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Showing posts from June, 2021

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update for 06/29/21

The scattered showers over the weekend and the higher relative humidity are causing the risk models to indicate favorable conditions for tan spot and leaf rust. Over the last four mornings, favorable conditions for both diseases have occurred across much of northwest Minnesota and eastern North Dakota.  Meanwhile, the risk for Fusarium head blight remains low.   Most of the barley and spring wheat reached anthesis last week and the window to apply a fungicide has closed. You may now have second thoughts.  Should you have sprayed a fungicide to control those leaf diseases even if the risk for FHB was and continues to be low. After all, nearly all the products labeled for suppression of FHB also provide  good to excellent control  of tan spot, Septoria leaf blotch, and leaf rust. Unlike FHB, tan spot, Septoria leaf blotch, and leaf rust are polycyclic (multiple cycle) diseases.  This means that all three can have (and most often do have) multiple cycles, or generations, per growing seaso

New online course for manure management planning in Minnesota

By: Melissa Wilson, Extension specialist in manure management, and Chryseis Modderman, Extension educator in manure management Manure management planning - or accounting for how, when, and where you’ll apply all of the manure generated on your farm every year - is an important aspect of livestock production. There are often rules associated with manure management planning, depending on the state where you farm. In Minnesota, the Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) has created a Manure Management Planner (MMP) spreadsheet tool to help you create your plan while meeting state guidelines. We recently created an online course to help folks learn how to use the planner while also learning more about the science behind manure management! Learn more & register What is the course format and what will you learn? The online course is self-paced and you’ll work on completing a fictional manure management plan for a farm. Each section of MPCA’s MMP has its own module in the course, including an i

On-farm precision ag research update: In-season site-specific side-dress nitrogen rate recommendations for corn

By: Yuxin Miao, Associate Director of Precision Agriculture Center Key points We use high spatial and temporal resolution PlanetScope satellite remote sensing images to monitor corn growth and make site-specific side-dress nitrogen (N) recommendations. Preliminary on-farm trial results from 2019 and 2020 indicate that this technology can significantly increase N use efficiency while producing similar corn yield compared with growers’ current practices. More on-farm trials are being conducted in 2021 to further evaluate this in-season, site-specific N management technology. Why do precision nitrogen management research? Precision nitrogen management (PNM) aims to match N fertilizer supply with crop N demand in both space and time. It has great potential to improve corn N use efficiency, increase growers’ profitability and protect the environment while maximizing crop yield. However, the current adoption rate of PNM is still very low in Minnesota, and most growers apply the majority of N

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update for 06/25/21

I attended small grain plot tours at six locations across the southern half of the state. The wheat across the southern half of Minnesota is now far enough along in the grainfill period that wheat stem maggot and latent infections of common root rot/fusarium crown rot can be found. These are the individual heads that ripen prematurely and then turn completely white while the rest of the crop is still green.  The incidence of both was low. Likewise, the scouts and I found loose smut in wheat and barley at low incidence.  The only other fungal disease I found (much to my surprise) was net blotch in a production field of Pinnacle barley near New Ulm.  We know that Pinnacle is very susceptible to net blotch but nine days ago - when it reached Feekes growth stage 9 and the grower and I had discussed whether to spray a fungicide  - this field was absolutely spotless.  Cereal aphids number remain highest in the west-central portion of Minnesota and the southern/central portion of the Red Rive

Scouting for nutrient deficiencies in corn and soybean (with photos)

By: Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist, and Paul McDivitt, Extension communications specialist Knowing how to identify common nutrient deficiencies is important for diagnosing issues in the field. Deficiencies can occur on the lower leaves for nutrients considered mobile in the plant while immobile nutrient deficiency symptoms will occur on newer leaves. Deficiency symptoms are characteristic of a particular nutrient and knowing what to look for is extremely helpful when scouting fields. In dry years, it is not uncommon for plants to exhibit symptoms that may mimic some common nutrient deficiency symptoms in plants, particularly if the uptake of a nutrient is highly dependent on water uptake into the plant. Corn Potassium (K) deficiency is something to look for in corn under dry soil conditions, such as in the interactive 360-degree image above. Don't confuse K deficiency with nitrogen deficiency. Both occur on the lower plant leaves but K deficiency causes yello

With dry conditions, here’s how irrigators can use water more efficiently

US drought monitor for Minnesota on June 15, 2021 By: Anne Nelson and Taylor Becker, Extension educators Last week, some irrigators throughout Minnesota were alerted to the possibility of water use restrictions for surface water appropriators in certain counties by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MN DNR) due to the ongoing dry conditions. According to the 2017 agriculture census, 93% of irrigation in Minnesota came from groundwater sources while only 4% came from on-farm surface water (USDA NASS 2018 Irrigation and Water Management Survey). For most information on the water use restriction notice and resulting process, head to MN DNR’s Guidelines for Suspension of Surface Water Appropriation Permits . Most of the state is currently categorized as in a moderate drought with some southern counties experiencing severe drought, according to the US drought monitor. Northeast Minnesota and parts of central Minnesota north of the Twin Cities are experiencing abnormally dry cond

Heat stress on small grains

Jared Goplen, Extension Educator – Crops, and Jochum Wiersma, Extension small grains specialist Photo: Tyler Goplen The June heat (and drought stress) has some concerned about the fate of the small grain crop. Although few of us have enjoyed the hot and dry conditions, including the small grain crop, the forecast looks to be bringing some relief. Drought stress compounded with heat stress further influences small grains. For additional discussion on drought-stressed small grains: Short small grains? There have been many reports of short small grains in Minnesota. Both heat stress and drought stress will speed up plant development, meaning either of these stressors will affect the crop. The recent hot weather is largely responsible for the shorter crop, which coincided with stem elongation. Hot weather during stem elongation tends to shorten the crop compared to normal. A short crop doesn’t ne

Field School for Ag Professionals is on for 2021!

Register now for the 2021 Field School for Ag Professionals to be held July 20 & 21 at the University of Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station in St. Paul. This two-day event is the premier summer training opportunity that combines hands-on training with real world field scenarios. The Field School program focuses on core principles in agronomy, entomology, weed and soil sciences on the first day to build a strong foundation of skills and knowledge. The 2nd day builds on this foundation with timely, cutting-edge topics that participants can select. This program is targeted towards agronomists, crop production retailers, seed dealers, consultants, crop protection industry representatives, Extension educators, government agency personnel, and summer field scouts. CLICK HERE TO REGISTER The first day's program will be held on Tuesday, July 20 with registration starting at 8:00 am, orientation beginning at 8:45 am and the individual sessions starting promptly at 9:00 a.m. Th

Harvesting drought-stressed small grains as forage

 Jared Goplen, Extension educator - crops, Jochum Wiersma, Extension small grains specialist, and Zach Carlson, NDSU Extension beef cattle specialist Photo: Tyler Goplen The unprecedented hot and dry weather in the upper Midwest has continued to deteriorate large acreages of the small grains. In some cases, grain yield potential has declined to a point where it may make more sense to harvest the small grains as forage rather than waiting to harvest as grain. Reports of chopping small grains for forages have already come in from dry areas of the state. Crop insurance and RMA Before doing anything, begin having conversations with your crop insurance provider. There are provisions related to harvesting drought-stressed crops as forages. To ensure crop insurance payments, you need to provide a notice of loss to your insurance provider and get those acres released. For additional information contact your crop insurance agent. Visit USDA’s Risk Management Agency for  more information. Small

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update for 06/18/21

The forecast calls for scattered showers and thunderstorms and half an inch of precipitation across much of Minnesota early Sunday.  The disease risk model Fusarium head blight remained low over the past few days and is almost certain to remain low until at least the middle, if not the end, of next week. Likewise, the risk for tan spot, leaf rust, and Septoria to develop will also remain low. It will take more rain events and higher dew points for fungal diseases to have a chance to develop. At this point, there is little reason to apply a fungicide to suppress FHB and/or control the leaf diseases.   Meanwhile, I do ask you to continue scout for aphids and grasshoppers as the scouts found that week-over-week incidence of aphids and grasshoppers increased again across all of Minnesota. Apply an insecticide as soon you find one or more aphids on 80% of the individual stems across the field. Do not apply an insecticide after the crop reaches anthesis.

Alfalfa during drought

 Jared Goplen, Extension educator - crops, and Craig Sheaffer, Professor, Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics Overview A recently harvested alfalfa plant will become dormant if subject to drought and high temperatures. It will survive several months of dormancy and resume regrowth when moisture conditions are favorable. Photo: C.C Sheaffer. High temperatures combined with drought have affected establishment and growth of alfalfa. The extent of drought conditions are shown on the U.S drought monitor .  Alfalfa seed that has been planted and not yet germinated will survive in the soil during drought and can germinate when rainfall occurs. Newly established seedlings are very susceptible to drought because their root systems are inadequate. Drought and high temperatures will not kill established alfalfa but will cause it to go dormant. Dormant alfalfa will recover following rainfall or irrigation. Alfalfa stands that are drought stressed but ready for harvest should be cut becau

Irrigation and nutrient management: What to know

In  this episode  of the Nutrient Management Podcast, four U of M researchers discuss irrigation and nutrient management. What is deficit irrigation and could there be an important role for it this year if it stays dry? What's the best approach to nitrogen fertilization in irrigated corn, and what should farmers keep in mind when applying N in irrigated fields? Is there an advantage to using fertigation over traditional fertilizer applications? What should growers know about variable rate irrigation and variable rate fertigation? Listen to the podcast View the podcast transcript Guests: Fabian Fernandez, Extension nitrogen management specialist Vasu Sharma, Extension irrigation specialist Taylor Becker, Extension educator Anne Nelson, Extension educator Additional resources: UMN Extension's irrigation management web page Minnesota Crop News blog posts on irrigation March 2021 blog post: Why corn growers shouldn’t overreact to rising nitrogen fertilizer prices Subscribe to the p

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update for 06/15/21

The two weather systems that brought some measurable precipitation across much of Northwest Minnesota at the end of the week allowed the risk for tan spot and leaf rust to increase to 'likely' for two consecutive mornings.  And as soon as the soil surface dried up, so evaporated the risks of any initial infections of tan spot and leaf rust.   The immediate forecast does not look promising for any measurable and widespread precipitation. The disease risk model Fusarium head blight remained low over the past few days and is almost certain to remain low until at least the end of this week. Likewise, the risk for tan spot, leaf rust, and Septoria to develop will also remain low. Fungicides do not alleviate drought stress nor can they increase yield, fungicide can only preserve the yield potential that was there.  As the yield potential dwindles because of drought stress so will be the portion that can be saved with a fungicide should diseases have a chance to reach economically dam

Traditional vs advanced nitrogen management in poorly drained soils

By: Sonia Menegaz, graduate research assistant, and Fabian Fernandez, Extension nutrient management specialist Pre-plant urea fertilization is a traditional nitrogen (N) practice in much of Minnesota. Split application and using enhanced efficiency N fertilizer sources, such as ESN that is a polymer coated urea (PCU), are a few of the advanced management practices that have been suggested to improve production and reduce N losses to the environment. But how effective are these advanced practices at reducing N losses and keeping N in the soil available to the crop? This was the focus of a seven-year study (2014-2020) in southwestern Minnesota that is part of a coordinated multi-state project across the Midwest. The study was supported by the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Promotion Council (AFREC), the Foundation for Agronomic Research (FFAR), and the Fertilizer Institute (TFI). Before we dive into our findings, let’s review a few fundamental concepts. What are the most common pat

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update for 06/11/21

Two larger weather systems have brought some measurable precipitation across much of Northwest Minnesota in the past 48 hours, providing at least temporary relief from the drought and heat stress to crop had to endure in recent days.   The scouts continue to find little to no leaf diseases across Minnesota.  Aphids continue their march north and have now been found up to the Canadian border. Overall a third of the fields have some aphids but  most fields in the survey were below the treatment threshold yet. Aphid numbers about doubled west-central Minnesota and in the southern Red River Valley from a week ago and have or will soon reach the economic threshold. Likewise, grasshoppers numbers are creeping higher across the whole state. The disease risk model Fusarium head blight remained low over the past few days and is almost certain to remain low until at least the middle of next week (see in the paragraph below why).  The risk for tan spot, leaf rust, and Septoria is likely to incre

Yellow sticky traps available for cooperators - Participate in state and regional corn rootworm trapping network

Ken Ostlie, Extension entomologist, and Bruce Potter, Extension IPM specialist Corn rootworm (CRW) populations appear to be increasing the last few years with reports of poor Bt-RW trait performance and prospective Bt-RW resistance also rising. Scouting CRW beetles is the best way to assess risk of corn rootworm damage to the next corn crop in that field. One way to do this is by placing a series of yellow sticky traps in post-silking corn fields and counting the beetles captured. For the past few years, Dr. Ken Ostlie and I have been involved in a project to determine whether sticky trap data from individual fields can be combined to draw inferences on general geographic and historical trends of CRW populations and Bt resistance. Because of differences in rootworm population densities and in management practices such as planting date, Bt traits, and insecticides, we need observations from a large number of fields to do these analyses. If you would like to run a CRW trapline(s) but ne

Frost Damage to Rye

Evidence of the freezing temperature causing damage to winter rye has just started to become visible in recent days (Photo 1). Affected florets have bleached appearance. When you pull back the glumes you will see that the anthers halted development and have not been extruded/pushed out.  Neither are any kernels developing in these pale white florets.  Photo 1 - Frost damage on individual spikes of rye.  Notice the pale, bleached glumes of the affected florets and the absence of extruded anthers. I suggest that you contact your crop insurance agent if you have multi-peril crop insurance on your winter rye as this frost damage may fall under the adverse weather conditions cause of losses.