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Showing posts from February, 2022

Fridays with a Forester series

Join University of Minnesota Extension foresters to discuss some of the key issues and questions around forest and woodlands facing Minnesota landowners. These online sessions will be very informal and open to the public free of charge. Each session will start with a brief presentation, followed by a discussion framed around participant questions on the topic. All webinars will be from 9 to 10 am. Upcoming topics include: March 4 – Wildlife on your property March 18 - Citizen Science and Invasive Species April 1 - Healthy Woodlands/Climate Adaptation April 15 - Timber Sales and New Wood Products April 29 - Woodland Grazing or Silvopasture May 13 - Family Friendly Earth Care The next zoom session will be on Friday, March 4, 2022, so sign up today. The last session in the series will be on May 13. You only need to register once for the Fridays with a Forester series and you are welcome to attend any and all of the webinars in the series. You'll receive reminder emails with a l

Carbon markets: Paying farmers to reduce tillage, plant cover crops

In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, we discuss carbon markets. What is soil carbon sequestration and how does it work? What are carbon markets and how do they work? What are the risks and benefits of carbon farming? What else should farmers interested in participating in carbon markets keep in mind? View the podcast transcript Guests: Anna Cates, Extension soil health specialist Jodi DeJong Hughes, Extension educator, Willmar Amy Robak, crop advisor, Centra Sota Co-op Additional resources: How to approach carbon market opportunities U of M Extension soil management and health Minnesota Office for Soil Health (MOSH) Ecosystem Services Market Consortium (ESMC) pilot project in central Minnesota All Acres for Our Waters project Minnesota's Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCDs) NRCS Registry of Technical Service Providers Carbon Smart Programming - Minnesota Corn Growers How to Grow and Sell Carbon Credits in US Agriculture (Iowa State University) --- For the la

New program aims to help Minnesota irrigators boost crop yields, save water

Are you an irrigator concerned about matching your irrigation with crop water use? Are you wondering how to improve water use efficiency and reduce water costs? The University of Minnesota Extension is offering a new program, the Minnesota Irrigator Program (MIP) , to help answer these questions and more. This two-day event will be held in-person at U of M Extension’s Regional Office in St. Cloud on: Day One: Wednesday, March 23rd from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and   Day Two: Wednesday, March 30th from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.  The cost of this two-day program is $50. Breakfast and lunch are provided. Participation is capped at 25 individuals (20 growers and 5 agency staff), so be sure to register today!  Register now With its sandy soils and limited precipitation, irrigation is a key component of production agriculture in the central region of Minnesota. Programming will include discussion of irrigation systems, how to use soil moisture sensors on your farm, irrigation scheduling, and spec

Strategic Farming: Let's talk crops! February 16 session covers tar spot, a new disease in Minnesota corn

By Angie Peltier, UMN Extension crops educator, and Phyllis Bongard, UMN Extension educational content development and communications specialist Figure 1. Tar spot of corn. Photo: Dean Malvick Over the last couple of years, a new fungal disease has been observed in corn fields in southeast Minnesota. Called tar spot of corn, this disease was observed for the first time in the United States in 2015 in northern Illinois and central Indiana. As with any new disease, there is a steep learning curve to characterize risk factors and management strategies and field crop plant pathologists throughout the north central US have been hard at work in this endeavor.  On February 16, 2022, Drs. Dean Malvick, University of Minnesota Extension corn and soybean plant pathology specialist, and Nathan Kleczewski, Growmark technical agronomist, joined UMN Extension educator Ryan Miller for a wide-ranging discussion of how best to identify tar spot, what environmental factors favor disease and what resear

Weather notices for private pesticide recertification workshops: Olivia is postponed and Worthington is on

Due to the area Winter Storm Watch and Winter Weather Advisory, the University of Minnesota Extension Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification session originally scheduled for Oliva, MN for Tuesday, February 22nd has been postponed to Wednesday, February 23rd at the same location and time: Where : Renville County Services Center, 105 South 5th Street, Olivia, MN The meeting will be held in Room #117 in the lower level. When:  12:30 PM to 4:00 PM.  For registration questions etc., please contact: Mary Sue Stothart at 763-767-3840 or . If you have preregistered, you will automatically be notified if you would like to attend. If you have not yet registered you may still attend as a walk-in.  Worthington workshop Based on the current forecast, the Worthington Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification workshop is set to proceed as planned on Feb 22 from 9:00 - 12:30 (check-in starting at 8:30) at the Worthington Event Center - NOTE this is weather permitting .  I

Some private pesticide applicator recertification options for 2022 end soon

By Tana Haugen-Brown, Extension Educator and Co-Coordinator, PSEE and Liz Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops Private pesticide applicators who wish to renew a certification that ends on March 1, 2022 have just through the end of February to do so to keep their certification from expiring. If you are unsure of your applicator status, you can check your certification status here: Farmers, who reside in Minnesota and plan to use Restricted Use Pesticides on land or sites for the production of agricultural commodities must renew their certification if it expires on March 1, 2022. The cost is $75 for each option and certification is good for three years.  Options for recertification These recertification options are available through the end of February: Option 1 -  In-person workshop Attend a live in-person workshop. Workshops offer a great opportunity to review regulations and safety issues related to pesticide application, while providing you with the

Strategic Farming: Let’s talk crops! focused on cover crops

Phyllis Bongard, Content development and communications specialist Cover crop residue in corn (left) and soybean (right). Timing can mean a lot when it comes to cover crops. Drs. Anna Cates, State soil health specialist, and Axel Garcia y Garcia, Sustainable cropping systems specialist, joined Extension Educator Liz Stahl for a wide-ranging discussion on cover crop termination timings in corn and soybean and planting green in the February 9 session of Strategic Farming: Let’s talk crops! Benefits of cover crops Cover crops provide many benefits, from reducing erosion to increasing water infiltration and retention. They reduce nitrate leaching risk by taking up nitrogen and can suppress weed growth, and these functions are greater when cover crops produce more biomass. Why the focus on biomass? Why is biomass production so important? Biomass covers the soil, retains nutrients, and feeds the soil food web. According to Cates, the living roots of cover crops feed the soil microbes that bu

Soil health management systems: What are they and how could they help farmers?

By: Madeline Vogel, Graduate research assistant; Anna Cates, Extension soil health specialist; & Vasudha Sharma, Extension irrigation specialist What are soil health management systems? Soil health management systems are agricultural systems that prioritize the health of soils, by reducing soil disturbance and keeping living roots in the ground. Healthy soils should protect soil carbon and nutrients, capture and store water, and promote soil organisms. To promote healthy soil, we recommend:  Armoring the soil Minimizing soil disturbance Increasing plant diversity Maintaining continual live plant/roots Integrating livestock How can integrating soil health principles help farmers and the environment? The first soil health principle, “soil armoring,” is all about keeping the ground covered as much as possible. For example, farmers can leave crop residues instead of tilling. The residue acts as a shield, protecting the soil from wind and water and reducing soil evaporation rates to ke

Field Crops IPM Podcast: A retrospective on 38 years of corn entomology with Ken Ostlie

  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. Ken Ostlie , Professor and Extension Entomologist with the University of Minnesota who just retired in January after 38 years at the U of M. Click here to listen to the podcast In this episode, Dr. Ostlie looks back on his career as a corn entomologist ranging from starting off in the middle of the farming and fiscal crisis of the 1980s, how Extension has changed, the introduction of Bt corn, and of course, corn pests. He saw shifts in corn management between widespread outbreaks of European corn borer in the 80s and 90s as well as its decline as transgenic Bt traits were introduced. Meanwhile, corn rootworm became a concern as it overcame Bt resistance and posed additional challenges to growers.

Register now for Feb. 15 Nitrogen Conference in St. Cloud

Learn about the latest nitrogen management and water quality research at the 8th annual Nitrogen: Minnesota's Grand Challenge and Compelling Opportunity Conference. The conference will take place on Tuesday, February 15th, 2022 in St. Cloud and will also be available online. In-person attendance will be limited to 100 people with a fee of $20 payable at the time of registration. Lunch is provided. Virtual attendance is unlimited and free but registration is required. Register: In-person event or online version (Zoom) In-person event location: Holiday Inn and Suites, 75 South 37th Avenue, Saint Cloud, Minn. Certified crop advisers (CCAs) can earn continuing education credits (CEUs) in soil and water and nutrient management by attending the conference. Presentations Combining 4R nutrient stewardship with intensive agronomics to improve corn systems - Dr. Jeff Coulter, Univ. of Minnesota Integration of irrigation and nitrogen management for optimum corn production and reduced nitra

Strategic Farming: Let's talk crops! focused on weed management

Phyllis Bongard, Extension content development and communications specialist Waterhemp in Minnesota field. Photo: Liz Stahl With increasing herbicide resistance and a decrease in effective management tools, weed management will continue to become more complicated. Drs. Tom Peters, Extension sugarbeet agronomist and weed scientist, and Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed scientist, joined Extension Educators Ryan Miller, Dave Nicolai and Jared Goplen for a wide-ranging discussion on effective weed management strategies in the February 2 session of Strategic Farming: Let’s talk crops! Weed management strategies Know your weeds Weed management is all about fundamentals, according to Peters. Learning about the characteristics that makes one weed different from another is crucial for managing them effectively. Identification Weed identification is not easy, since what you’re looking at in the field may be different from what you might see in a photo or in a greenhouse. Don’t be afraid to ask

Plan to attend a Small Grains Update

The Small Grains Update offers the latest recommendations for production and pest management. These workshops will be discussion-based meetings, so bring your questions. Topics include production agronomics, variety selection, soil fertility, and economics. Register now for any of the following locations: February 14, 9 - 11:30 a.m., New Prague February 14, 1 - 3:30 p.m., Rochester February 15, 1 - 3:30 p.m., Floodwood February 17, 1 - 3:30 p.m. Slayton February 18, 9 - 11:30 a.m., Cold Spring February 18, 1 - 3:30 p.m., Benson February 23, 9 - 10 a.m. Strategic Farming webinar  Panelists include Jochum Wiersma, Extension small grains specialist, and Jared Goplen, Extension educator - crops. Registration There's no cost to register or attend any of the in-person Updates.  Lunch is included.  Register for an in-person Update The final Update of the series will be offered online as part of the Strategic Farming: Let's talk crops! webinar series. These webinars are also free

Reminder: Soybean Gall Midge Regional Series begins February 15

Photo: Bruce Potter Since its discovery as a new species in 2019, soybean gall midge continues to be found in new counties across five states in the Midwest. For some growers, the presence of soybean gall midge had a significant impact on soybean yield. The persistence of this new pest in existing areas and its presence in new counties highlight the need to stay up-to-date on the latest research-based information. Join our live, two-part Midwest discussion series to hear research-based updates from university experts from Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa and South Dakota. This virtual program will feature several short presentations during each session with plenty of time for questions and discussion. Growers, consultants, educators, and industry representatives are encouraged to join these free webinars. Registration is required and three CCA credits will be available. Dates and topics February 15: Insights on distribution, scouting, ecology and chemical control Get the latest multi-state u

'Aged manure is not composted manure': Four factors for successful manure composting

By: Chryseis Modderman, Extension manure management educator “Oh, sure, yeah, I got a manure pile that’s been composting for a few years now,” the farmer says as he points at a weedy heap that hasn’t been disturbed in years. While that pile will break down a bit over time, aged manure is not composted manure. I’ll say it again, and I may get this tattooed on my forehead: aged manure is not composted manure. I like to say that composting manure is as much of an art as it is science. Proper composting needs regular, active management with the right combination of temperature, size, moisture, oxygen, and carbon-to-nitrogen ratio to keep the microbes happy and make the piles break down into compost — that beautiful, earthy, soil-like product. Temperature Much like people, taking the temperature of a compost pile can show you if you have a healthy system or one in need of a check-up. In the life cycle of a compost pile, there are three temperature phases: Warm-up: The period from pile cons

4th Strategic Farming: Let's talk crops! webinar focused on sulfur

Sulfur study near Albert Lea in 2019. No sulfur applied on left plot. Sulfur applied in a 2x2 band on the right. By: Phyllis Bongard, Extension content development and communications specialist Sulfur (S) might be considered a secondary nutrient, but it is essential for crop production. Dr. Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist, and Jeff Vetsch, Soil scientist at the Southern Research and Outreach Center, joined Extension educator Ryan Miller for a wide-ranging discussion on new findings in sulfur fertility in the January 26 session of the webinar series, Strategic Farming: Let’s talk crops! New findings in sulfur fertility Recognizing a change in sulfur needs Historically, sulfur fertilizer was primarily recommended on low soil organic matter soils and coarse-textured sandy soils. Then in a liming study that ran from 1999 to 2006, Vetsch started to recognize slight corn yield differences when S had been applied. One of the liming treatments in the Waseca study was gyp

Do you have conservation land? CRP sign-up is available

Source: USDA Do you have some less productive land parcels that would qualify for CRP which would also be more profitable financially and environmentally than farming that land? The Conservation Reserve Program (CRP) is a land conservation program administered by the Farm Service Agency (FSA) of USDA. In exchange for a yearly rental payment, (based on average cash rental rates) farmers enrolled in the program agree to remove environmentally sensitive land from agricultural production and plant species that will improve environmental health and quality. Contracts for land enrolled in CRP are from 10 to15 years in length. The long-term goal of the program is to re-establish valuable land cover to help improve water quality, prevent soil erosion, and reduce loss of wildlife habitat. The 2022 General CRP signup runs from Jan. 31, 2022 to March 11, 2022, and the 2022 Grassland CRP signup runs from April 4, 2022 to May 13, 2022. The Continuous CRP Signup is ongoing. Producers interested in e

Register now for February 8th Nutrient Management Conference in Mankato

Learn about the latest fertilizer and manure research at the 14th annual Nutrient Management Conference. The conference will take place on Tuesday, February 8th, 2022 in Mankato and will also be available online. In-person attendance will be limited to 100 people with a fee of $20 payable at the time of registration. Lunch is provided. Virtual attendance is unlimited and free but registration is required. Register now: In-person event or online version (Zoom) In-person event location: Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center, 1 Civic Center Plaza, Mankato, Minn. Certified crop advisers (CCAs) can earn continuing education credits (CEUs) in soil & water and nutrient management by attending the conference. Presentations Timing of phosphorus application for corn and soybean - Dan Kaiser, Univ. of Minnesota Optimum levels of P and K in high yield long term cropping sequence of spring wheat and soybean in Northwestern Minnesota - David Grafstrom, Univ. of Minnesota Potassium testing base