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Showing posts from May, 2024

Upcoming plot tours for small grain farmers

The small grain summer plot tours provide farmers and crop consultants with the tools to make small grain production successful and profitable. Learn how to manage wheat, barley, rye, triticale, and oats at these in-person, free events across the state. Farmers will get to see up to 180 varieties in the field, participate in hands-on demonstrations, and ask questions of UMN experts. Pests, diseases, and what to expect from this crop after a record warm winter and a wet spring will be top of the agenda. Crop variety selection and other production concerns such as herbicide carryover will also be highlighted during each of the tours. Participants are highly encouraged to bring any field samples for diagnosis and/or conversation. Registration is not required.  2024 Southern MN tour details  Monday, June 17 – Rochester , 12:30 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. with a boxed lunch served before the tour. Lawler Farms (GPS: 44.023910, -92.341220) Wednesday, June 19 – Le Center , 9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m. with l

Everything and the Sink

Efficiency is key to maintaining margin.  Combining herbicides, fungicides, insecticides, and/or even liquid fertilizer in a single pass fits this thinking (I'm discounting the convenience argument as I would argue that  'convenient' and 'farming' are mutually exclusive).    Individual pesticide labels clearly state whether that product can be tank mixed. Many formulations of the pesticides we use are emulsified concentrates or ECs. These are liquid formulations in which the active ingredient is dissolved in an organic solvent.  They often also contain surfactants that help with the uptake of the active ingredient by the plant or insect. Combining several ECs in a mix means that you keep adding to your surfactant load.  This, in turn, can, under the wrong environmental conditions, cause some unexpected problems including injury and reduced control (antagonism) even if the individual labels allowed for tank mixing of said products. What are these wrong environmental

A Not So Pretty Picture

Winter rye ( Secale cereale ) is the darling of the cover crops and for good reasons. Getting established in the fall is almost fail-safe, winterkill is nearly impossible, and it is the first to green up in the spring.  Below is a picture of winter rye in sugarbeets seeded in 22-inch rows last fall.  The winter rye was terminated with glyphosate after the sugarbeets had emerged.   Two things warrant caution in this picture.  First, the sprayer kicked up enough dirt that some of the glyphosate was inactivated, allowing the winter rye in the wheel tracks to survive.  This is nothing new or surprising.  The surviving rye plants are in the boot stage and heading soon. If not terminated in the next week or two, grainfill will be well underway, and the chances that viable seed is produced increase exponentially.  One of the major weeds in the Central Great Plains and Pacific Northwest is feral rye.  Feral rye ( Secale cereale ) is nothing more than cultivated winter rye that has established

Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 29

Taylor Herbert, UMN Extension educator-crops, Wright, McLeod, and Meeker Counties. therbert@umn.edu or (612)-394-5229 Estimating alfalfa quality using the PEAQ stick at the bud stage. The Alfalfa Harvest Alert Project/ Scissor Cut project is still going strong but will be wrapping up soon. Of the fourteen participating farms, nine have been harvested. Samplers have noted some lodging in the fields that remain. While that may make for a challenging harvest, it is better to wait for ideal conditions for hay to dry out rather than leaving it wet on the ground. Some alfalfa weevil activity was also observed in some fields but at this point in the alfalfa growth stage, the best management option is to mow. For more information, check out this MN Crop News Blog on alfalfa weevil management .  Relative Feed Value (RFV) and Relative Feed Quality (RFQ) are used by dairy and other livestock producers to determine harvest timing to fit their needs. The Predictive Equation for Alfalfa Quality (P

5 things to consider before collecting plant tissue samples

By: Dan Kaiser, Extension specialist Interpreting plant tissue reports can be challenging due to variation in tissue concentrations from one field to the next. Plant tissue sampling has been used for years to help diagnose potential nutrient deficiencies in fields. Variations in nutrient concentrations in plant tissues can be impacted by many factors; some which can be controlled and some cannot. When planning tissue sampling, there are a few factors you should consider to get the most out of the information you receive. 1. Don’t sample too early or too late in the growing season:  Proper sample timing is critical to ensure that you get accurate data which can be utilized to help diagnose issues in the field. Tissue concentrations vary over time and knowing when to sample is important if the samples are being compared to a known sufficiency value. The optimal time to start taking plant tissue samples is near the point where rapid growth occurs through early reproductive growth stages.

Announcing Cover Crop Field Day: Setting up for success, June 27

Liz Stahl, Extension educator - crops Register now for the 2024 University of Minnesota "Cover Crop Field Day: Setting up for Success" at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center by Lamberton on Thursday, June 27. Check-in will start at 8:30 a.m., and the field day will run from 9:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. (lunch included). The field tour will start promptly at 9:00, weather permitting, and the event will be held rain or shine. This program is for farmers and those who work with farmers, with or without cover crop experience, and anyone else who would like to learn more about cover crops. After lunch, members of the 2024 Cover Crop Academy will be meeting for a short time (if you are interested in being a part of the 2024 Cover Crop Academy, see http://z.umn.edu/covercropacademy for more details and to register). Pre-register by June 20 to ensure yourself a meal at https://z.umn.edu/covercropfieldday . Later registrations and walk-ins are still welcome but timely registration

Last call to register for the Cover Crop Academy

By Liz Stahl, Extension educator - Crops, Phyllis Bongard, Educational Content Development & Communications Specialist, and Anna Cates, Extension Specialist in Soil Health Registration will soon be closing for the University of Minnesota Cover Crop Academy. Reserve your spot by June 10 to take part in this new, innovative, hybrid course designed for those who work with farmers using or interested in cover crops. We will take a deep dive into cover crops tailored to Minnesota cropping systems and conditions. Challenges and opportunities associated with using cover crops in Minnesota will be addressed and attendees will be able to participate in research trials members develop to help address some of the unknowns around cover crops. The Academy will kick off in-person at the Research and Outreach Centers in Waseca (June 18), Crookston (June 20), and Lamberton (June 27) – select the site nearest you. Bi-monthly online webinar sessions (~ 2 hours in length each) that dive deeper

White grub damage in perennial grasses

Mercedes Moffett, Extension Educator, Claire LaCanne Extension Educator, Crops Reviewed by Anthony Hansen Extension Educator, IPM, and Craig Sheaffer Extension forage specialist Photo 1. True white grub larva. Photo: Steven Katovich, USDA Forest Service, Bugwood.org In Northeast Minnesota, we have been fortunate to receive some rainfall over the last few weeks. As temperatures begin to rise with the addition of some moisture, we have begun to see grasses greening. Even while things begin to change color, there have been some very noticeable yellow/brown patches remaining in grass stands in lawns, pastures, and hay fields alike. The predominant grasses that are being affected are timothy and bromegrass stands and the culprit is May or June beetles. We have not observed damage in legumes like alfalfa and clovers.  White grub life cycle The damage from these beetles is not caused by the adult flying stage, but instead the immature or larval stage, commonly referred to as white grubs (Phot

Alfalfa Harvest Alert for May 24

Taylor Herbert, UMN Extension educator-crops, Wright, McLeod, and Meeker Counties. therbert@umn.edu or (612)-394-5229 Estimating alfalfa quality using the PEAQ stick at the bud stage. The Alfalfa Harvest Alert Project/ Scissor Cut project is wrapping up the third week of sampling. While harvest might be delayed for some by recent weather, the adage “make hay while the sun shines” still rings true. Adequate drying after cutting helps maintain forage quality and is integral for safe storage. For more information, check out this previous article on managing risk at the first alfalfa harvest .  Relative Feed Value (RFV) and Relative Feed Quality (RFQ) are used by dairy and other livestock producers to determine harvest timing to fit their needs. The Predictive Equation for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) uses the stage of maturity and height of the tallest stems to estimate Relative Feed Value (RFV). Quality is lost in harvest, wilting, and storage of forage, so it is recommended to harvest aroun

Field Notes talked seedling disease and small grains in a wet spring

Phyllis Bongard, Educational content development and communications specialist, Jochum Wiersma, Extension small grains specialist, and Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist An early, but rainy start to the 2024 growing season resulted in a wide range of planting dates and associated issues. Drs. Jochum Wiersma, Extension small grains specialist, and Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist, joined moderator Anthony Hanson, Extension educator-crops, to discuss the issues to watch for in the May 22 session of Field Notes. Small grains update The earliest small grains seeding dates ranged from late March in southern Minnesota to the second week in April in northern Minnesota. Then weather delays limited planting opportunities to the 3rd week in April and the 2nd week in May in the northern region of the state. Overall, small grain stands are very good, with the earliest seeded grains well into the tillering stage. Winter rye seems to be ahead of most years, having reached heading in

MN CropCast: Dealing with early season weather concerns for the 2024 corn and soybean crops

In episode 35 Dave Nicolai and Seth Naeve chat with Dr. Jeff Coulter, University of Minnesota Extension corn agronomist, about early season precipitation, soil crusting and plant assessment of the 2024 corn crop in Minnesota. In addition, Seth, U of MN Extension soybean specialist, discussed how these same factors can affect soybean fields this spring. Jeff discussed delayed corn planting dates, desired soil conditions, corn planting populations and when to change corn maturity hybrid planting dates. Seth also discussed in detail the results of delayed soybean planting date research and recommendations for soybean planting populations. Both Jeff and Seth referenced the University of Minnesota Extension Crop Management web pages for corn,  https://extension.umn.edu/corn/corn-planting , and soybeans, https://extension.umn.edu/soybean/soybean-planting , as excellent starting points to review guidelines, best practices and potential issues for planting as well as seeding rates based on Uni

Statewide best management practices for nitrogen: A valuable resource for Minnesota growers

In this episode of the Advancing Nitrogen Smart series, we’re talking in-depth about nitrogen best management practices. How are BMPs calculated, and how do they change over time? What should growers keep in mind regarding regional adjustments in the BMPs? What kinds of risks are the BMPs designed to address? How do the 4 Rs figure in to Minnesota's nitrogen best management practices? TRANSCRIPT   Guests: Daniel Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist (St. Paul) Brad Carlson, Extension educator (Mankato) Additional resources: Nitrogen Fertilizer Best Management Practices for Agricultural Lands Fertilizing Corn in Minnesota --- For the latest nutrient management information, subscribe to the Nutrient Management Podcast wherever you listen and never miss an episode! And don't forget to subscribe to the Minnesota Crop News daily or weekly email newsletter, subscribe to our YouTube channel, like UMN Extension Nutrient Management on Facebook , follow us on Twitter , an

Best practices for using glufosinate (Liberty) herbicide

Navjot Singh – Weed Science Graduate Student, UMN, Debalin Sarangi – Extension Weed Scientist, UMN Liz Stahl – Regional Extension Educator – Crops, UMN Joe Ikley – Extension Weed Scientist, NDSU Tom Peters – Sugarbeet Extension Agronomist, NDSU/UMN Glufosinate is a non-selective, contact herbicide (site-of-action Group 10) used in glufosinate-resistant corn, soybean, and canola. Herbicides like Liberty 280 SL, Cheetah, Finale, Interline, and Sinate contain glufosinate, with Liberty 280 SL being the most commonly used product among them. In addition to burndown applications before planting, glufosinate is mostly used for over-the-top applications in LibertyLink crops. However, label restrictions for rate and crop stage should be followed. The herbicide-resistant trait choices available for row crops in Minnesota and North Dakota are summarized in this article . Figure 1. A recent waterhemp population survey from Minnesota shows the presence of glyphosate -resistant populations. The col

Alfalfa Harvest Alert for May 21

Taylor Herbert, UMN Extension educator-crops, Wright, McLeod, and Meeker Counties. therbert@umn.edu or (612)-394-5229 The Alfalfa Harvest Alert Project/ Scissor Cut project continued this week. Some alfalfa fields in the southernmost areas of central Minnesota have moved from the vegetative to bud growth stages, resulting in a decrease in forage quality. Some lodging was observed after the most recent rains, but fields still appear to be in great condition.  Relative Feed Value (RFV) and Relative Feed Quality (RFQ) are used by dairy and other livestock producers to determine harvest timing to fit their needs. The Predictive Equation for Alfalfa Quality (PEAQ) uses the stage of maturity and height of the tallest stems to estimate Relative Feed Value (RFV). Quality is lost in harvest, wilting, and storage of forage, so it is recommended to harvest around 15 to 25 RFV points higher than what is desired for feeding. As a reminder, the goal of this project is not to try and name the exact

Follow acetochlor BMPs to tackle surface water detections

Naworaj Acharya, Minnesota Department of Agriculture and Tana Haugen-Brown, Extension educator and Co-coordinator - Pesticide Safety and Environmental Education Acetochlor products like Tripleflex, SureStart, Warrant, and Harness are commonly used in Minnesota to control weeds in crops like corn, soybeans, and sugarbeets. As sales continue to increase, acetochlor is being detected at higher concentrations in many rivers in southcentral and southwestern Minnesota.  If acetochlor levels exceed state water quality standards, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency may designate the waterbody as impaired, triggering the development of a response plan to promote responsible pesticide use and possibly impose use restrictions. Currently, only Silver Creek in Carver County is impaired by acetochlor.  The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) advises following the Water Quality Best Management Practices (BMPs) for Acetochlor and considering alternative herbicides to safeguard water quality.

Alfalfa harvest alert for May 17

Taylor Herbert, UMN Extension educator-crops, Wright, McLeod, and Meeker Counties. therbert@umn.edu or (612)-394-5229 The Alfalfa Harvest Alert Project/ Scissor Cut project continued this week. The first field in Sibley County was harvested on May 12th and some fields in Stearns, Morrison, and Benton Counties were sampled for the first time. Compared to samples taken earlier in the week, samples taken over the last couple days have reduced Relative Feed Values (RFV) but biomass yield has increased. This is the trade-off that the Alfalfa Harvest Alert Program is trying to capture. Farmers need to make a decision to maximize both yield and quality to fit the needs of their operation. As a reminder, the goal of this project is not to try and name the exact day of harvest. Rather the goal is to encourage growers who are busy with management of other crops to be more strategic with hay crop harvest as it relates to their needs. How to get harvest alert data The May 17  Alfalfa Harvest Ale

Field School early bird rates end May 31

This hands-on, in-field program emphasizing crop and pest management diagnostic skill-building will help you enhance your troubleshooting and crop management skills. 

Pay close attention to potential cutworm feeding when scouting this spring

Bruce Potter, IPM specialist Figure 1. Black cutworm moth season captures to  May 10, 2024. Shading represents the maximum  two-night captures for trap(s) in the county. Migrating black cutworm (BCW) moths continue to arrive in MN, based on the work of a network of pheromone traps run by cooperators which has been tracking their arrival. The earliest significant capture occurred in Brown Count April 8. Since then, trap locations across southern Minnesota have had significant captures (Figure 1). Some of these, particularly in the Minnesota River Valley, continue to be unusually high. This week, even Polk County, the northern most trap in the cooperative trapping network, had a significant capture. The trap network indicates, but does not guarantee, the potential for greater than usual black cutworm activity, and over a wide area. The larvae from moth arrivals before April 17 will be at, or near 2nd instar. These larvae will still be too small to cut corn, instead feeding on leaves of

Field Notes: Corn and soybean planting - Are we on schedule?

Liz Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops After rains put a halt to planting this season, significant progress has been made over the past week where conditions allowed. Drs. Jeff Coulter, Extension corn agronomist, and Seth Naeve, Extension soybean agronomist, discussed what farmers should be looking out for where crops were planted early as well as where seed is still in the bag on the May 15 Strategic Farming: Field Notes session. They were joined by moderator Dave Nicolai, Extension Educator –Crops. Corn updates Early planted corn has emerged Around mid-April, farmers were faced with the decision to plant or not to plant as soil conditions were good as well as the weather. After this time, however, there was a two-to-three-day window where daily air temperatures dipped below freezing. Although stands have been a little more spotty, the earliest planted corn has been emerging around the same time as corn planted around April 22. Upon closer inspection, some of the seeds from pale