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Showing posts from June, 2024

What does all this rain mean for corn and soybean diseases in Minnesota in 2024?

 Dean Malvick, Extension plant pathologist Soybean in flooded field. The frequent and excessive water in many crop production fields increases problems that affect plant growth and health. This includes nitrogen loss, immersion of plants, poor root development, etc. – all which can result in stunting and poor growth without the help of any disease. However, the wet soil and frequent rains also can set up conditions for infection and development of various diseases, some of which may be damaging roots or stems of plants now. Scouting is recommended to see when and where disease may be developing. Other diseases may also be getting established only to do most of their damage later if weather conditions are favorable later in the summer. This article highlights a few observations and diseases. Root diseases Soybean plants killed by Rhizoctonia root rot. Generally, root rots are favored by wet or moist soil. They are more common and problematic in soybean than corn, but root rots and

Plan to attend the Weed Science Field Day on July 9 in Rosemount

Growers, crop consultants, agronomists, and other stakeholders are invited to attend the University of Minnesota Extension’s Weed Science Field Day on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, 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: Herbicide-resistant weed management New herbicides and technology Volunteer corn management Cover crops Weed management in corn and soybean 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 8. Pre-register at or scan this QR code with your cell phone Directions to the Field Day The Rosemount Research and Outreach Center is located off of 160th St. (CR 46) between MN-Hwys 3 and 52. From MN Hwy 3, turn east on 170th St. W. After 1.8 miles, turn left (north) on Arkansas Ave. and park by the eq

A unique opportunity to find out more about the Phytopthora present in your fields

By Angie Peltier, UMN Extension crops educator and Kathleen Markham, research associate and Megan McCaghey, assistant professor in the UMN Dept. of Plant Pathology. Phytophthora root and stem rot Phytophthora root and stem rot (PRSR) is caused by a soil-borne, fungus-like organism ( Phytophthora sojae , Ps ) called an oomycete, that produces spores that swim in the soil toward soybean roots. The disease is favored by compacted, poorly drained and saturated soils, rain and warm temperatures. With the saturated, warm soils throughout much of Minnesota in 2024, this growing season is proving quite favorable for PRSR. PRSR can occur as soon as the crop is planted, resulting in rotted seeds or seedlings. Other plants that are infected by Ps don't exhibit severe symptoms until later in the growing season. Symptoms characteristic of Phytophthora infection Soil-borne pathogens like Ps are not evenly distributed across a farm field, but rather occur in patches. This is why symptomatic plan

Resources for help with farm and rural stress

By Angie Peltier and Claire LaCanne, UMN Extension crops educators Figure 1. Standing water in a soybean field near  Faribault, MN in 2024. Photo: Claire LaCanne Being a small business owner can be a nerve-wracking profession. For farmers, this means adding in both the fact that the quantity and quality of the product you produce is subject to the whims of Mother Nature and that global supply and demand for what you produce impacts your take-home pay. Folks can only imagine how stressful being a crop producer can be. The weather conditions have added plenty of stress and unknowns lately. While many areas of Minnesota saw drought conditions on and off since 2021, the 2024 growing season has found many dealing with the exact opposite problem: extreme rain events leading to ponded or flooded fields and crop loss (Figure 1). The uncertainty of how this severe weather will ultimately affect the crop can feel stressful. Try to remember that you are an important part of your family, your soc

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update 06/24/24

Fusarium Head Blight Risk Fusarium head blight risk for spring wheat varieties with a rating of 6 or worse will be high across much of the state through the end of the week  (Figure 1). The heart of the Red River Valley is the only area with a low to moderate risk.  A marked difference in the risk of infection exists between highly susceptible and moderately resistant varieties (Figure 2). Figure 1. Fusarium head blight risk for very susceptible varieties for June 24 through 28. Darker orange indicates moderate risk and red indicates high risk. Figure 2. Fusarium head blight risk for moderately resistant varieties for June 24 through 28. Darker orange indicates moderate risk and red indicates high risk. Other Diseases Last week's scouting reports and my own observations confirmed stripe rust at very low incidence and severity across much of the state (Photo 1).  Likewise, bacterial leaf streak, tan spot, and BYDV can also be found,  but incidence and severity remain low.  Photo 1.

Timing irrigation after a rainy start: Key strategies for farmers

By: Vasudha Sharma, Extension irrigation specialist After three years of dry summers, Minnesota farmers are now facing the challenges of excess water this season. Recent rains provided abundant water for crops; in fact, more than needed for the time being, leading to saturated fields at certain places. As we approach the critical stages of crop growth, it’s essential to consider the moisture already present in the soil before deciding to irrigate. Here's why waiting to irrigate when there’s ample water in the profile can benefit your crops and your bottom line. Understanding soil moisture Frequent spring and early summer rains can saturate the soil profile, filling the soil’s water storage capacity. This moisture is vital for crop growth and development. However, over-irrigation can lead to waterlogging, which can suffocate roots, disrupt nutrient uptake, increase nutrient leaching and ultimately reduce yields. Monitoring soil moisture levels helps ensure your crops receive the rig

Sidedressing nitrogen: What should growers keep in mind when applying in-season?

In the 4th episode of the Advancing Nitrogen Smart series, we’re talking in-depth about sidedress. What are the growth stages critical to growers when sidedressing? What are options for assessing whether to add supplemental N, and how should they be used? How do wet conditions affect yield, and are rescue treatments economically advantageous? What sensing methods are available (such as drones) and what are their pros and cons? TRANSCRIPT Guests: Daniel Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist (St. Paul) Brad Carlson, Extension educator (Mankato) Additional resources: The Supplemental Nitrogen Worksheet for Corn: a tool for in-season nitrogen management decisions Nitrogen Nitrogen Smart --- For the latest nutrient management information, subscribe to the Nutrient Management Podcast . 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 o

Those other yellow flowers by the side of the road: Black medic and hop clover

Craig Sheaffer, Extension forage agronomist, and Roger Becker, Extension weed scientist This spring’s abundant rainfall has stimulated the emergence of many small, yellowed flower legume plants in permanent pastures, on roadsides and in lawns. These are birdsfoot trefoil, black medic, and hop clover, all introduced from Europe in colonial times through contamination with sown forage seeds. Although ecologists, gardeners and turf managers consider these plants weedy, each can contribute to pasture productivity by providing quality forage and nitrogen from biological N 2  fixation in grazed permanent pastures where inputs are typically limited.  We discussed the merits of birdsfoot trefoil in a previous article,   Those pretty flowers by the side of the road: Birdsfoot trefoil . Here we will discuss black medic and hop clover. Black medic ( Medicago lupulina ) Black medic growing with Kentucky bluegrass in a pasture. Black medic, also called yellow trefoil, is related to alfalfa ( Medi

Fusarium Head Blight (Scab) Risk, Fungicide Selection and Fungicide Timing

  Risk Fusarium head blight risk increases in the northern portion of the Red River Valley through the weekend (Figure 1). Most of the state received rain over the past couple of days, and parts of the state will receive more rain in the coming days. The precipitation in combination with the forecasted higher relative humidity values is increasing scab risk in the state.  A marked difference in the risk of infection exists between highly susceptible and moderately resistant varieties (Figure 2). Fungicide Selection The most effective fungicides for Fusarium head blight are Miravis Ace®, Prosaro®, Prosaro Pro®, and Sphaerex®. These fungicides on average will provide 45-60% suppression (sometimes higher) and have an efficacy score of “good”.  Tebuconazole (Folicur generics) is considered a “fair” fungicide and provides 20-25% suppression.  Always follow label directions when choosing a fungicide to suppress Fusarium head blight and heed the pre-harvest interval (PHI) and maximum use ra

Supplemental nitrogen fertilizer: Is it time to pull the trigger?

Photos taken June 14, 2024 at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca, Minnesota. In this episode of the Nutrient Management Podcast, we’re talking about supplemental nitrogen fertilizer. What are conditions like around the state? What practices do the worst looking fields seem to have in common? How does a producer assess their situation? What are some recommendations moving forward? (This episode was recorded June 14, 2024.) TRANSCRIPT Guests: Fabian Fernandez, Extension nutrient management specialist (St. Paul) Daniel Kaiser, Extension nutrient management specialist (St. Paul) Jeff Vetsch, U of M researcher (Waseca) Brad Carlson, Extension educator (Mankato) Additional resources: Should you apply supplemental nitrogen fertilizer this year?  (June 4, 2024) Supplemental Nitrogen Worksheet for Corn Split-applying nitrogen for corn: Three keys for successful sidedress applications Should you add inhibitors to your sidedress nitrogen application? Fertilizing corn in Minnesota

New Field Day Workshop for Commercial/Noncommercial Pesticide License Recertification

Photo: Liz Stahl, UMN Extension Do you need to recertify in 2024 for categories C or H? UMN PSEE has a new opportunity for you that doesn't involve sitting in a classroom! We are offering a field day for pesticide recertification on July 10, 2024, at the UMN Southern Research & Outreach Center in Waseca, MN. Our agenda includes a variety of demonstrations and hands-on activities: Equipment calibration and application techniques Drift management Mixing, loading and safety systems Storage and container cleaning Integrated Pest Management and pollinator protection Pest identification and management tools Chemical updates Safety scavenger hunt and demonstrations Drone application technology Seed Treatment demonstrations and safety Lunch and refreshments will be provided for all attendees. Commercial applicators Fee for commercial applicators: A/C--$145, A/C/H--$190 Link to registration for recertification:  A/C/H: 2024 Pesticide safety recertification   To see other workshops, visi

Small Grains Disease and Pest Update 06/14/24

This week's drier weather has been great for small grains and many, including us, have had an opportunity to catch up on their weed control programs. Winter wheat and winter rye are well into grain fill in southern Minnesota and are either approaching or have reached anthesis in the Red River Valley. The earliest seeded spring wheat in south and west central Minnesota has or will be heading soon while it is reaching the flag leaf stage in the Red River Valley.   The scouts completed their second week and found more of the same on their routes this week; low numbers of grasshoppers in field margins of half the fields that they scouted and very low numbers of aphids in a third of the fields across the state. Cereal leaf beetle was confirmed for a second year in two fields in Norman County.  The scouts reported tan spot in just two fields and no incidence of stripe rust or leaf rust.  To date, stripe rust has only been confirmed on the St. Paul campus and leaf rust was detected in on

Alfalfa weevil forecasting - June 2024

  Anthony Hanson (, Extension IPM Regional Educator - Field Crops Since the previous mid-May Minnesota Crop News post detailing tools available for 2024 alfalfa weevil management , multiple calls have come in showing just how difficult of a season this has been alfalfa growers dealing with this pest. The end of weevil season should be in sight for most growers possibly this week, though scouting should continue through June. Forecasting the timing of pest development (i.e., phenology) is a key tool for an integrated pest management (IPM) plan for alfalfa weevil. Temperature-based forecasts of alfalfa weevil development are based on degree-days for the eastern strain. As of June 13, 2024, at least according to the forecast model, larvae should cease feeding and develop into pupae across central Minnesota at 595 Fahrenheit alfalfa weevil degree-days (Fig. 1). Figure 1. Forecast alfalfa weevil development as of June 13, 2024 based on observed daily high and low temperatu

Field Notes talks crop disease diagnosis resources

Angie Peltier, UMN Extension crops educator and Brett Arenz, associate teaching professor and director of the University of Minnesota Plant Disease Clinic An example of a photo submitted to Digital Crop Doc. The following information was provided during a 2024 Strategic Farming: Field Notes session. Use your preferred podcasting platform or listen online to a podcast of this Field Notes session hosted by UMN Extension crops educator Liz Stahl. Crop Disease Plant disease is an “impairment of the normal state of a plant that interrupts or modifies its vital functions” ( Britannica ). There are both abiotic causes of plant disease (think nutrient deficiency, flooded fields, herbicide injury, drought) and biotic causes. Just like animals, plants can be infected by bacteria, fungi, nematodes and viruses. Plants can also be infected by organisms called oomycetes, viroids, phytoplasmas and parasitic plants. Three things need to be present in order for plant disease to occur: a susceptible h

Evaluating new alfalfa stands

Craig Sheaffer, Extension forage agronomist, Krishona Martinson, Extension equine specialist, and Claire LaCanne, Extension educator-crops Alfalfa seeded with an oat companion crop. Are  there enough plants to develop a productive  long-term stand? This has been an unusual spring with above normal and intensive rainfall throughout Minnesota. Adequate levels of soil moisture should provide for high levels of germination as seeds normally need to absorb 125% of their weight, but excessive rainfall can cause problems with seedling emergence and persistence. Sources of these issues include: Soil crusting . Medium and heavy textured soils, can experience crusting that prevents or delays seedling emergence. Crusting problems are compounded when seeding depths exceed ¼ inch, therefore, controlling seeding depth is essential. Washing of seed and seedlings . On soils prone to water erosion, heavy erosion can wash shallow planted seed away as well as uproot small seedlings. Using companion crops