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Showing posts from October, 2021

Register now for the Drainage Research Forum

By: Lindsay Pease, Extension nutrient management specialist Learn about the latest agricultural drainage research in Minnesota, Iowa, and South Dakota at the annual Drainage Research Forum. The event will be on November 23 at the Gateway Hotel and Conference Center in Ames, Iowa. For those that cannot attend in-person, a virtual online option is available. Register now The forum will provide updates on drainage research and issues from the three states along with relevant research from across the upper Midwest. There will be a mini-symposium highlighting results from the recently completed Transforming Drainage Project , and a pandemic-delayed retrospective celebrating 20 Drainage Research Forums.  Transforming Drainage Project Specific drainage topics that are on the agenda this year include: multi-purpose oxbows, water quality monitoring, controlled drainage, and drainage water recycling. The forum is jointly sponsored by the Iowa Nutrient Research Center, the University of Minnesota

Increasing tar spot of corn in Minnesota

 Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist Tar spot of corn increased in distribution and severity in Minnesota in 2021 compared to previous years. It developed widely in SE MN where it developed previously, and spread west and north to areas where it was not previously known. Thus, tar spot is no longer restricted to southeast Minnesota and may pose a risk to more areas in the future. Tar spot is a fungal disease of corn that primarily infects and damages leaves. It can result in significant yield losses, depending on weather, severity, and timing of disease development. Risk of disease is highest in areas with frequent rains where the disease has occurred previously. Corn tar spot is caused by the fungus Phyllachora maydis . It produces raised, small (0.1” – 0.2”) raised, irregular-shaped black structures on leaves. The black structures are firm, appear mostly smooth on the surface, and do not rub off or break open (see photos below from MN corn fields). Key points and observat

Mind the moldy dust during harvest

Angie Peltier and Liz Stahl, Extension educators - crops Photo: Dave Nicolai Saprophyte – this is a fancy term for fungi that make their living by colonizing and extracting nutrients from dead tissue. Saprophytes are the reason continuous corn fields aren’t packed with piles of corn residue taller than us – saprophytic fungi help to degrade dead tissue as they complete their own life cycles. In years where we have rain after the corn crop has matured, but before the crop is harvested, saprophytic fungi are able to colonize and begin degrading corn tissue. The dark-colored dust that has been trailing combines in southern MN this year is most likely spores of saprophytic fungi that are helping to decay corn residue. Although these fungi aren’t harmful to the corn, the spores can cause respiratory issues for some people and cause a sore throat, irritation of the nose and eyes, and sinus congestion. Some people exposed to saprophytic mold end up feeling like they have the flu, with a hacki

With high fertilizer prices, should you consider manure options in your area?

By: Melissa Wilson, Extension specialist in manure management, and Chryseis Modderman, Extension educator As fertilizer prices continue to rise, more people are considering how to integrate livestock manure into their soil fertility plans. While dealing with manure can be a bit more complicated than fertilizer, it’s a valuable source of nutrients and also provides food for soil microorganisms; a win-win situation when it comes to overall soil health! Here are some tips to consider to make sure you get the best bang for your buck from manure. No livestock, no problem If you don’t usually apply manure, you likely don’t have a large livestock operation; but don’t let that stop you from reaping the benefits of manure! Talk to a neighbor who raises livestock about buying some of their manure and paying them to apply it on your fields. There are several mutual benefits from this sort of partnership. The obvious one being that you get the nutrient and soil health benefits of manure, while pos

Field Crops IPM Podcast: What's living in your grain bin?

  Welcome to the IPM Podcast for Field Crops. Subscribe to the podcast and never miss an episode on your favorite platforms, such as iTunes , Google Podcasts, and Spotify. This Podcast is sponsored by UMN Extension Integrated Pest Management (IPM). In this week’s podcast, we feature: Dr. Janet Knodel , Extension Entomologist at North Dakota State University.       Click here to listen to the podcast Old grain infested with insects can be the largest source of continuing issues for the next year's crop. Integrated pest management is vital for stored grain pest management because options to to treat insects after a problem is found in a bin are limited. Dr. Knodel discussed three main types of insects common in stored grain: internal feeders like weevils, external feeders such as Indian meal moth, and insects that feed on mold developing on the grain. Both mold and insect feeding can increase the temperature of the grain, which can accelerate spoilage and make conditions even more

Private Pesticide Applicator certification options for 2021 close soon

Tana Haugen-Brown, Extension educator and Co-coordinator - Pesticide Safety and Environmental Education Private pesticide applicators who still need to certify in 2021 have two options left to get their certification. You must take either the online or mail-in exam to receive your certification. The cost is $75 for each option and certification is good for three years. Both of these options close on October 31 for 2021. Visit our website: and click on the “Exams” tab for more information. Information about the 2022 Private Pesticide Applicator certification program will be posted on our website in December for new applicators or those who need to recertify. If you are unsure if you need recertification in 2022, check your applicator status on this MDA website: . If you have questions regarding the private pesticide applicator certification options above, you can contact us at or by phone at 763

Northwest Minnesota drainage research update: How did record wet and dry periods affect soybean, wheat yields after installation?

By: Lindsay Pease, Extension nutrient management specialist The Red River Valley being a place of extremes is nothing new. But in 2021, we set another weather record. This time, we observed the driest January through September on record at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center (NWROC) in Crookston. A common light-hearted question people asked me this summer was, “how’s that new drainage project going?” We installed a new subsurface drainage system for one of our fields at the NWROC in October 2019. The project is funded by Minnesota’s Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC) and the 4R Research Fund. Two years in, we have experienced the wettest growing season on record followed by the driest. With this post, I wanted to share some first impressions on what we saw out on our drainage plots during the drought, and offer some comparisons between 2020 and 2021. We grew wheat this year (more on harvest later) after growing soybeans in 2020. One of the first drou

Atmospheric nutrient deposition research update: Q&A with Paulo Pagliari

Extension nutrient management specialist Paulo Pagliari is currently in the third year of a study measuring atmospheric nutrient deposition in Minnesota. Last September,  we wrote about preliminary results from the first year of the study (2019). This year, we sat down with Pagliari to get an update on the study’s 2020 results. The project is funded by Minnesota’s fertilizer check-off dollars through the Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC) . You made some changes to the study after the first year. What were the differences between the 2019 study year and the last two years of the project? Yes, we did some fine-tuning of what we're looking at. One thing that was a major change was one of the locations. We were originally doing this study at Becker, Morris, Lamberton, Waseca and Crookston, and those are all areas surrounded by agricultural fields. Then we decided to add an area where there's little influence from grain agriculture, so we replaced the

Herbicide-resistant waterhemp and ragweeds survey help requested

Navjot Singh, Graduate student, and Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed scientist Figure 1. Waterhemp plant surviving Enlist One application at 6 pt/A after 28 days after treatment in the greenhouse. Herbicide-resistant weeds are threatening agronomic crop production in Minnesota (Figure 1). In 2020, we received about 30 waterhemp samples - mostly from southern MN - and the greenhouse resistance screening results showed that the majority of waterhemp populations were resistant to ALS-inhibiting herbicides (e.g., Pursuit, Raptor, and Classic) and glyphosate.  The results also showed that 14 and 15% of waterhemp populations were resistant to atrazine and PPO inhibitors (e.g., Flexstar), respectively. If at least 40% of plants survive a 3X labeled dose of a certain herbicide, we consider that population to be resistant. Figure 2. Distribution of multiple herbicide-resistant waterhemp populations in Minnesota. Two populations from Carver and Olmsted County showed resistance to four herbicide s

From cover crops to tillage: How soil health impacts nutrient management

In  this episode  of the Nutrient Management Podcast, three U of M researchers discuss soil management and nutrient issues. How do erosion and tillage practices impact nutrients in the soil and nutrient management?  After a dry spring and summer, what should growers know about soil and nutrient management heading into the fall? Is deep tillage to break compaction a good idea this year? How can farmers better manage soils to avoid nutrient issues? Are cover crops a good idea this year? Listen to the podcast View the podcast transcript Guests: Fabian Fernandez, Extension nitrogen management specialist Anna Cates, Extension soil health specialist Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension educator - Willmar Additional resources: Fall 2021 soil testing considerations for the 2022 growing season Growing cover crops in Minnesota: 4 great resources to get you started Cover crop residue and C:N ratios Soil management and health Soil organic matter in cropping systems Minnesota Office of Soil Health Follow