challenges lately with trade issues and low commodity prices, recent wet growing seasons have made nitrogen management of corn more difficult. While annual precipitation has been trending upward across Minnesota, excessive rainfall during the growing season has been especially pronounced in south-central and southeast Minnesota the last few years. In 2016, when Minnesota set the state’s annual precipitation record, Waseca recorded over 56 inches of annual precipitation. In 2018, Caledonia and Harmony both recorded over 56 inches. Last year, several weather stations in the region reported 50+ inches. Harmony has recorded 50+ inches in three of the last four years. What does all of this rainfall mean for agriculture?  For corn growers, greater precipitation means fewer days available for field work, delayed field operations, compacted soils, nitrogen loss and often yellow corn. With all of this rain,

Nitrogen management lessons from a wet 2019

In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, three U of M researchers discuss nitrogen management. Should growers consider split-applying N? Is fall urea too risky? Is ESN worth the cost? Listen to the podcast View the podcast transcript Learn more at one of our Nitrogen Smart sessions: Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode on iTunes  and  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 by Minnesota's Agricultural Fertilizer Research & Education Council (AFREC).

Hagberg Falling Numbers and Spring Wheat Seed Quality

Many of you encountered problems with Hagberg falling numbers being below the market acceptable threshold of 300 seconds for your 2019 spring wheat crop. Even while the grain looked sound and without any visible sprout damage, the HFN test came back well below 300 seconds. In turn, you may have considered or are considering saving the grain for seed as a way to save an input cost this coming growing season and add value to the otherwise severely discounted value of 2019 wheat crop. To that end, you probably ran a germination test already last fall.   More than likely the germination exceeded 95% immediately after harvest.   Unfortunately, it is unlikely that it will maintain that percent germination. At harvest the grain has a certain amount of post-harvest dormancy.   This dormancy is an evolutionary adaptation to avoid germination and growing during the hot and dry summer months in the center of origin of wheat (an area known as the Fertile Crescent).   This post-harvest dorman

Register now for small grain workshops

Jared Goplen, Extension educator - crops Small grain workshops are being held across southern Minnesota to address successful small grain management. Whether you are a farmer or crop consultant already producing small grains, or a farmer looking for another crop to add to the rotation, these workshops are for you. Workshops will focus on production agronomics, variety selection, and economics, and include an open-forum discussion for related topics and on-farm experiences. Workshops are sponsored by the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council. Lunch is included at all sites except Mora. Registration is free, and is strongly encouraged to assist with meal planning. Please register by visiting or contact Jared Goplen at 320-589-1711 x2128 or for more information. Workshop details Monday, February 17 - Rochester. PPAT will precede the small grains program. Tuesday, February 18 - Le Center. Wednesday, Februar

Low soybean aphid numbers were coupled with scarcity of a parasitic wasp in 2019: What does this mean for biological control of soybean aphid in 2020?

by Jonathan Dregni (Scientist, Entomology), Carl Stenoien (Post-doctoral Associate, Entomology), George Heimpel (Professor, Entomology) and Robert Koch (Associate Professor & Extension Entomologist) The soybean aphid’s most dedicated natural enemy is an Asian parasitic wasp (or parasitoid) called Aphelinus certus (abbreviated as A. certus throughout this article). This tiny aphid-sized wasp was first found in eastern North America in 2005, and by 2011 it had reached Minnesota. It may be especially useful as a biological control agent against soybean aphid because it uses the aphid as a host for its offspring, so it tracks the aphid very closely. In 2019, with generally low aphid numbers throughout Minnesota (and much of the Midwest), we found no A. certus in many counties, as you can see on the maps. We assume A. certus numbers will rebound if soybean aphid numbers increase in 2020, but we will have to rely on scouting this summer to be sure. A parasitic wasp stinging (la

Double Cropping with Pennycress

Sarah Moore, M. Samantha Wells, Melissa Wilson, Russ Gesch, and Roger Becker - UMN Double-cropping is a system of farming where a second crop is planted in the same field after the harvest of the first crop. The double-cropped system can increase ecological services as well as provide additional income to farmers by increasing the amount of living cover on the landscape, often accomplished by rotating a winter annual and a summer annual (Figure 1). In the upper Midwest, few winter annual crops reliably survive the harsh winters (e.g., cereal rye). However, researchers are developing an oilseed crop, pennycress, that can serve as a new winter annual for the region. Figure 1. Pennycress double-crop systems contrasted by cover crop and non-cover crop systems. Double-cropping can bring many benefits to a farm, but also comes with risks. Additional crops can increase input costs, and for farmers to adopt a practice, it must be economically fruitful. Also, the upper Midwest has a

Phosphorus fertilizer application only needed every other year in corn-soy rotation

By: Paul McDivitt, Extension communications specialist [NOTE: Extension nutrient management specialist Dan Kaiser wrote a follow-up to this post relevant to those with high pH (8.0 or greater) soils.] In pursuit of maximum yields in two-year corn-soy rotations, some farmers are now applying phosphorus (P) fertilizer every year. A 10-year study by University of Minnesota scientists that ended in 2018 says that practice is likely unnecessary. Instead, farmers only need to apply P fertilizer the fall or spring before corn in order to maximize yields for both crops. The study found that applying P fertilizers, like MAP or DAP, the fall or spring before planting soybeans does not increase soybean yield. As long as enough P fertilizer was applied before the previous corn crop to account for the needs of both corn and soybean, soybean yield was maximized. For corn, results showed a four to five bushel average yield advantage when some or all of the P fertilizer was applied the fall