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Showing posts from September, 2020

Commercial Animal Waste Technicians (CAWT) who still need to recertify for 2020 can now do so online

Image credit: Karl Hakanson/U of M Extension For CAWT Site Managers and Applicators who were unable to attend a recertifying workshop in 2020 due to COVID-19, the University of Minnesota Extension, along with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and the Minnesota Department of Agriculture, is now offering Commercial Animal Waste Technicians the ability to recertify by taking the course online. For more information and to register:   This interactive course includes reading text, watching short videos and taking quick quizzes. The course costs $10 and should take approximately 3 hours to complete. Upon successful completion of the course, you will be able to print off a certificate, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture will be notified and you will be officially recertified. Note: This course is for recertification only. For initial certification, new applicators must watch this video and take a quiz . For more information regarding the course, contact Extens

Fall fertilizer decisions: Research and recommendations to consider this year

In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, four U of M researchers discuss fall fertilizer management. What were summer growing conditions like across Minnesota? Is there any nutrient management research currently underway that crop producers may be interested in? What should growers consider when making fall fertilizer decisions? Listen to the podcast View the podcast transcript Guests: Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist Fabian Fernandez, Extension nutrient management specialist Lindsay Pease, Extension nutrient management specialist Brad Carlson, 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 Fertilizer Research & Educat

Prepare for corn harvest

 by Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist Photo: T. Varga, U of MN Corn maturity Much of the corn in Minnesota has reached maturity. Corn hybrids planted in Minnesota typically reach maturity at about 55 to 60 days after silking, or 10 to 12 days after kernels reach the half-milk stage. At maturity, kernels no longer contain milk, the kernel milk line is no longer visible, kernels have reached maximum dry weight, and a black layer is present at the tip of kernels where they connect to the cob. The black layer can be observed by scratching off the tissue at the tip of kernels or cutting kernels lengthwise. Grain moisture and dry-down Grain moisture is around 32% when kernels first reach maturity. The optimal grain moisture at which to begin corn grain harvest is a balance among several factors, including the risk of ear loss due to stalk lodging or dropped ears, the likelihood of wet weather and its potential for slowing harvest and favoring the development of ear rots and pre-harvest

Field Crops IPM Podcast: Weed management in fall and what to do with weed escapes

Welcome to the 4th IPM Podcast for Field Crops of 2020. Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode on iTunes , Google Podcasts, and Spotify.   This Podcast is sponsored by the UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM) Program. In this week’s podcast, we feature Dr. Debalin Sarangi , who was recently hired as an Associate Professor in the Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics and as an Extension Weed Scientist at UMN.  He discussed some of his background in weed science working in Wyoming, Nebraska, and Texas before coming to Minnesota, and he outlined his research plans and current activities he's been working on in the state.  Herbicide-resistant weeds such as waterhemp continue to be a major concern for farmers, and invasive species such as Palmer amaranth pose additional threats if they become established. Integrated weed management will be vital for managing these weeds as resistance issues continue to occur. Dr. Sarangi is currently conducting a survey for w

Corn yield forecasts and grain dry-down guidelines

By Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist End-of-season forecasts  of corn grain yield were recently made by researchers from the University of Nebraska for several locations across the Corn Belt, including three in Minnesota. These forecasts suggest above-average yield for the Minnesota locations, but high variability in yield for rainfed corn across the Corn Belt. Averaged across locations, the predicted yield is near the long-term (2005-2019) average and 15% less than that in 2019. Most corn in Minnesota has reached physiological maturity. When corn reaches physiological maturity, a black layer is present at the tip of kernels where they connect to the cob. The black layer can be observed by scratching off the tissue at the tip of kernels or cutting kernels lengthwise. Grain moisture content is about 32% when kernels first reach maturity.  To help plan harvest, typical in-field dry-down rates for corn grain in Minnesota are listed below. These rates vary due to factors such as sola

Managing Foreign Material in Soybeans: Pre-harvest preparations

Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist, David Nicolai, Extension educator-crops, Jared Goplen, Extension educator-crops, and Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed scientist  Soybeans are an important cash crop to farmers in the Dakotas and Minnesota. Soybean acreage has continued to grow in the region to meet both domestic and export demand. Because of the region’s proximity to infrastructure that can rapidly deliver soybeans to important markets like Asia, a high percentage of soybeans from North Dakota, South Dakota and Minnesota are exported each year. Customers around the world demand quality products, which includes soybeans with minimal foreign material. Sanitary and phytosanitary concerns are prompting global buyers to focus on the amount and types of foreign material in soybeans they purchase. Weed seeds are of particular concern for buyers as they work to curtail the spread of noxious weeds. Producing high quality grain for export has a dual purpose. Farmers can help maintain imp

Ongoing study could help Minnesota farmers use manure more efficiently

Bedded beef pack manure. (Image credit: Melissa Wilson/U of M Extension) By: Paul McDivitt, Extension communications specialist For Minnesota farmers who apply manure, it can be difficult to know how much nitrogen (N) is in the manure they’re applying and when it is available to the crop. This makes it hard to make decisions about how much additional N fertilizer to apply. An ongoing study by the University of Minnesota is studying six different types of manure over several years in an effort to update the university’s manure guidelines . One of the key takeaways from the study so far is that the amount of bedding in the manure matters. “If you are applying dairy or beef manure with bedding, then you should probably be aware that the nitrogen release is going to be slower,” said Melissa Wilson, U of M Extension manure management specialist and lead researcher on the project.  The six types of manure being studied are bedded beef pack, swine finishing manure, raw dairy manure, liquid s

Herbicide-resistant weed screening survey in agronomic crops

Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed scientist Waterhemp escapes in Renville County. Herbicide resistant weeds are widespread in MN and several reports on weed control failure following herbicide applications were reported recently. Therefore, testing weed populations for herbicide resistance is important to plan the future weed management practices more efficiently. The University of Minnesota Extension has started an initiative to screen the weed populations collected from agronomic crop fields for herbicide resistance. We are requesting the stakeholders from MN to submit the seed samples for weeds that survived the pre emergence and/or post emergence herbicide treatments. We are targeting the common weed species including, but not limited to, pigweeds (waterhemp and redroot pigweed, etc.), giant ragweed, common ragweed, common lambsquarters, marestail (or horseweed), kochia, foxtails, and barnyardgrass. The resistance screening is FREE! Follow the steps below to submit the samples

Planting date matters for cover crops too

By Liz Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops, and Axel Garcia y Garcia, Sustainable Cropping Systems Specialist As corn and soybean reach maturity and the crop canopy starts to open, a prime window also opens for seeding a cover crop. A cover crop can be interseeded in the fall into standing corn and soybean via the air or with ground equipment such as a high-clearance seeder. Cover crops can also be seeded after corn or soybean harvest, which allows use of a drill for more accurate seed placement and seed-to-soil contact. Waiting to seed a cover crop until corn or soybean are harvested for grain, however, may leave little if any time for the cover crop to establish and grow in the fall. Regardless, adequate moisture and seed-to-soil contact will aid in successful establishment. How important is seeding timing in the fall? Cereal rye is the most common cover crop in MN for a number of reasons. It is relatively inexpensive, easy to establish, and seed is typically widely available. A

Weed control ahead of the combine

Jared Goplen and Dave Nicolai, Extension educators - crops  Giant ragweed For the most part, it’s too late to control weeds this year, but there is still time to limit weed seeds going back into the weed seedbank. Combine harvesters are notorious for spreading weed seeds. Hand-pulling or mowing weed patches are some of the last lines of defense before harvest. Taking the time now can pay dividends for weed management in the upcoming years. Weed Biology is Important Know the biology of the weeds you are trying to control. Waterhemp can produce over 250,000 seeds per plant. If waterhemp is prevented from producing seed for 4 years, over 99% of the seed bank can be degraded. The giant ragweed seedbank is degraded even faster, with over 95% degraded in just 2 years. However, a few weed escapes can produce enough seed to replenish the seed bank and negate past weed control success. The pigweed species waterhemp and redroot pigweed are able to produce viable seed within 10 days after poll

How to take and interpret the basal stalk nitrate test

By: Extension soil fertility specialists Dan Kaiser & Fabian Fernandez Tools for evaluating nitrogen management have provided mixed results. Their ability to determine whether nitrogen is deficient or sufficient in fields is often not 100% accurate. Nonetheless, tests like the basal stalk nitrate test are useful as a report card on nitrogen management within a field, or area of a field, within a growing season. Proper sampling of the right section of the stalk at the correct time is key when taking basal stalk samples. Knowing what needs to be done before you go to the field and the limitations of the test are also important to make sure you get the most accurate results from basal stalk nitrate values. Taking the basal stalk nitrate test The basal stalk nitrate test is a diagnostic test taken at the end of the corn growing season. Results will show how well you did with your nitrogen management during the season. While this test won’t tell you how much nitrogen you need to

Fall fertilizer outlook

In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, four U of M researchers discuss fall fertilizer management. What were summer growing conditions like across Minnesota? Is there any nutrient management research currently underway that crop producers may be interested in? What should growers consider when making fall fertilizer decisions? Thank you to Minnesota's Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC) for supporting the podcast. 

Don't forget about potassium when making fertilizer plans for next year

By: Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist & Jeff Vetsch, soil scientist UPDATE (9/15/2021):  Potassium deficiencies in fields marginal in K supply have been evident the past two years. Both 2020 and 2021 started out dry but 2021 remained dry throughout the growing season while 2020 had more timely rains in some areas mid-season and many of the deficiencies we saw early were not as evident in July or August when we visited fields in 2020. When thinking about potassium, many of the thoughts in this blog post from 2020 can be transferred to 2021. Dry weather conditions early in the 2020 growing season brought about some issues related to potassium (K) that we have not seen for a few years. Soil moisture is required for plants to access soil potassium. Dry weather conditions and soils where K is stratified near the soil surface can lead to more prevalent K deficiency with plants on marginal K soils. Potassium fertilizer guidelines for corn and soybean were updated befo

Scout fields now for Palmer amaranth

Jared Goplen, Extension educator - crops and Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed management specialist Photo 1. Palmer amaranth flowering in Houston County, 2019. Note how the leafstalk (petiole) is longer than the leaf blade on lower leaves. Photo: MDA We are coming into the most critical time for Palmer amaranth scouting and rouging. Palmer amaranth is on Minnesota’s prohibited noxious weed and seed list with the intention to eradicate Palmer amaranth before it becomes widely established in the state. Now is a good time of the year to scout for Palmer amaranth, as mature Palmer amaranth plants are easier to distinguish from other closely-related pigweeds like waterhemp. Identification is key Palmer amaranth is closely related to other amaranth (pigweed) species and can be challenging to differentiate during the early vegetative stages. When scouting this time of year, be on the lookout for pigweeds with long terminal seed heads (up to 2-3 feet long) and long petioles (longer

Palmer amaranth in feed ingredients?

Nathan Drewitz, Extension educator; Jared Goplen Extension educator-crops; Adam Austing, Extension educator, and Chryseis Modderman, Extension educator-manure management Keep an eye out for Palmer amaranth hitching a ride into Minnesota via contaminated feed ingredients. Minnesota has at least one infestation in the state that arrived via contaminated cattle feed. The potential for this to happen again is high, especially when sourcing feed ingredients from areas where Palmer amaranth and other problematic weeds are more common. Pay attention to weeds growing around livestock feeding areas, near manure storage areas, or in fields with a history of manure application. These are likely the areas where Palmer amaranth and other new weeds will show up first. Why the concern? Palmer amaranth is a highly competitive pigweed that is closely related to waterhemp. Like waterhemp, Palmer amaranth emerges throughout the growing season, and can grow 2-3 inches per day, causing large yield r

NDSU urges cleaning grain bins to prevent insect infestations

Janet Knodel, Extension entomologist, North Dakota State University With harvest just around the corner, be prepared for safe storage of your grain. The following article from Janet Knodel of NDSU Extension outlines some useful tips and reminders as we prepare for the 2020 harvest season: Deep clean grain bins and trucks The key to preventing grain insect problems in grain bins is deep cleaning empty grain bins and trucks hauling new grains. Any old grain or even dust residue left in the bin is enough for some grain insects to survive and lead to new infestations reducing the quality and saleability of your new grains. Bins need to be super clean, completely empty and free of insect-infested grain. Leftover grain should be removed from the bin, and the walls should be swept and vacuumed. All grain handling equipment including augers, combines, trucks and wagons also need to be thoroughly cleaned and grain residues removed before harvest. After cleaning, be sure to check for an

U of MN releases 'MN-Torgy' wheat

Source: Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station (MAES), University of Minnesota MN-Torgy is the newest wheat variety from UMN. The University of Minnesota has released a new hard red spring wheat variety called ‘MN-Torgy.’ MN-Torgy features a good combination of yield, protein, straw strength and disease resistance. According to Jim Anderson, University of Minnesota wheat breeder, MN-Torgy has shown its promise to perform well across the wheat growing region and its straw strength is better than most higher yielding varieties. MN-Torgy stood out in both state and regional trials including the Uniform Regional Nurseries trials where it finished 3rd out of 30 entries in 2017 and 2018. The new release is named in honor of Dave Torgerson, retired as Executive Director of both the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council and the Minnesota Association of Wheat Growers in 2019. The support of the MN wheat organizations under Torgerson’s tenure has been instrumental in th

Virtual Cover Crop Field Day video recording available

By Liz Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops Cover Crop Virtual Field Day recording If you were unable to join us or would like to review the August 18 program again, a recording of the U of MN Extension Cover Crop Field Day: Setting Up for Success is now available. Topics & speakers included Cover crops as a tool in waterhemp management? – Ethan Ley, Graduate Research Assistant, Southern Research and Outreach Center, Waseca Balancing the pros and cons of planting green in Minnesota – Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops, Worthington Regional Extension Office, Worthington Strategies for interseeding cover crops into corn – Axel Garcia y Garcia, Associate Professor, Cropping Systems, Southwest Research and Outreach Center, Lamberton Cover crop roundtable –Anna Cates, Extension Soil Health Specialist, Department of Soil Health, Water, and Climate, St. Paul and Gregg Johnson, Associate Professor, Biomass Cropping Systems, Southern Research and Outreach Center, Wa