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Showing posts from November, 2021

Hold the dates for Small grain workshops

Jared Goplen, Extension educator - crops If you're a farmer or crop consultant already producing small grains or are looking for another crop to add to your rotation, these workshops are for you.  Ten small grain management events will be offered across Minnesota in January and February of 2022.  They'll focus on production agronomics, variety selection, and economics, and include an open-forum discussion for related topics and on-farm experiences. Thanks to the generous support of the Minnesota Wheat Research and Promotion Council, registration is free and lunch is included at all sites.   Workshop details Dates, locations, times and contacts follow: Monday, January 17, 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. – Morris West Central Research and Outreach Center, lunch after meeting (Contact Jared Goplen at 507-829-0614) Monday, January 31, 1:00 – 3:00 p.m. – Roseau Roseau City Center, Lunch prior to meeting (Contact Angie Peltier at 218-281-8692) * Private Pesticide Applicator Training will pre

The long-term costs of covering up

Anna Cates, State soil health specialist Rye cover crop terminated prior to soybean. How much cover crops cost to implement and whether they can make you money is a subject of heated debate. Costs are obvious: seed, time and fuel to plant and terminate them. The benefits tend to be less tangible and slower to accumulate: cover crops stabilize yields , but don’t necessarily increase them, and sometimes they lead to lower nutrient or herbicide applications over time . They’ll also definitely slow erosion and nutrient loss , but unless you’re spending money each year on eliminating ruts and putting in grass waterways, those savings can be hard to see. A new spreadsheet tool developed by Katie Wilts Johnson, the MN Office for Soil Health, and the Center for Farm Financial Management lets growers and advisors play around with different scenarios to see what’s profitable over one, five and ten year periods. Plant the cover crop yourself instead of hiring an operator? Big boost. Planning on

Advance corn hybrid selection with new trial results

 Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist Hybrid selection is one of the most important factors affecting corn yield and profitability. In trials where many corn hybrids are compared, it is common for grain yield to vary by 30 to 50 bushels per acre or more among hybrids.  Seed costs should also be considered when selecting corn hybrids, as several hybrids often produce yields that are among the highest in a trial. Additionally, it is important to stay current with corn hybrid selection, as the rate of genetic yield improvement by year of hybrid commercial release is nearly 2 bushels per acre. To select corn hybrids, look at results from multiple trials from reputable sources. Trials that have all hybrids replicated at least two or three times and also compare hybrids from multiple companies are of particular value. Look for consistent performance  Select hybrids that consistently perform well across multiple locations or years with soils and growing conditions similar to those of your

Fertilizer prices and supply chain issues: What to know

The last time fertilizer prices were this high, many U.S. farmers switched from growing corn to soybean, resulting in an 11% decrease in demand for nitrogen fertilizer. Farmers also applied significantly less phosphate and potash fertilizer. In  this episode  of the Nutrient Management Podcast, we discuss why fertilizer prices are so high and what farmers should be thinking about. Where are fertilizer prices right now and how do they compare to the recent past? Why are fertilizer prices so high right now? What are price ratios and why is this an important metric to watch? How are farmers reacting to the high prices and fertilizer availability concerns? What should growers be thinking about in terms of fertilizer purchasing decisions and nutrient management planning this fall and next spring? Listen to the podcast View the podcast transcript Guests: Brad Carlson, U of M  Extension educator  Jim Carlson, Vice President of Agronomy at United Farmers Co-op in Winthrop, Minnesota Russ Quinn

2021 Performance comparisons of early and late maturity soybeans in SE MN available

Lisa Behnken, Research specialist - field trials Performance comparisons of  early (1.0 to 1.8) and late (1.9 to 2.4) maturity soybeans in southeastern Minnesota are now available. Soybean evaluated in this trial were tolerant to one or more of the following herbicides: glyphosate, glufosinate, dicamba, 2,4-D, and/or a specific HPPD herbicide. Traits for each entry are included in tables 1-4. Yields for 22 early maturity entries ranged from 56.9 to 69.7 bushels per acre and from 58.1 to 71.6 bushels per acre for 19 late maturity entries. The study was conducted near Rochester, Minnesota (Lawler site) on a Port Byron silt loam: Planted - May 25, 2021 with a 4-row John Deere planter equipped with cone units Seeding rate - 165,000 seeds per acre planted at a depth of 1.5 inches Row spacing - 30-inch rows Plot size - 4 rows by 22 feet Herbicides - Warrant Ultra + Pursuit / Glyphosate + Select Max Harvest - Machine harvested center two rows of each plot on October 18, 2021 Results Ea

Manure for sale: How livestock farmers can benefit from high fertilizer prices

Melissa Wilson/U of M Extension By: Chryseis Modderman, University of Minnesota Extension educator, & Melissa Wilson, University of Minnesota Extension specialist Livestock owners have long known the immense value of their manure. Now, with soaring commercial fertilizer prices, some crops-only folks are starting to see what all the hype is about and are seeking to buy manure from their livestock owner neighbors. Luckily, livestock and crop farmers teaming up can prove to be mutually beneficial. The most obvious benefit is that you, the livestock owner, earn some cash for the manure you were planning to apply anyway; and the crop farmer gets the nutrient and soil health benefits of manure while paying less than commercial fertilizer. In addition, more application acres can help free up on-farm manure storage, giving you a bit more freedom to delay applications in the event of a wet spring. You might also cut transportation costs if the new field is closer to the barn than the land f

Mark your calendar for the Strategic Farming series!

By Liz Stahl, Extension educator – crops, and Phyllis Bongard, Content development and communications specialist Pull up a chair and join in or bring the conversation with you as you go about your day. Whatever works best for you, join us this winter to discuss some of the key issues and questions around commodity crop production facing Minnesota farmers today through the “ Strategic Farming: Let’s Talk Crops ” webinar series.  This live, online program will provide up-to-date, research-based information to help optimize your crop management strategies for 2022. Sessions will be held over Zoom, which can be accessed via your computer, phone or other mobile device, and run from 9:00 to 10:00 am Wednesdays, January 5 through March 30, 2022. Sessions will be very informal and open to all interested. Each session will start with a brief presentation by the discussion leaders for the day, followed by discussion framed around farmer/participant questions on the topic. Topics and speakers

Annual Soil Management Summit to be held in Mankato

Like many events, last year’s Soil Management Summit (SMS) had to make the transition from in-person to online. This year, the conference committee is excited to welcome participants in two different formats - both in-person and virtual SMS events on December 14 and 15. It's the best of both worlds.  Participants will have opportunities to visit in person with the people who have real experience, or if they just want to listen to a couple of presentations, they can do that at their computer. The SMS, formerly known as the Conservation Tillage Conference (CTC), emphasizes proven farmer experience and applied science. Straight from the fields, learn how heavier, colder soils aren’t necessarily the challenge they’re made out to be. Hear from long-time no-till, reduced tillage and cover crop farmers as they share their experiences, so you can be spared the same hard-earned lessons. SMS is excited to welcome Dr. Rattan Lal as the virtual keynote speaker. He is a highly decorated academi

Can starter fertilizer options help reduce soil fertility costs next year?

By: Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist Increases in fertilizer prices and talk of tight supplies have led to questions about options for the upcoming growing season to reduce costs. Starter fertilizer does provide growers with some options to reduce the need for broadcast fertilizer, especially for phosphorus. If you are looking to use starter more effectively, there are some things that should be considered. 1. Watch your starter fertilizer rate for corn to limit the risk of reduced germination Salt and nitrogen (N) in starters could reduce seed germination if the rates applied to corn are too high. Low-salt fertilizers are available but balancing the cost of the product versus what you are getting for nutrients with the starter application can be tricky. For phosphorus (P), one of the best products to use is 10-34-0 due to its higher analysis of P 2 O 5 . However, 10-34-0 is not a low-salt product, which can cause some concerns depending on how much you apply. The m

Fertilizer prices and supply chain issues

In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, we discuss fertilizer prices and supply chain issues. Extension educator Brad Carlson is joined by: Jim Carlson, Vice President of Agronomy at United Farmer's Co-op in Winthrop, Minnesota; Russ Quinn, ag market reporter for DTN/The Progressive Farmer and a farmer in eastern Nebraska; and Josh Linville, Director of Fertilizer at StoneX Financial.  Where are fertilizer prices right now and how do they compare to the recent past?  Why are fertilizer prices so high right now?  What are price ratios and why is this an important metric to watch?  How are farmers reacting to the high prices and fertilizer availability concerns?  What should growers be thinking about in terms of fertilizer purchasing decisions and nutrient management planning this fall and next spring? Thank you to Minnesota's Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council (AFREC) for supporting the podcast.

High nitrogen fertilizer costs: What should corn growers be thinking about?

By: Brad Carlson, Extension educator, & Fabian Fernandez, Extension nitrogen management specialist There has been a lot of media coverage recently about rising fertilizer prices. A recent survey of dealers in south-central Minnesota showed the price of anhydrous ammonia ranging from $1250 to $1400 per ton. Furthermore, none of the retailers contacted were pricing fertilizer for spring application, casting a shadow on overall fertilizer decisions. It is uncertain as to whether there are real concerns about fertilizer availability or if dealers are trying to avoid the risk of purchasing expensive product they would be forced to sell at a loss should fertilizer prices drop. Farmers have rightly been questioning whether they need to adjust their plans based on this situation. Here are some things to consider when evaluating your situation. 1. Make sure you are complying with Minnesota’s nitrogen fertilizer rule The updated Groundwater Protection Rule is now in its second year. This