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Showing posts from June, 2020

Midseason flooding in south central Minnesota

By David Nicolai, Extension educator - crops, Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Specialist, Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist and Liz Stahl, Extension Educators-Crops Adapted from “Flooded fields and saturated conditions impact crops” (July 9, 2018) By Liz Stahl, , Jeff Coulter, Seth Naeve, and Fabian Fernandez Flooded field in southern Minnesota. Photo: Liz Stahl After exceptionally good spring conditions allowing for early planting, the 2020 corn and soybean crops are off to a very good start. Soil conditions were very good across the southern third of the state through June, with some lighter soils beginning to show a little drought stress. Small, but timely rains, have kept the crop growing well in most areas, until this week. Heavy rainfall occurred overnight on June 28 and the morning of the 29th in south central Minnesota. Large swaths received more than five inches of rain with localized rainfall amounts of up to ten inches. Low areas of farmland are now floode

Small Grains Disease Update 06/29/2020

In my travels last week across southern Minnesota, I found little to no disease in the spring wheat trials or fields that I walked.  I found net blotch in one of the barley varieties (Pinnacle) that is very susceptible to this foliar pathogen and here and there was some tan spot in some of the winter wheat varieties.  The most common and widespread, however, was BYDV.  In production fields, these virus infections were the typical small circular patches or individual plants that showed the typical bright yellow flag leaves.  In individual plots, these were often individual plants along edges of the plot. I found no leaf or stripe rust and it was a bit too early to see whether there were any of scab infections. The risk of FHB increased in especially north of US Hwy 2 and across much of southern Minnesota (south of US Hwy 12), while conditions for tan spot remained high across much of the state. The notable exceptions for increased risk for FHB infections, or the foliar diseases, were th

True Armyworm

Reports of true armyworm infestations continue to come in (Figure 1). At this time the infestation is not as widespread as in 2018. Most reports have been in wheat, pasture roadsides, and other grasses. Armyworms (Figure 2) cannot overwinter in Minnesota and moths migrate into the state each spring. Lush grasses are preferred egg-laying sites for the armyworm moth and lodged areas of small grains or the grass field borders of corn and soybeans should receive special attention when scouting. When they have defoliated an area, larvae will move from field borders or between fields. They feed on grasses and seldom damage broadleaf crops. The risk of armyworm infestation in corn is increased when a live grass cover crop or grass weeds are present when the egg-laying moths are active. Only the Agrisure Viptera (Vip3A) Bt trait is labeled to protect corn from armyworm. See the handy 2020 Bt Trait Table for more information. Most of these infestations are likely from moths arriving on the syst

Heat stress on small grains

Jared Goplen, Extension educator - crops, and Jochum Wiersma, Extension small grains specialist Photo 1. Effect of hot, dry, and windy weather on young and tender flag leaves on the variety ‘Glenn’. The recent heat wave has some concerned about the fate of the small grain crop. While there are many reports of a “short” crop in southern Minnesota, the timing of the warm (>90F) weather this year has likely not significantly reduced yield potential. Although few of us enjoyed the hot and windy conditions last week, the last several days have brought us ideal small grains weather, which looks to extend for at least the remainder of this week. Short small grains? There have been many reports of short small grains in southern Minnesota. Both heat stress and drought stress will speed up plant development, meaning either of these stressors will affect the crop. The heat wave that came through southern Minnesota the first week of June is largely responsible for the shorter crop, w

Pest alert: Scout for armyworm and soybean gall midge

Bruce Potter, Extension IPM specialist Armyworm Early instar true armyworm. Note net-like pattern on head and the stripe pattern on the body. The larva has five pairs of prolegs. Color can vary from tan-olive to nearly black. Economic threshold populations of true armyworm have been reported in Minnesota. Photos I received show a significant infestation in a sweet corn field that was planted into an oat cover. From the photos, the armyworms were above both corn and small grain thresholds. Adult moths are attracted to areas of dense grass vegetation to deposit eggs. These grasses can include live rye or wheat cover crops, lodged grains or grasses in field borders. As mentioned earlier this spring, scout these fields where corn was planted into a grass cover crop or where dense grassy weeds were controlled post-emerge. It would also be worth the effort to check wheat, barley, oat and rye crops statewide. For more information see true armyworm in corn and true armyworm in

Small Grains Disease Update 06/22/2020

Little changed in both the risk models or reports that I received this past week. I suspect there is some stripe rust and crown rust here and there across the southern half of the state, while tan spot is probably the only fungal disease you might find in the northern half of the state as of today.   That is likely to change in the near future as much needed rain fell across much of the state when a couple of cold fronts brought relief from the blast-furnace heat and wind of the first half of last week. While the risk of leaf rust infections has already started trending higher over the weekend for all but the northeastern edge of the state, the risk of infection for FHB will start to increase by tomorrow.  The heat in the first part of last week continued to push the development of the spring wheat crop and the first spring wheat fields reached heading over the weekend in the northwest part of the state. This means that you will need to actively scout individual fields to determine the

What's in your windbreak or woodland?

Claire LaCanne, Matt Russell and Gary Wyatt, Extension Educators When was the last time you walked in your windbreak or woodland? There may be invasive species plants or insects growing in these areas. You may also have high value trees that could be harvested for valuable timber products. These invasive species and profitable trees could be found in your windbreak, woodland areas and riparian woodlands near rivers and streams. Buckthorn Can you identify buckthorn trees on your property? Buckthorn trees are from Europe and not native to North America. Buckthorn was brought over by settlers in the 1850’s as windbreak trees. Little did they know that birds eat the seeds of the female trees and spread these prolific seeds changing the native windbreak/woodland understory. Buckthorn is also the overwintering host for soybean aphid. Buckthorn is on the MN noxious weed list and on the DNR invasive species list . To learn more about buckthorn control/management and the relationship

Use FieldWatch to locate sensitive sites prior to pesticide applications

By Tana Haugen-Brown, University of Minnesota Extension educator and PSEE Co-coordinator and Larry VanLieshout, Minnesota Department of Agriculture Photo credit: Jon Sullivan As the season progresses, it’s a good time for pesticide applicators to review where sensitive crops and beehives are located. FieldWatch has tools such as DriftWatch, FieldCheck, and BeeWatch which allow specialty crop growers (fruits, vegetables, organic produce) and beekeepers to mark the locations of their sites on a map so that applicators are aware of their presence. Larry VanLieshout from the Minnesota Department of Agriculture shares this important information to better navigate the FieldWatch web-based resource: To get started, go to From this page producers and applicators can choose the service they use to access their account or create a new one. DriftWatch allows specialty crop producers to mark the locations of their fields and beehives. BeeCheck is a simpler version for p

Ideal spraying days tough to come by

Jared Goplen and Dave Nicolai, Extension educator - Crops Timely pesticide applications have been a challenge in 2020. So far in the month of June, much of Minnesota has had notably few hours that would be considered “ideal” for pesticide applications. The biggest issues have been the abnormally windy conditions, coupled with very calm (<3mph) winds that favor temperature inversions. There have been reports of some unusual “off-target” herbicide issues this spring that are likely due to conditions being either 1) too windy, or 2) very calm (<3 mph) conditions with temperature inversions or variable winds. How many “ideal” pesticide application hours have we had? Earlier this week I was asked how many hours we have had throughout Minnesota to legally apply dicamba products to dicamba-tolerant (DT) soybeans in 2020. If you are familiar with the label requirements to apply dicamba products to DT soybeans, you know there are very specific requirements. Several weather-related re

Suspect pesticide drift? What to do and how to prevent it from occurring

By Dave Nicolai, University of Minnesota Extension Educator, Crops and Matt Jorgenson, Inspection Unit Supervisor, Minnesota Department of Agriculture As they say, “With much power comes much responsibility”, and the various herbicides, fungicides, and insecticides that growers have in their toolbox for managing their crops are indeed powerful tools. These pesticides also have inherent risk when it comes to their movement off target whether it be through drift caused by decisions made by the applicator or just bad luck caused by an unpredictable shift in the weather. In any case, if you observe damage, it’s important to respond appropriately. An argument can easily be made that if you observe drift damage to your crops, you have a responsibility to report it. Reporting drift is important for several reasons , such as: ensuring that food and feed are safe when they enter commerce developing pesticide education and compliance assistance by the Minnesota Department of Agricul

What to know about alfalfa nutrient management

Photo credit: Jared Goplen/University of Minnesota Extension In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, three U of M researchers discuss alfalfa nutrient management. Why is managing soil inputs important for alfalfa producers? What are some key points that growers should consider when making nutrient management decisions for alfalfa? Does timing matter with alfalfa fertilizer application? Listen to the podcast View the podcast transcript Guests: Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist Craig Sheaffer, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics Jared Goplen, Extension educator 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 F

Payment Protection Program (PPP) update and deadline reminders

by Megan Roberts, Extension educator and Rob Holcomb, Extension educator Extension's Ag Business Management (ABM) team has updated information on the Payment Protection Program: The Paycheck Protection Program Flexibility Act of 2020, H.R. 7010 , passed both houses of Congress on June 3, 2020 and signed into law on June 5, 2020. The law changes several provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) , in particular loan forgiveness procedures were updated. We anticipate being able to provide you with new forgiveness application examples that reflect the law changes in the coming week(s). In our examples, you will see several changes from the new law. Importantly, the June 5th revision allows for 60% or more being used for payroll expenses (and allows federal payroll tax to qualify as a payroll expense) and 40% or less being used for other eligible expenses. This is a welcome change from a 75% payroll expense and 25% other eligible expenses that had previously been req

Small Grains Disease Update 06/15/2020

The first instances of stripe rust, crown rust, and barley yellow dwarf were confirmed in winter wheat and oats, respectively, this past week in southern Minnesota. Meanwhile, tan spot is prevalent in wheat following wheat in the northern half of Minnesota.   These findings are all in line with expectations/risk models. The conditions for tan spot, for example, have been favorable across much of the northern half of the state for seven out of the last ten days.   One of the characteristic symptoms of early-season tan spot infections is a yellowing discoloring of whole leaves. This is a more extreme expression of the same yellow halo that surrounds the tan spot lesions in more mature plants.  Be careful not to mistake this yellowing for a nitrogen deficiency.   Research at both NDSU and the University of Minnesota has shown that the early onset of tan spot yield can results in yield reductions of 4 to 5 bushels if conditions continue to favor the development of the disease. U

Gopher Coffee Shop podcast: Summer of Covid-19

In this installment of the Gopher Coffee Shop podcast, Extension educators Ryan Miller and Brad Carlson visit with Dave Nicolai, Crops Extension Educator. We discuss 2020 crop conditions and cropping issues to date, and then we talk about some of the changes to in-person educational events that traditionally take place throughout the summer months. Enjoy! Listen to the podcast Read about current issues in the Minnesota Crop News blog: Minnesota Crop News blog: Sign up to receive Minnesota Crop News: The Gopher Coffee Shop Podcast is available on Stitcher and iTunes . For more information, visit University of Minnesota Extension Crop Production at .

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

Adult corn rootworm emergence will begin in July. What will it reveal about your risk for 2021? Photo: Dave Hansen Ken Ostlie, Extension entomologist and Bruce Potter, IPM specialist Corn rootworm (CRW) management is not getting easier. In addition to ongoing Bt resistance issues with populations of western corn rootworm (WCR), resistance to Bt has now been documented in some northern corn rootworm (NCR). Corn rootworm populations were low in many, but not all, 2019 corn fields. Additionally, prevent plant acres may have dramatically changed rootworm populations. Finally, anecdotal reports indicate northern corn rootworm populations may be increasing. What does this mean for 2020 and beyond? Rootworm survival Rootworm eggs, particularly those of the WCR, can be killed if exposed to cold temperatures while they overwinter in the soil. This past winter, both species likely survived reasonably well in the southern part of the state. Areas with minimal snow cover when brief,

Soybean gall midge - spring 2020 update

Bruce Potter, IPM Specialist and Bob Koch, Extension Entomologist Figure 1. Counties where the soybean gall midge has been observed. Map: Justin McMechan, UNL The first detection of adult soybean gall emergence for 2020 was June 10 in Cass County, Nebraska. We expect that emergence will soon begin in Minnesota. Emergence of the adults of the overwintering generation will be tracked in infested states, including Minnesota (Figure 1). Updates can be found at . Biology and damage Figure 2. Adult soybean gall midges are small, slender flies. The body color, along with patterns on wings and legs are key characteristics. Photo: Noah Stavnes, U of MN It is unlikely you will observe the tiny (2-3 mm) adults in the field. They are slender and mosquito-like in appearance with orange abdomens, mottled wings, and long legs with light and dark bands (Figure 2). The adults emerge from the previous year’s soybean fields for approximately two weeks in June. They

MDA announces changes in use of dicamba herbicide

Jared Goplen and Dave Nicolai, Extension educators - crops The Minnesota Department of Agriculture provided an update on Monday, June 8th about the recent court ruling of the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals regarding dicamba products: At this time Minnesota farmers can use XtendiMax with VaporGrip Technology, Engenia Herbicide, and FeXapan with VaporGrip Technology while following all federal and Minnesota label requirements.   University of Minnesota Extension provided management options for the control of broadleaf weeds without the three dicamba herbicides listed in the original court ruling in a recent (June 5th) Crop News article, Options after dicamba registrations vacated . These recommendations are still valid if dicamba is not utilized. Regardless of if dicamba-based herbicides are used or not, applicators should refer to the specific herbicide label and make applications to weeds that are four inches or smaller in height. Broadleaf weed growth has been very rapid give