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Showing posts from June, 2023

Field Notes: Continued dry conditions affect weed control decisions

Phyllis Bongard, Educational content development and communications specialist Dry weather and spotty rains across the state continue to impact both herbicide effectiveness and weed control options. Dr. Debalin Sarangi, Extension weed scientist, and Tom Hoverstad, University of Minnesota researcher at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, addressed weed management concerns during the June 28 Field Notes session. They were joined by Extension educators Dave Nicolai and Brad Carlson to give updates on crop development and nitrogen concerns in corn. Moderator Ryan Miller, Extension crops educator, steered the wide-ranging discussion. Crop and soil moisture update The drought has continued to intensify during the past few weeks in the Upper Midwest region. Spotty rains have given some relief in parts of Minnesota, but precipitation has been inconsistent. In southern Minnesota, for example, 7 to 9 inches of rain fell in early May, leading to ponding and replanting, until it

Fusarium Head Blight (FHB) Risk and Fungicide Questions

Last week’s widespread rains provided much-needed relief across much of North Dakota and Minnesota. It immediately increased questions about the risk for Fusarium head blight (scab). A one or two-day rain event does not automatically increase our chances of scab in small grains. We are recovering from multiple weeks of hot temperatures, sporadic rainfall, low relative humidity, and very infrequent dews. Like most fungal pathogens, the fungus that causes scab too needs rain and/or high relative humidity for the development of fruiting bodies and, eventually spore releases that can cause initial infections of scab in wheat and barley. The previous weeks greatly reduced the probability of these events occurring in most areas in both states. Therefore, we think of last weekend’s rain as priming the pump that started the scab disease cycle by providing the moisture needed to initiate the development of fruiting bodies that eventually will lead to spore releases.  If you watched the scab ris

Farmer survey highlights IPM practices and challenges

Liz Stahl, Extension Educator- Crops, and Anthony Hanson, Extension Educator - IPM, and Bob Koch, Extension soybean entomologist Each year, farmers provide feedback at Private Pesticide Applicator Recertification workshops regarding their practices and challenges faced when managing crop production pests. Besides providing an opportunity for attendees to see what others are doing in an anonymous way, this information provides guidance in identifying research and educational needs around integrated pest management (IPM). In 2022, this feedback was collected using Echo360 (formerly TurningPoint) clickers. Note, all responses are voluntary and completely anonymous, and information is pooled across respondents at a particular site. The following are some highlights from the 2022 survey that may provide some insight when making pest management decisions this growing season. Weed management Most farmers report dealing with herbicide-resistant weeds: Only 15% of respondents reported that

Register for the Corn-Soybean Weed Management Field Day on July 12 in Rosemount

Growers, crop consultants, agronomists, and other stakeholders are invited to attend the University of Minnesota Extension’s Corn-Soybean Weed Management Field Day on Wednesday, July 12, 2023, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center at Rosemount, MN. Research plot demonstrations The field day will include research-plot demonstrations on the following topics: New herbicides and technologies in corn and soybean Conventional corn weed control Weed management in soybean systems Waterhemp resistance screening update Biology and management of waterhemp and giant ragweed Cover crops – weed management, soil health, and dry-year considerations! Registration There is no cost to attend the Field Day and lunch is included. However, pre-registration is recommended. Register online by 5 p.m. on July 11. or scan this QR code with your cell phone Directions to the Field Day The Rosemount Research and Outreach Center is located off

Minnesota CropCast: Water management with Extension Irrigation Specialist Dr. Vasudha Sharma

Vasudha Sharma, Irrigation Specialist at the University of Minnesota was a guest for the University of Minnesota Extension CropCast podcast. Vasu discusses and highlights her funded research projects at the University of Minnesota, which aim to understand the impact of water management strategies on crop yield and nitrate leaching. Vasu’s research projects include the following: Evaluating the performance of different irrigation scheduling methods and their impact on corn production and nitrate leaching in the central sands region of Minnesota. Development and expansion of a web-based intelligent agricultural irrigation management tool (Irrigation Management Assistant) for Minnesota. Evaluating and developing precision irrigation and nitrogen management strategies for enhancing water-nitrogen use efficiency. Understanding the impact of soil health management systems on infiltration, water holding capacity and leaching potential. Currently, Dr. Sharma is advising two Ph.D. students, one

‘Manure is complicated’: 5 reasons you need a manure management plan

By: Chryseis Modderman, Extension manure management educator When applying manure, the main goals are to apply at an accurate rate and to avoid nutrient pollution. But this isn’t always easy because manure, in general, is complicated. There are five main factors that make manure complicated; often, more complicated than commercial fertilizer. Following a manure management plan will help combat these challenges. Read on for the five challenging factors. Overall nutrient content is low Total nutrient content of manure is low – rarely above 10 percent – whereas commercial fertilizers have a much higher nutrient concentration by weight. The low nutrient content of manure is a potential problem because you need a lot more volume of manure than commercial fertilizer to achieve the same nutrient application rates. This increases time and transportation cost, making it more economical to apply to the field nearest the barn. Over time, repeated over-application to the same field can lead to nut

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update 06/22/23

It's trying to rain at the moment in Crookston. So far it has only really wetted the sidewalk. The forecast remains, however, hopeful for rain throughout the region.  Does that mean that a  5-alarm fire  for leaf diseases and or Fusarium head blight is imminent? Just like a single robin doesn't make spring, a single weather system does not make for widespread and economic levels of leaf diseases or Fusarium head blight. The disease forecasting that is part of the NDAWN system in the tri-state area and the National Fusarium Risk Tool  are weather-based models that try to quantify how good the conditions are for individual diseases to start infections.   Two more factors make the disease triangle, namely the presence of a host that is susceptible to a disease and the presence of the disease spores to cause infections.  It is especially the latter that might be missing at this point, given the very low incidence of all diseases last year, the very dry conditions throughout last y

Field Notes program talks cereal leaf beetle, armyworms, cutworms and grasshoppers

Angie Peltier, UMN Extension educator, Ian MacRae, UMN Extension entomologist and Bruce Potter, UMN Extension IPM specialist The following information was provided during a 2023 Strategic Farming: Field Notes session. Read further to learn more about this free program that takes place each Wednesday morning throughout the growing season. Cereal leaf beetle A new insect pest of wheat has reared it’s bright orange thorax in Northern Minnesota. The  cereal leaf beetle (CLB)  ( Oulema melanopus ) was found by IPM Survey scouts in both Mahnomen and Norman counties. Further scouting found feeding damage and larvae of the insect in a number of fields within 15 miles of the original findings. Fields examined had varying population levels. However, none had larval numbers that were above treatment thresholds.  The cereal leaf beetles are native to Europe and were first detected in the U.S in Michigan in the early 1960’s. Since then the insect has spread through the eastern states, west to

Beef Pasture Walk scheduled for June 28

Join the University of Minnesota Extension and industry experts for an afternoon in the pasture. Learn and converse about establishing and restoring pastures, managing grazing, identifying plants, cattle health, body condition scoring, and responding to forage emergencies and drought. The pasture walk will be from 1 to 7 p.m., Wednesday, June 28. Participants will gather at Sherburne County Government Center in Elk River, MN and take a bus to a private pasture site. Registration ($10) is required by Sunday, June 25. Light refreshments and dinner will be catered during the program. In the event of rain, the program will be rescheduled for July 6. For more information and to register for the Beef Pasture Walk please visit: .

Minnesota CropCast: Dr. Seth Naeve promotes MN soybeans abroad

This week’s special guest is also co-host, Extension Soybean Agronomist Dr. Seth Naeve. Seth talks about why he traveled to Indonesia last week and what makes Indonesia relevant to farmers in the upper Midwest. Seth spends about half of his research and extension efforts on soybean quality. He regularly travels to north and southeast Asia to meet with soybean importers, feed millers, animal nutritionists, and other end-users. His primary message is that protein is not a good indicator by itself of soybean or soybean meal quality and does not determine the value of these feed ingredients for most purchasers whereas amino acid content and other factors need to be considered when purchasing soybeans. His goal is to increase demand for soybeans produced in the Western Corn Belt to support local soybean prices for farmers.  Listen to the podcast What is Minnesota CropCast? Hosts David Nicolai and Seth Naeve discuss the progress and challenges of Minnesota's agronomic crops in this new p

Save the date for the Rochester Crop Management Tour July 6

Weather conditions have been tough for crop production in many areas of Minnesota this season and the Rochester weed management site has not been spared from these tough conditions. We had over a month with zero rainfall and recent rains have only brought a couple hundredths. Preemergence herbicide applications did not activate at all and crop growth has been variable and slow.  Save the date Please save the date for the Crop Management Tour on July 6th. The tour will begin at 9:00 a.m. at the new location just east of the Olmstead County Recycling Facility (see map below). Details on topics are to be determined but we will continue a weed management focus.

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update 06/17/23

 The small grains crop scouts continued to find grasshoppers and aphids this week.  The numbers are generally below the economic thresholds. Nevertheless, scout your fields as numbers and conditions for populations to explode vary greatly.  For example, the grasshopper count in the winter wheat and winter rye variety trials at the Northwest Research & Outreach Center is close to reaching the threshold.  The bigger news, however, is that Cereal Leaf Beatle (CLB) has now been confirmed in three fields in northwest Minnesota. Drs Ian MacRae, Angie Peltier, and Anthony Hansen already alerted to the presence of this newcomer to Minnesota in a Minnesota Crop News article Thursday. The scouts have only found a few instances of tan spot in wheat and net blotch was found on volunteer MN-Equinox at the NWROC.  The overall risk for leaf diseases, including leaf rust, will likely continue to be low with the lack of rain and relatively low dew points not allowing for long enough dew periods t

Early season drought effects on corn and soybean

By: Vasudha Sharma, Extension irrigation specialist, Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist, and Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist Left: Moisture-stressed soybean at Rosemount, MN (Photo by Dave Nicolai). Right: Leaf rolling in mid-morning on corn at the eight leaf collar stage (Photo by Jeff Coulter). Extremely hot weather and lack of rain in Minnesota is making growers worried about the impact on crop yield. Through this blog post we have tried to provide an overview on early season drought effects on corn and soybean and provide recommendations on irrigation management. Effects on corn The severity of drought stress in corn is indicated by the time of day when leaf rolling begins. Plants that exhibit leaf rolling early in the morning are under more stress than those that begin leaf rolling later in the day. Drought stress during vegetative growth can reduce plant height, but it typically does not reduce the number of leaves produced ( Lauer, 2012 ). The nodal root system is

Cereal leaf beetle: a new insect pest in Northwest Minnesota

Ian MacRae, UMN Extension Entomologist, Angie Peltier UMN Extension Educator - Field Crops, and Anthony Hanson, UMN Extension Educator - Integrated Pest Management ( A new insect pest of wheat has reared its bright orange thorax in Northern Minnesota. The cereal leaf beetle ( Oulema melanopus ), was found by Extension IPM (Integrated Pest Management) Survey scouts the week of June 5-9 in both Mahnomen and Norman counties (Fig. 1 & 2).  One field had 25% of wheat stems infested and likely would have benefited from an insecticide application if the field had been found earlier. Further scouting this week found feeding damage and larvae of the insect in a number of fields within 15 miles of the original findings as well as additional finds in Red Lake and Clay county Fields examined had varying population levels.  However, none had larval numbers that were above treatment thresholds at this time. Many of the larvae found this week were still immature, so populations l