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Showing posts from May, 2022

Field Notes addressed delayed planting concerns

 Phyllis Bongard, Educational content development and communications specialist The cool, wet spring has led to significant planting delays in several parts of the state. Others are dealing with flooding after planting. How are management decisions impacted by these situations? Extension agronomists Jeff Coulter, Jochum Wiersma and Seth Naeve joined moderators Anthony Hanson and Dave Nicolai, Extension crops educators, for the May 25th Field Notes session to help sort through the issues. Small grains In the central and northern parts of the state, planting has been significantly delayed due to wet conditions. According to Wiersma, producers are switching between crops and picking off fields as they can get them planted. The question he gets most frequently is whether growers should still plant wheat or oats. High commodity prices and crop insurance planting deadlines make the question a tricky one to navigate. The spring wheat planting deadlines for full coverage are May 15, May 31, an

Things to consider for a successful postemergence herbicide application

Liz Stahl Extension educator - crops, Phyllis Bongard, Educational content development & communications specialist, Ryan Miller and Dave Nicolai, Extension educators - crops, and Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed specialist Waterhemp is an early-emerging weed . Consult the interactive weed seedling quiz at the end of this article for comparisons of seedling identification characteristics of waterhemp, redroot pigweed and other weed seedlings. Photo: Dr. Tom Peters Recent warmer temperatures and adequate moisture have set the stage for rapid weed growth in the coming weeks. Timely and effective herbicide applications will carry much of the weight in most weed management programs, since very few weeds were present at the time of pre-plant tillage this year due to the cold late spring. Scout fields now for weed emergence, regardless if a preemergence (PRE) herbicide was applied or not. In much of southern Minnesota, delayed planting along with variable precipitation may have

Prevent plant: Considerations for corn and soybean

By Liz Stahl, Extension Educator – Crops, and Phyllis Bongard, Content Development and Communications Specialist Prevent plant field in 2019. Photo: Liz Stahl, UMN Extension Farmers across parts of Minnesota have been dealing with excessively wet or persistently wet conditions that continue to delay crop planting. As wet conditions persist and final planting dates for crop insurance in Minnesota for corn (May 31 across southern Minnesota and May 25 across northern Minnesota) and soybean (June 10) approach, farmers are faced with the decision of whether or not to plant some of their crop / take prevent plant, plant their planned crop late, or switch to a different crop. There are many factors to consider when making these decisions and each farmer will need to evaluate what options fit best with their operation and situation. The following is a discussion of some key considerations to assist farmers in making Prevent Plant decisions: Crop insurance, prevent plant, and financial reso

How does integrating cover crops and liquid-injected manure impact corn yield and cover crop biomass?

By: Manuel Sabbagh, graduate research assistant, & Melissa Wilson, Extension manure management specialist Key Points Interseeding cover crops produces greater biomass than drilling cover crops after harvest. In rotations where corn follows corn (sweet corn or silage), late fall application of manure (when soils are below 50°F but prior to freezing) sustains or improves yield compared to spring-applied fertilizer. What we did The objectives of this study were multi-faceted. First, we wanted to explore various cover crop planting methods and planting times in order to have consistency in cover crop establishment and keep the soil covered year-round. Second, we wanted to see if cover crops can retain nutrients from fall-applied liquid-injected manure, even if the manure was injected a little earlier in the fall than we usually recommend. (Typically, we recommend injecting manure when soil temperatures cool down to 50°F or below.) Lastly, we wanted to measure the effects that integrat

Alfalfa Harvest Alert: May 27th

Nathan Drewitz, Local Extension Educator - Crops, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties Buds are starting to form at the top of alfalfa canopies which means we are close to first cutting. While stands are shorter this year than usual, consider the tradeoffs with quality as we get into next week. For more information on managing the risks of first cutting check out this recent post here . Alfalfa Harvest Alert for May 27th: Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 27th This program aims to encourage growers to be strategic with alfalfa hay crop harvest. Farmers should make decisions based on their specific feed and market needs and field observations. We also have a tool that contains all of the data from every county and farm that has participated in the Alfalfa Harvest Alert Program since 1997. Go to  to view that data. You can also get the most recent information through email by signing up at  and clicking the "Hay Auction and Scissor

Strategic Farming: Field Notes discusses early season weed control

By Angie Peltier, UMN Extension crops educator, and Phyllis Bongard, UMN Extension educational content development and communications specialist Early season weed flush. Photo: Tom Peters On May 18, 2022, Dr. Debalin Sarangi, UMN Extension weeds specialist, joined UMN Extension educators Ryan Miller, Dave Nicolai and Jared Goplen for a discussion of how best to employ early-season weed management tactics for season-long weed management success. This was the second episode of the 2022 Strategic Farming: Field Notes program in this series. To listen to a recording of this episode subscribe to Strategic Farming: Field Notes on your favorite podcasting platform or visit this website: . Pre-emergence herbicides provide value Pre-emergence herbicides (PRE) are applied to the soil after planting, but before crop emergence. PREs need to be dissolved in soil water - ‘activate’ - before weed seeds can take them up as they imbibe water. PRE’s target weed

Alfalfa Harvest Alert: May 23rd

Nathan Drewitz, Local Extension Educator - Crops, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties Sample collection is taking place throughout most of the participating areas. Reported issues are currently fitting into two categories, hail damage and winterkill.  With the progress made by the stands of our cooperators, these issues appear minor. There are also reports of alfalfa and cloverleaf weevils making appearances throughout stands in the program. Again these problems have remained minimal, and do not yet warrant control. With rumored first harvest dates starting as early as the middle of next week, I expect these problems will not cause much concern. Regardless, stands should continue to be monitored for potential stand and pest problems. Alfalfa Harvest Alert for May 23rd: Alfalfa Harvest Report May 23rd This program aims to encourage growers to be strategic with alfalfa hay crop harvest. Farmers should make decisions based on their specific feed and market needs and field observations

New cost-share program to help upgrade irrigation systems

The first sign-up for cost-share for irrigation system upgrades and associated practices is now available to producers in 19 Minnesota counties. This cost-share is available through a Regional Conservation Partnership Program (RCPP) awarded by the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS). The program is available to producers with irrigation systems located within Becker, Benton, Cass, Dakota, Douglas, East Otter Tail, Grant, Hubbard, Kandiyohi, Meeker, Morrison, Pope, Sherburne, Stearns, Stevens, Swift, Todd, Wadena, Washington, and West Otter Tail Soil and Water Conservation Districts (SWCD). Applications are accepted through June 17, 2022, and are available through the 20 local SWCD offices. The program provides financial and technical support to irrigators looking to adopt and integrate proven precision irrigation technology and nitrogen management practices to help optimize irrigation system operation. This will help address groundwater quality and quantity issues under i

Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP): Impacts on farm economics and the environment

By: Taylor Becker, Extension educator Do you or a farmer you know want to make a management change? Do you want to try a new practice you’ve heard about? For farmers interested in evaluating land management impacts on water quality, the Minnesota Agricultural Water Quality Certification Program (MAWQCP) is a great tool in the toolbox. The MAWQCP is a voluntary, comprehensive certification program that focuses on a whole-farm planning process. Program success Since its inception in 2015, the program has certified 1,196 farms representing over 839,000 acres. Farmers work with a certification specialist to go over nutrient management, tillage, edge-of-field practices and drainage, in-field management, and options for getting certified. There is no cost to farms to go through the process, and it can be a good chance to get a conservation professional’s view of your whole-farm management. Being certified provides participating farmers with the recognition that they are farming in ways that

Soliciting cooperators for the 2022 corn rootworm trapping project

Bruce Potter, IPM specialist Western corn rootworm beetles feeding on corn silks. 2021 saw root injury and lodging caused by the feeding of corn rootworm larvae in many Minnesota fields. The resulting rootworm beetle populations were also high. Western corn rootworm populations and root injury appeared to be larger in continuous corn, particularly in geographic areas where a large proportion of fields were planted to long-term continuous corn. Northern corn rootworms and extended diapause populations in rotated corn also increased. What will rootworm populations do during 2022? Did the winter influence western corn rootworm populations? Are populations increasing or decreasing? Scouting beetles will help provide an estimate of the risk for problems in the following corn crop. Aggregate data from numerous fields across multiple areas of Minnesota can provide clues on changes in rootworm populations over time. We will once again be collating rootworm data from yellow sticky traps pl

It’s time to include cutworms in your crop scouting efforts

Bruce Potter, IPM specialist Black cutworm damage to a young corn plant. Photo: W.M. Hantsbarger, To this point in 2022, migratory flights of black cutworm moths into Minnesota have been relatively light. However, from April 29 to May 1, significant captures (eight or more moths/two nights) were detected in six counties. These captures followed weather systems and rainfall patterns through the SW part of Minnesota (Table 1). It is important to include cutworms in your scouting efforts as you are evaluating crop and weed emergence. Continued delayed planting in some areas continues to prolong the risk for late-arriving moths. Leaf feeding on emerged corn or weeds will be visible for the next week or so. By the last few days of May and early June, larvae will be large enough to cut off small corn plants (Table 1). Corn cut above the growing point will recover. The concern is the black cutworm’s tendency to cut plants below the soil surface and growing point. Unlike corn,

Alfalfa Harvest Alert: May 18th

Nathan Drewitz, Local Extension Educator - Crops, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison Counties The Alfalfa Harvest Alert Program is now underway. This project aims to provide timely alerts on the current conditions of alfalfa throughout the participating areas and help identify the current quality and yield potential of those stands. Farmers should make decisions on their own farms based on their specific feed and market needs and field observations. Sampling starts when alfalfa is 14 - 16 inches tall and continues until the first cutting. Currently, we have cooperators in Sibley, Nicollet, Carver, McLeod, Wright, Stearns, Benton, Morrison, and Yellow Medicine counties. We have Wright and Carver counties reporting in with stands between 14 and 16 inches tall. Most of the remaining cooperators will begin sampling next Monday. Alfalfa Harvest Report from May 16th and 18th: Alfalfa Harvest Report May 18th You can also compare the different counties, and farms that have participated in the Alfal

Field Notes discussed cool, wet spring and forecast's impact on crop and pest development

By Angie Peltier, UMN Extension crops educator Photo: Liz Stahl, UMN Extension Some Minnesotans are experiencing a bit of ‘weather whiplash’ as some areas that experienced a historically severe drought in 2021 are currently experiencing very wet weather. In addition to delaying spring planting, the weather also impacts when crop pests will emerge or arrive.  On May 11, 2022, Dr. Dennis Todey, Director of the USDA Midwest Climate Hub, Bruce Potter, University of Minnesota Extension IPM specialist, Drs. Jeff Coulter, UMN Extension corn agronomist and Seth Naeve, UMN Extension soybean agronomist, joined UMN Extension educators David Nicolai, Anthony Hanson and Jared Goplen for a wide-ranging discussion of how the wet 2022 spring weather and forecast for the rest of the growing season will affect spring field operations, summer crop growth and development and the arrival and emergence of crop pests. This was the first episode of the 2022 Strategic Farming: Field Notes program in this serie

Crop production after heavy rain and field flooding

Anthony Hanson, Extension educator - IPM; Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist; Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist; Dean Malvick, Extension crop pathologist Heavy flooding and ponding in central MN meadows and fields. Photo: Adam Austing near Howard Lake, Wright County. A large swath of central Minnesota saw 4 to 7 inches of rain between May 7-14, with some locations reporting over 8 inches. This resulted in heavily flooded fields with standing water, even on sandy soils, or heavy runoff on hillsides. This all occurred only recently after conditions were finally fit for planting, especially for corn. This has left many growers asking how long recently planted seeds can survive underwater or in heavily saturated soil, and if there is any action they should be taking now, especially if soil crusting is a concern. Flooding Whether a seed or seedling survives flooding is based on the length of time that flooding lasts and the soil temperature. Warmer temperatures increase plant re

Corn and soybean fertilizer guidelines for Minnesota: Spring 2022 update

By: Dan Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist Proper nutrient management is a key component of profitable corn and soybean operations. With new data come new fertilizer guidelines for corn and soybean. These guidelines reflect recent research findings from around Minnesota. This blog post highlights the changes and provides links to web pages with the full guidelines for both crops, as well as printable PDFs of both publications. Corn fertilizer guidelines With the addition of data from the 2019, 2020, and 2021 growing seasons, we updated the suggested nitrogen rates (Table 1) in the  corn fertilizer guidelines . Suggested nitrogen rates for non-irrigated corn grown in the southern two-thirds of Minnesota increased slightly for both corn-following-corn and corn-following-soybean. Current fertilizer prices are hovering at or around the 0.15 price ratio. At that price ratio, the updated suggested rates are similar to those in the previous guidelines when fertilizer prices were