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Corn silage trial results available

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By Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

Results from the 2014 University of Minnesota corn silage performance trials are now available.

These trials were conducted across southeastern, central, and west-central Minnesota to provide unbiased and replicated information on the performance of numerous silage hybrids for growers and their advisors.

For information on 2014 corn grain hybrid trials, see the recent Crop News article, Advance corn hybrid selection with new trial results.

Conservation Tillage Conference in Fargo December 16-17

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The 10th annual Conservation Tillage Conference will be held at the Hilton Garden Inn in Fargo, North Dakota, December 16 and 17. Co-sponsored by University of Minnesota Extension and North Dakota State University, this conference will provide hands-on information on conserving soil, time and fuel with conservation tillage.

Advance Corn Hybrid Selection with New Trial Results

Kenneth Hellevang, Ph.D., PE, Extension Engineer, North Dakota State University


The drastic outdoor cooling that has occurred may create some grain storage and drying problems. Dr. Ken Hellevang, Extension Engineer at North Dakota State University, answers several questions that he received in the paragraphs below. The questions are italicized and his answers immediately follow.

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary Nov. 6, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

1.      1. November 6 Hay Auction Results and next auction November 20

2.      2. Farm Bill Dairy and Crop Information

3.      3. Rent Workshops

4.      4. Winter Forage Meetings

Continue Reading for Links to reports, and related information

 

Winter may have come early to much of the state, but come to the balmy southern part where we barely have a dusting of snow for a workshop & field day on cover crops this Thursday, November 13th! Take the opportunity to hear from a great line up of speakers & to see cover crops in action.

We have moved the majority of the program to the warm and toasty American Legion in Okabena, but attendees will have the opportunity to come out to the field to see cover crops that were seeded into standing crops this year. We will also have a couple of soil pits and other in-field activities, so bring warm layers for the outdoor session in the afternoon.

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary Oct 2 & 16, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929
1. October 2 & 16 Hay Auction Results and next auction November 6 at Sauk Centre
2. Farm Bill Meetings
       a. Dairy Meetings Wrapping up this week
       b. Crop Meetings for farmers in December & January
3. Rent Workshops in November and December

Continue Reading for Links to reports, and related information

By Dave Nicolai, Coordinator, Institute for Ag Professionals

The three-day Minnesota Crop Pest Management Short Course program starts Tuesday, December 9th with an Update for Technical Service Providers program 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM, Minnesota Crop Protection Retailers " Precision Ag and Market Place Considerations " 1:00 PM - 3:30 PM, Pesticide Applicator Recertification: Category H -- Seed Treatment Session 2:00 PM - 3:30 PM. Category A + C + H Pesticide Applicator Recertification occurs on Wednesday, December 10th starting at 8:00 AM. Register online or by completing and mailing the registration form.

By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

At times potassium (K) can be the forgotten element when determining appropriate rates of fertilizer to apply.  Nitrogen and phosphorus typically are of main concern due to the potential yield response for corn to nitrogen and many soils around the state historically being low in P but medium to high in K.  Potassium should not be a forgotten nutrient as there are situations where K fertilizer can be profitable.

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops

Interested in cover crops and soil health?  Take advantage of the opportunity to hear from National Soil Health Spokesperson for the USDA Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), Ray Archuleta, at the "Cover Crops in a Corn/Soybean Rotation Field Day" on November 13th.  Ray, also known as "Ray the Soils Guy", speaks about soil health and agroecology throughout the country.  He will be joining the speaker line-up at this event, which is focused on integrating cover crops into a corn/soybean rotation.

Status of the brown marmorated stink bug in Minnesota

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By Robert Koch (Extension Entomologist, U of MN), Theresa Cira (Graduate Student, U of MN), Eric Burkness (Scientist, U of MN), Bill Hutchison (Extension Entomologist, U of MN) and Mark Abrahamson (Supervisor, MDA)

Numbers of the brown marmorated stink bug (Halyomorpha halys), a household invader and potential crop pest, appear to be increasing in Minnesota. This pest, originally from Asia, has spread rapidly throughout much of the U.S. and was first detected in Minnesota in 2010. Since 2010, detections of BMSB have occurred throughout the Twin Cities area and in Duluth and La Crescent. Initially, home owners were encountering one or two bugs on or in homes and other buildings during the fall and winter months. However, home owners in Wyoming, MN are beginning to see more of this invader.

Storing, Drying, and Handling Wet Soybeans

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops
 
Harvesting soybeans at a moisture content between 13 to 15% helps maximize weight while minimizing harvest losses.  This harvest, however, soybean moisture levels of 16 to 18 % or more have been reported. 

Spoilage during storage is a concern when moisture levels are high.  If storage temperatures are below about 60F, soybeans at 13% moisture can usually be kept for about 6 months without having mold problems.  As moisture levels increase, however, the length of time soybeans can safely be stored decreases.  How long can soybeans be stored before mold becomes a concern? 


Kenneth Hellevang, Ph.D., P.E.
Extension Agricultural Engineer & Professor, North Dakota State University

Corn reaching maturity about October 1 will normally dry slowly in the field due to cooler ambient temperatures. Standing corn in the field may dry about 1.5 to 3 percentage points per week during October and 1 to 1.5 per week or less during November, assuming normal North Dakota weather conditions. Table 1 below provides field drying rates for corn in Minnesota.

Corn has a moisture content of about 32 percent when it reaches maturity. If it has a moisture content of 32 percent on Oct. 1, it may only dry to about 22 percent moisture by Nov. 1, assuming normal North Dakota climatic conditions. Field drying normally is more economical until mid-October, and mechanical high-temperature drying is normally more economical after that.

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops

Interest in cover crops has increased over the past few years.  How to most effectively integrate cover crops into a corn/soybean rotation, however, remains a key question.   

On November 13th, you are invited to join us at the "Cover Crops in a Corn/Soybean Rotation Field Day".  The field day will start at the American Legion in Okabena at 10:00am.  Following lunch, which will be supplied courtesy of program sponsors, we will travel to the Jerry and Nancy Ackermann farmsite by Lakefield for further presentations and in-field activities.  The field day will run from 10:00 to 3:15. 

Save the Date: Nitrogen Conference on March 6

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By Fabian Fernandez 

Nutrient Management Specialist

Mark your calendar for a new conference. Nitrogen: Minnesota's Grand Challenge and Compelling Opportunity will be on Friday, March 6, 2015 at the Best Western Plus Kelly Inn of St. Cloud, MN.

The conference will be focused on nitrogen management for crop producers and ag professionals. Nitrogen is essential for crop production, but many factors influence the efficient use of this nutrient in agricultural systems. Managing this nutrient effectively in Minnesota is important both for financial and environmental benefits.

The planning committee identified speakers and topics to make this conference relevant and informative on current topics directly related to nitrogen for agricultural production and environmental stewardship. There will be CCA credits available.

This is an event you don't want to miss. Additional details and registration information are forthcoming.


Each year the Soil Fertility Extension and Industry group meet in Des Moines, Iowa to discuss current topics in nutrient management. This year, the 44th Annual North Central Extension-Industry Soil Fertility Conference will be held November 19-20 at the Holiday Inn Airport in Des Moines. This is a great meeting to catch up on nutrient management research being done in the North Central area of the United States.

Oral and poster presentations will highlight on-going soil fertility research from ten Universities in the region. The program starts at 1:00 p.m. Wednesday, November 19, and ends at noon Thursday. For a look at the extensive agenda, visit the conference's program page.

For more information about the Extension-Industry Soil Fertility Conference and for registration information, visit www.ipni.net/ncsfc. Pleas consider attending.

By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

It is important to understand where sulfur that is utilized for crops comes from in order to determine where to best target fertilizer application. In Minnesota, sulfur was not recommended for many crops grown on medium and fine textured soils. Numerous studies were conducted during the 1970's, 80's, and 90's with little to know positive benefits shown except for a limited number of studies where corn was grown on eroded soils. Over the past 10-15 years reports increased as to sulfur deficiencies and research has found that sulfur may be needed for crops most sensitive to sulfur deficiency.


By Dean Malvick

Given that the leaves on most of the soybean crop in Minnesota have turned color or dropped due to maturity or frost, symptoms of stem disease may be easy to see.  Root rot diseases are also widespread, but they are difficult to scout for and diagnose.  This article covers the basics of how to recognize and diagnose common late-season soybean stem diseases in Minnesota.

By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist


Utilization of liquid fertilizer sources placed directly on the seed at planting has become commonplace in many areas of Minnesota. However, low corn prices as well as challenging planting conditions over the past two growing seasons have caused many to question certain aspects of their overall fertility program.  There are a few suggestions that can be used to ensure the best chance for a profitable return on investment

Dean Malvick


Soybean crop conditions have been highly variable across Minnesota, as has been the soybean disease situation.  Rhizoctonia root and stem rot was widespread in June and early July.  Seedling diseases of various types and Phytophthora root and stem rot were also reported early in the season.  Since then several mid to late season soybean diseases have appeared in multiple fields, including pod and stem blight at significant levels, and sudden death syndrome, brown stem rot, and white mold.

Bruce Potter, Integrated Pest Management Specialist, and Ken Ostlie, Extension Entomologist


For many farmers, the economics of corn production have shifted from maximizing profit to minimizing losses per acre. Many are understandably trying to find ways to cut input costs for the 2015 crop. One area that some have targeted for potentially reducing costs is hybrid selection. Planting corn hybrids without Bt protection for European corn borer, corn rootworm or both will greatly reduce seed costs. It can also reduce crop revenues if done without considering yield potential and insect populations.

North Central Weed Science Society Meeting Dates & Location

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If you would like to learn more about the latest developments in herbicide resistant crop technology, advances in herbicide resistant weed management, the role of cover crops in weed management and more, please attend the North Central Weed Science Society meeting to be held from December 1-4, 2014 at the Hyatt Regency hotel in Minneapolis.


Corn production has faced challenges in fields across Minnesota this growing season. The season started wet with planting delays in numerous areas and is ending with warm weather after frost hit many fields last week. Diseases were also highly variable as usual across Minnesota. This article highlights frequently reported disease problems across the state, namely rust, northern leaf blight, Goss's wilt, and most recently stalk rots.

Managing stored grain to minimize storage losses

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by Phil Glogoza and Dave Nicolai, Extension Educators-Crops

When grain harvest approaches, it is time to review basic on-farm grain storage principles for maintaining quality of stored commodities. Harvest should include preparation of storage structures to receive grain. Preparation includes several practices that aid in preventing pest infestations from developing within our storage structures.

Multiple practices should be implemented on farm to maximize grain quality. These include using appropriate production and harvest practices, maintenance and proper use of grain handling equipment, drying systems and storage structures. There are four simple steps to maintain post-harvest quality and protect stored grains from insects, weather, rodents, self-heating, molds, mycotoxins, and pesticide residues:

  1. Sanitation
  2. Loading
  3. Aeration
  4. Monitoring

Got Weeds? Evaluate Your Weed Control Program

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops and Jeff Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist, Weed Science

By the end of the growing season, it is not too hard to spot soybean fields where weed control was less than optimal.  Prior to harvest, waterhemp can be found towering over soybean canopies throughout Minnesota.  Taking some time to evaluate effectiveness of your weed control program now can help enhance future weed control and ultimately protect yield potential and enhance profitability in the long run. 

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary Sept. 4, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

1.      1. Sept. 4 Hay Auction Results (Average corrected for Large Round Alfalfa 151-175 RFV)

2.      2. Frost

3.      3. Some Corn Silage Ready

4.      4. Dairy Farm Bill Meetings

 

Continue Reading for Links to reports, and related information

Mid-September frost on corn and soybeans

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Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist, Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist, Dave Nicolai, Extension Educator - Crops, and Phyllis Bongard, Educational Content Development and Communications Specialist


corn frost 9-16-14.jpg

Figure 1. Frost effects on corn in Dakota County following a
September 13th early morning frost indicating increased upper
canopy damage in lower elevations of the field.

Many corn and soybean fields in central, west central, and southwest Minnesota were affected by frost during the morning hours of September 13, 2014. As is always the case, the frost damage appears to be highly variable based on local climate conditions, crop maturity, and topographical features. For corn, a killing freeze occurs when temperatures are 32°F for 4 hours or 28°F for minutes. A frost or killing freeze can still occur when temperatures are above 32°F, especially in low and unprotected areas when there is no wind. For soybeans, most reports indicated that the crop was unaffected, 'nipped' slightly at the tops, or (in rare cases) frozen down into the canopy.

Daniel Kaiser, Fabian Fernandez, and John Lamb
Extension Nutrient Management Specialists

This week of cool weather has made it clear that fall is fast approaching.  The drop in commodity prices will likely cause a few conversations among farmers, consultants, and retailers on what fertilizer to apply for the 2015 cropping year.  Many fields are currently being soil sampled for phosphorus (P), this fall is a good time to consider what is actually out in the field to best target P fertilizer applications.

Nitrogen management for 2015

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John Lamb, Fabian Fernandez, and Daniel Kaiser, Extension Soil Scientists - Nutrient Management


Labor Day has come and gone and now it is time to think about nitrogen (N) plans for next year. This news article will cover some thoughts about fall applications of N.

Soil sampling

If you plan to use a soil nitrate-N test, you need to wait until the soil temperature is below 50°F to get a soil test value that is useful for predicting fertilizer need.

Nitrogen management

The past three years have been challenging for N management for corn. The wet springs have caused larger than normal N losses. In 2014, we saw some of the largest number of acres of N deficient corn in Minnesota in years. The current University of Minnesota N guidelines for corn were based on the use of N best management practices. Fields that had N applied at UMN guidelines may have been short of N, if the fertilizer was applied in the fall. One suggestion for fields with a history of fall N applications with N deficiency problems the last three years is to strongly consider pre-plant spring applications or a split application with some side-dress N before the V8 corn development stage.

Cover Crops and Soil Health Field Day Scheduled for September 11

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The University of Minnesota Southwest Research & Outreach Center, located near Lamberton, will host a Cover Crops & Soil Health Field Day on Thursday, September 11, 2014. The event will begin at 8:30 a.m. with registration and will conclude shortly after 2:00 p.m. Topics covered at the field day will include the following:

  • Cover crop integration into corn systems
  • Benefits of soil health and advanced nutrient management
  • Programming assistance for adopting cover crops
  • Hands-on field demonstrations of new equipment for seeding cover crops

Pre-registration for the field day is not required. The event is free and lunch will be provided. To get to the Southwest Research and Outreach Center, travel 1.5 miles west of Lamberton on Hwy 14, then north on Hwy 330 to the Center.

For more information, visit http://swroc.cfans.umn.edu/index.htm.

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary August 7, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

  1. August 7, 2014 Hay Auction Results
  2. Corn Silage Pricing and Harvest Resources

Continue Reading for Links to reports and related information 


A webinar on integrated pest management in stored grain will be offered Friday, September 12 by the North Central Integrated Pest Management Center. The two-hour webinar, which begins at 10:00 a.m. CT, will feature presentations from three entomologists in the region:

Total Tillage Solutions Field Day scheduled for September 4

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Crop producers and other agricultural professionals can see how different tillage systems impact soil, fertilizer and residue movement through the soil profile at the field day scheduled for September 4 south of Appleton, Minnesota. The event will begin with registration at 9:00 a.m. and run until 3:30. After an introduction, participants will rotate through several stations that showcase different tillage systems in customized soil pits:

by Robert Koch, Extension Entomologist

Soybean aphid populations are increasing in some fields that were previously treated with foliar insecticides for soybean aphid.  Soybean fields should continue to be scouted until the R6.5 growth stage, even if they were previously treated.  This post-treatment scouting will allow you to catch potential resurgence of aphid populations.  When determining whether to treat an aphid infestation at this time of year, pay particular attention to plant growth stage (the economic threshold of 250 aphids per plant is valid through R5, but yield loss can occur into early R6), whether or not the aphids have wings or "wing pads" (some aphids are already moving to buckthorn, but we don't know what fraction of the population will stay on soybean), and pre-harvest intervals of insecticides.  The recent soybean aphid scouting guide provides more information.  Be on the lookout for two-spotted spider mites too.  Certain insecticides applied to control aphid populations can increase (flare) populations of two-spotted spider mites.  The spider mite fact sheet provides more information.  If a field needs to be treated again, it is advisable to switch to a different class (mode of action) of insecticide to prevent or delay the development of pest resistance to insecticides.  For more information, review the guide to insecticide resistance and resistance management.


Tips for planting winter wheat

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by Jochum Wiersma, Small Grains Specialist and Phyllis Bongard, Educational Content Development and Communications Specialist

With September just around the corner, we are approaching the optimum time for planting winter wheat in Minnesota. The optimum planting date windows are between September 1st and the 15th in the area north of I-94, between September 10th and the 30th south of I-94, and between September 20th and October 10th in the part of the state south of I-90.

Forage Quarterly Newsletter Re-launched

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by M. Scott Wells, Cropping and Forages Specialist

With the recent appointment of M. Scott Wells as the Forage and Cropping Specialist, the Forage Quarterly has been re-launched. The newsletter will highlight innovative approaches and technologies to improve the productivity and sustainability of Minnesota's forage systems.

by Robert Koch, Extension Entomologist

In July 2014, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) published a series of best management practices (BMPs) for agricultural insecticides (link to BMPs). These BMPs were created in response to seasonal detections of chlorpyrifos in several rivers and streams in the agricultural areas of Minnesota from 2010 to 2012. Subsequently, MDA determined chlorpyrifos to be a "surface water pesticide of concern" which initiates BMP development. Some MDA samples had concentrations violating water quality standards established by the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) to protect aquatic life, which led the MPCA to list three water bodies as impaired due to chlorpyrifos.

by David Nicolai, IAP Program Coordinator

Ag professionals can take advantage of two excellent educational activities yet this August. One is a Soybean Cyst Nematode educational tour on Monday, August 18th held at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, MN from 1:00-4:00 p.m. The other program is an Institute for Ag Professionals Advanced Field Crop Workshop which will be held at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston, MN on Tuesday, August 26th. This workshop will provide "hands-on" training for herbicide mode of action and Goss's Wilt in corn as it relates to identification and disease management. On-line registration is recommended for the Crookston based Advanced Field Crop Workshop.

Maintaining Wheat Yield and Quality

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The favorable weather conditions for wheat we have enjoyed to date and the unusually late start of harvest may mean that we will encounter more problems with shattering compared to most years. The rationale for the for this worry is twofold; first the yield potential looks very good and a portion of that yield will come in the form of (very) large kernels, secondly the later start will likely mean a slower dry down and more chances for rain and dews. The resulting repeated wetting and drying can cause the glumes, especially if the kernels are heavy, to open up. This in turn can lead to increased chances of shattering. Two varieties are probably slightly more prone to shattering are LCS Albany and Forefront. Harvest the crop sooner rather than later to reduce shattering losses and chose to dry down the crop in the bin rather than waiting for the crop to reach 13.5%.

The same conditions that may increase the problems with shattering this season will also cause pre-harvest sprouting. Pre-harvest sprouting, even without a visible sprout, will result in poor seed vigor and reduces bread making functionality as the enzyme alpha amylase will degrade over time once the post-harvest dormancy is broken. The recipe to void problems with pre-harvest sprouting is the same as for reducing shattering losses: harvest the crop sooner rather than later and chose to dry the crop in the bin rather than in the field. HRSW varieties known to be more susceptible to pre-harvest sprouting are Advance, Breaker, Jenna, LCS Albany, Jenna, Select, Samson, and WB-Digger. Elevators will use the Hagberg Falling Numbers test to determine the extent of pre-harvest sprouting damages.

Initial harvest reports and the findings of the scouts suggest that we will have to content with more Fusarium head blight and ergot this year as compared to recent years. Scab causes not only yield losses directly but also will yield the presence of deoxynivalenol (DON) - sometimes referred to as vomitoxin - in the infected grain. Simultaneously some producers have noted higher incidence of ergot. Ergot too is a fungal disease but rather than causing the grain to shrivel to a white chalky kernel in the case of Fusarium head blight or scab, the whole kernel is replaced by a hard dark purple to black hardened fungal mass called a sclerotium. Ergot sclerotia contain ergotamine, the toxin that causes St. Anthony's fire.

The first step to reduce the number of Fusarium damaged kernels (FDK) and DON concentration is to adjust the fan speed on the combine, thereby removing the lighter fraction of the kernels from the harvested grain. A second step to remove FDK is the gravity table separator. Removing ergot is more difficult and will require the use of a gravity table separator.

Sauk Centre July Hay Summary and Events

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

1.      July 10 Hay Auction Results

2.      Dairy Tours / Workshop August 14 and 19

 

Continue Reading for Links to reports, Farm Event News Releases

by Bruce Potter, IPM Specialist

The Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, MN, will host a Soybean Cyst Nematode (SCN) Tour from 1:00-4:00 p.m. on Monday, August 18. Soybean Cyst Nematodes are a chronic problem for soybean production in Minnesota.


Soybean aphids can now be found in many soybean fields. In some fields (but certainly not all fields) in southern Minnesota, soybean aphid populations are approaching levels requiring insecticide application to prevent economic losses. This critical soybean aphid population level, referred to as the economic threshold, is an average of 250 aphids per plant AND aphids on more than 80% of plants AND aphid populations increasing. Many fields are well below this level and do not require insecticide application for aphids at this time. Scouting is required to determine which fields require or may soon require treatment and which fields do not. A guide for soybean aphid scouting in Minnesota was recently posted (http://z.umn.edu/soybeanaphidscouting).

By David Nicolai, IAP Program Coordinator

The University of Minnesota Institute for Ag Professionals is offering a half-day training workshop on Goss's Wilt of corn and herbicide mode of action at the Northwest Research and Outreach Center in Crookston, MN on Tuesday, August 26.  Dr. Dean Malvick, Extension Corn and Soybean Plant Pathologist, Dr. Jeff Gunsolus, Extension Weed Specialist, and Dave Nicolai, Extension Crops Educator will lead the workshop.

By Dean Malvick

A number of different root and leaf diseases have been appearing in soybean and corn fields across Minnesota. Most are of minor concern at this point, but some have been more problematic. This article focuses on diseases that have been reported or may be favored by weather conditions and have raised questions or concern.

Preharvest Management Options for Wheat

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Winter wheat, if not already there, is quickly approaching physiological maturity. The earliest seeded spring wheat is soon to follow. And thus, it is time to evaluate your pre-harvest management options. Follow this link to read a quick review of your options. Although there are very persistent assertions, pre-harvest glyphosate - when applied according to the label - should not result in changes in grain protein. A summary of a study to debunk this myth can be found here


HRSW varieties differ for their resistance to pre-harvest sprouting. This high-temperature dormancy peaks at physiological maturity. Repeated wetting and drying of the grain in a swath or even while standing will degrade this dormancy over time. The dormancy of some varieties break down sooner than other, potentially resulting in sprout damage. Click here to look up the ratings for the current HRSW varieties. The best remedy to avoid pre-harvest sprout damage is to harvest timely, even if that means that you are above 13.5% grain moisture content

Finally, many wheat fields are showing tall off-types. Click here for the reasons tall off-types appear in spring wheat. Varieties that are notorious for off-types are Mayville, LCS Albany, and Rollag.

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929
1. June 5 Hay Auction Results
2. July 16 Forage Field Day / Dairy Tour Near Kimball

Continue Reading for Links to reports (including averages calculated for October 2013 to May 2014 auction season), Tour Flyer, and other information.

by Jochum Wiersma and Albert Sims

Interest in improving grain protein in hard red spring wheat (HRSW) with in-season applications of nitrogen (N) fertilizer may increase this year, since protein premiums and discounts are expected to be greater this year than last. Despite the late planting, the cool and wet weather has created a scenario where the crop may be a bit short on N to maximize grain protein.

There is an intuitive appeal to split apply N (N applied preplant and more N applied during the growing season) in HRSW since the crop takes up the majority of its N between jointing and flag leaf emergence. The practice of splitting the total N fertilizer gift in three or even four separate applications is commonplace in winter cereal production in the maritime regions of Europe, including the countries of Denmark, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and France. The objective of split N applications is to supply N when the crop needs it, improve N use efficiency, and consequently achieve maximum grain yield and/or grain protein with fewer N fertilizer inputs.

by David Nicolai, IAP Program Coordinator

The University of Minnesota Institute for Ag Professionals is offering two hands-on field crop educational events this July; one is the Advanced field crop workshop featuring the latest in weed science strategies for corn and soybean weed management at the Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, MN, to be held on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014. The other event is the 2014 Field School for Ag Professionals  which will be held on July 30 - 31 at the University of Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota. The St. Paul Campus (located in Falcon Heights, MN next to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at Larpenteur and Gortner Ave). The two-day program focuses on core principles in agronomy, entomology, weed and soil sciences on the first day to build a foundation for early career participants and builds on this foundation with timely, cutting-edge topics on the second day.


A Closer Look at Herbicide Rotation Restrictions

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops

What herbicides were applied earlier in the growing season can significantly influence the decision of what to do in fields or areas of a field where the original crop was flooded or hailed out.  Planting some kind of a crop can help reduce erosion potential as well as reduce the risk of fallow syndrome (see http://z.umn.edu/fallowsyndrome).  However, options can be limited if a herbicide used previously in the growing season has rotational or plant-back restrictions listed on the label.

by Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops, Fabian Fernandez and Daniel Kaiser, Extension Nutrient Management Specialists

The challenging spring of 2014 has resulted in wide-spread planting delays in parts of the state and a significant amount of acres that remain unplanted at this time. If the decision has been made to take the "prevented planting" option for insurance purposes, the question remains about what to do with these acres. In other parts of the state, extensive flooding and/or severe hail has significantly damaged standing crops. In either case, leaving the ground bare greatly increases the risk of not only soil erosion, but also the risk of "Fallow Syndrome" the following year.

Assessing Hail Damage in Corn and Soybean

by Kent Olson, Extension Economist

Again in 2014, spring rains and flooded fields have delayed or prevented planting for many farmers in Minnesota. If farmers have multi-peril crop insurance and have not been able to plant by their crop's final planting date, they do have options.

Most of the soybean and corn crop is emerged and growing well across Minnesota.  Seedling disease problems in scattered soybean and corn fields have been reported in early June and more are expected due to wet and flooded fields.  Abundant (or excessive) rainfall and fluctuating temperatures and have created excellent conditions for seedling diseases. This is a good time to check fields for seedling disease problems and efficacy of seed treatments. 

Infection of seedlings before or after emergence can result in dead plants, rotted and discolored roots, stunted and discolored plants, and wilting.  The problems often occur in patches in fields. Seedling infection can also lead to damage that may not fully develop until mid to late summer, as with Phytophthora root and stem rot and sudden death syndrome.  Disease can cause serious damage, but it is just one of many stresses that seedlings are encountering. Careful scouting and diagnosis are often required to identify the cause of a problem.

Considerations for Flooded Corn and Soybean

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Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist, Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist, Dean Malvick, Extension Plant Pathologist, and Fabian Fernandez, Extension Nutrient Management Specialist

With the recent heavy rains, many corn and soybean fields have areas where crops are experiencing flooded or saturated conditions. This article discusses agronomic and disease issues for corn and soybean exposed to prolonged periods of high soil moisture and cool temperatures.

Advanced Field Crop Workshop - Lamberton, MN

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By Dave Nicolai, IAP Program Coordinator

The University of Minnesota Institute for Ag Professionals is offering an advanced field crop workshop featuring the latest in weed science strategies for corn and soybean weed management at the  Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, MN, to be held on Wednesday, July 9th, 2014.

Prevented plant: cover crop and forage options

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The weather continues to challenge farmers in parts of Minnesota. With the late planting window closing, cover crop options for prevented plant acres should be considered. Crops selected for forage use would also be good choices as cover crops. There are several options depending on what a producer's needs and expectations are.

What are my options on prevented plant acres if I need forage?

Planting a cover crop for hay or grazing

If you are a livestock producer and are short on forage inventory, you may plant a cover crop for hay or grazing. However, your prevented planting payment may be significantly reduced if you harvest forage before November 1. Check with Farm Service Agency and your crop insurance agent for details. Then pencil out the economics for your own enterprise to decide whether or not this is a viable option for you.

Options for controlling emerged weeds in sugarbeet

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by Tom Peters, Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist

I have been traveling the countryside to complete spring planting, like many of our growers in North Dakota and Minnesota. I have traveled past beautiful freshly planted fields, enjoying the contrast between the green ditches and black fields. However, recent heat and rainfall have changed the landscape. One can now row emerged crops in fields. And to no-one's surprise, there are weeds in fields.

by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

1-800-964-4929 or 968-5077 if a local call to Foley

June 6 Evening

Here's the information we have for Thursday June 5.
Alfalfa Field Data 2014 06 05.pdf

With all the rain, I'd guess alfalfa is either ready to harvest across our area ... or will be ready to harvest when fields get dry enough to get on and the weather looks like there's an opportunity to do it. Some people are trying to snatch some haylage between showers.

MAKE SAFETY THE PRIORITY.

Follow "Continue Reading" for information about:

-Other Forage Resources

-Planting Season Issues Discussion Mtg. in Foley Tuesday December 10"Prevented Planting, Trying to Produce Feed, Crop Insurance, etc."

 



John Lamb, Fabian Fernandez, and Daniel Kaiser
University of Minnesota Nutrient Management Team

Nitrogen is important for corn growth, and has been a recent concern. This year similar to many years has not had normal weather. Planting has been delayed by moist conditions and cold temperature. Now with the record rainfalls last weekend (May 30 through June 1, 2014), there are concerns that nitrogen has been lost to leaching or denitrification.

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data June 2, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

1-800-964-4929 or 968-5077 if a local call to Foley
June 3 Evening

Here's the information we have for Monday June

Alfalfa Field Data 2014 06 02.pdf

The Roerick site is the only one I don't have data from yet.   

I'll aim change the data document in this posting when I get the Roerick lab report...and make a new posting after sampling on Thursday June 5.  

With all the rain, I'd guess alfalfa is either ready to harvest across our area ... or will be ready to harvest when fields get dry enough to get on and the weather looks like there's an opportunity to do it.

MAKE SAFETY THE PRIORITY.

For more U of M information about forages go to

http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/forages

Go to Midwest Forage Association if you'd like to order PEAQ Sticks: http://www.midwestforage.org

The Wisconsin Extension Forage web page can be found at: http://fyi.uwex.edu/forage

Dr. Thomas (Tom) Peters recently accepted a position as Extension Sugarbeet Agronomist, North Dakota State University and the University of Minnesota.

Peters_Thomas.jpgThe position supports sugarbeet growers in the states of North Dakota and Minnesota. In his role, Tom will be collaborating with faculty and staff, the sugarbeet cooperatives and allied industry on a systems approach for controlling weeds in sugarbeet.

Tom retired in February from Monsanto after nearly 24 years with the company. Most of Tom's career at Monsanto was in the biotech organization where he specialized in corn traits development. Tom returns to NDSU where he obtained his doctorate in agronomy, specializing in weed science under the supervision of Dr. Alan Dexter, longtime NDSU/UM sugarbeet weed specialist. Tom grew up on a dairy farm near Sauk Centre in West-Central Minnesota and received his BS degree from the University of Minnesota in 1983 and his MS degree from Nebraska in 1986.

Tom and his wife, Connie, have relocated to Fargo from St. Louis. Tom has several hobbies including following college football (long-time University of Minnesota season ticket holder) and hosta gardening. Tom and Connie had over 250 cultivars of hosta in their St. Louis garden including cultivars derived from their breeding program.

Tom's office is in Loftsgard Hall in the Department of Plant Sciences at NDSU. You can contact Tom at 701-231-8131 (office), 218-790-8131 (mobile), pete7440@umn.edu or thomas.j.peters@ndsu.edu (electronic mail).


Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 29, 2014 Update

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

Update May 31 about 2:45 for data for May 29 samples.  

Alfalfa Field Data 2014 05 29 Update 05 31.pdf

I'll aim to update this on Monday Evening with the early reports we get for Monday June 2.  

Harvest would be underway or close if fields were firm enough to get on with equipment and the weather offered a suitable opportunity. Farther north fields may not be quite harvest ready yet, depending on feed needs, but not farm behind now.

MAKE SAFETY A PRIORITY when fields and weather conditions are right for harvest.

For more U of M information about forages go to

http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/forages

Go to Midwest Forage Association if you'd like to order PEAQ Sticks: http://www.midwestforage.org

The Wisconsin Extension Forage web page can be found at: http://fyi.uwex.edu/forage

 

By Dave Nicolai, IAP Program Coordinator

The 2014 Field School for Ag Professionals will be held on July 30 - 31 at the University of Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota. The St. Paul Campus (located in Falcon Heights, MN next to the Minnesota State Fairgrounds at Larpenteur and Gortner Ave) is this year's site for the Field School for Ag Professional which is the summer training opportunity that combines hand-on training and real-world field scenarios that no winter program can offer.  The two-day program focuses on core principles in agronomy, entomology, weed and soil sciences on the first day to build a foundation for participants and builds on this foundation with timely, cutting-edge topics on the second day.

It is too early to know if black cutworm will be a significant problem in 2014 MN crop production. However, captures in a cooperative pheromone trapping network indicate vigilance is in order. We do not have complete coverage of the state with this network and cutworm infestations are always variable from field to field so it is best to err on the side of caution. Pay close attention to any leaf feeding, wilted or cut off corn plants as you scout.

There are at least two flights, April 28 and May 8, where larvae would be large enough show leaf feeding and may be large enough to cut corn in warmer locations. The highest, but not exclusive, risk for black cutworm infestations is highest from Faribault and Steele County in SC MN and a diagonal northwest up the Minnesota River to southern WC MN.

We do know that black cutworm larvae are present and active. I just received a report of black cutworm leaf feeding on corn near the Sibley/Renville County line (Curt Burns). In addition to corn, sugarbeets and several other dicot crops can be attacked.. Later planted weedy fields are were not tilled before cutworm moths arrived are most at risk. Depending on geography, weedy late worked fields may be common this year.

Scouting is important to determine if cutworms are a problem in you fields. Some corn hybrids and at plant insecticides provide control of black cutworm larvae. Insurance insecticide applications for black cutworm are not productive. For further information see: http://swroc.cfans.umn.edu/prod/groups/cfans/@pub/@cfans/@swroc/documents/asset/cfans_asset_480595.pdf .

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 29, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

1-800-964-4929 or 968-5077 if a local call to Foley

May 29 Evening

Here's the information we have so far from May 29.

Alfalfa Field Data 2014 05 29.pdf

I'll aim to update this on Friday evening with reports we get during the day on Friday May 30.

Heat Canker in Wheat, Barley, and Oats

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The last couple days the weather has given us some dry sunny weather with high winds. This has been great to have fields finally dry off and make strides with planting the crop. Unfortunately this also exposed young small grain seedlings to same conditions. The daytime heat at the soil surface has caused heat canker. The tender young tissue at the soil surface basically has been 'cooked' and this appears as a yellow band that is slightly constricted (Photo 1). As the leaf continues to grow, this yellow band (1/8 - 1/4") moves upward and away from the soil surface. If the hot and dry weather last for several days, repeated bands should become visible. The damage is nicely depicted on page 81 of the second edition of the Small Grains Field Guide. Because of the high winds, the tips of leaves may break off at the yellow band and give a field a very ragged appearance. Damage from heat canker is temporary and should not affect further growth and development.

Thumbnail image for 14 Heat Canker.jpeg
Photo 1 - Wheat seedlings with the yellow, constricted appearance symptomatic for heat canker (photo courtesy of Luke Steinberger)


Having experienced a very late spring as in 2013, we are also experiencing a similar start to the season when it comes to diseases in small grains as last year. Tan spot has made an appearance on wheat and barley around the state.

Tan spot is identifiable by the brown spots often surrounded by a yellow halo that appear Tan spot lesion.JPG

This may run together to form larger patches of yellowing and browning. Initial infections in young seedlings often result in yellowing of leaf tips as the seedlings react to the toxins produced by this fungus. Tan spot will be particularly prevalent on previous wheat ground. Be careful not to mistake nitrogen deficiency (see recent post to crop e-news by Dr. Jochum Wiersma on early season yellowing in small grains) or symptoms of BYDV for tan spot.

Scouting is really key with these diseases and results in early detection. As tan spot can go through multiple infection cycles in a season, it is important to control it as soon as it is identified. If left unchecked, this disease will continue to progress and may impact yield.
If you do see tan spot, you can use a tank mix of herbicide and fungicide to control this disease. With the young crop, we recommend using half the labeled rate of products containing active ingredients such as propiconazole (e.g. Tilt). This is because there is less biomass at this stage for the fungicide to cover. After application of fungicide, the lesions of tan spot will not disappear, but the fungus in these lesions will have been killed off. It is important to keep scouting new growth in fields to determine if new infections are occurring. If so, an application of fungicide later in the season may be necessary.

A number of different fungicides can be used for control of this disease (follow this link to the current fungicide efficacy table for small grains. http://www.smallgrains.ncsu.edu/_Pubs/Xtrn/FungicideTable.pdf ). Always remember to follow current labeling instructions for use.

This year, we are interested in collecting isolates of Tan Spot. So if found, please can you contact me at smit7273@umn.edu BEFORE you spray and we will try to collect a sample.


Early Seasoning Yellowing of Wheat, Barley, and Oats.

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Reports of yellowing in small grains have started to reach us. There are several reasons why young wheat, barley, or oat plants have a pale green/yellow color. Some of the common reasons for early season yellowing are:

  • Nitrogen deficiency
  • Sulfur deficiency
  • Early tan spot infection
  • Herbicide injury

The nitrogen (N) deficiencies can readily be identified as the symptoms are worst on the oldest leaves and start at the tip of the leaves, progressing towards the base as the deficiency gets worse. The causes of the N deficiencies are several, all which have common denominator, namely excess precipitation. Excessive rainfall causes:

  • Leaching
  • Denitrification
  • Inability of the plants to take up available N

Leaching is a potential problem in coarser textured soils. Saturated soils/standing water will cause both denitrification and inability to take up available N. Denitrification is a microbial process and slows down considerably as soil temperature decrease. According to Univ. of Illinois data (Hoeft, 2004), denitrification losses are 1-2% if soil temperatures are less than 55oF, 2-3% when soil temperatures are between 55 and 65oF, and 4 -5% once soil temperatures exceed 65oF. As soils are saturated, the plant's roots also are unable to take up N - even if available. Often the crop recovers quickly if the growing conditions improve and the excess water has drained.

If the N deficiency is severe, a supplemental application of N as either urea (46-0-0) or urea ammonium nitrate solution (28-0-0) can be advantageous. Research by George Rehm and Russ Severson in 2005 showed that 40 lbs of supplemental N at the 4 leaf stage yielded 7 bu/A extra over the untreated check.

Sulfur (S) deficiencies are generally found on coarser textured soils and can readily be identified as symptoms are worst on newest leaves and less on older growth. This is opposite to N deficiencies as can be explained by the difference in mobility of the element in the plant; N can be more readily be recycled from older growth and redirected to the younger leaves compared to S. Cool and dry conditions tend to make S more pronounced as less S becomes available from the breakdown of organic matter.

Cool conditions make some of the micro nutrients also less available to the plant. These symptoms are often first noted on the coarser textured soils. Again, George Rehm has chased this problem in the past and found that no single culprit was to blame. As soon as growing conditions improved, the symptomology would disappear.
Early season tan spot infection can also cause the young wheat and barley crop to turn a bright yellow. Especially young seedlings up to the 3 to 4 leaf are very sensitive to a toxin that is produced by the fungus. This yellowing affects the whole seedling. If tan spot is identified as the cause of the yellowing, an early season fungicide treatment is warranted. Additional details on how to effectively control early season tan spot can be found in a follow-up article by Dr. Madeleine Smith.

Although few if any acreage has received an herbicide to date, yellowing of the crop can also be caused by herbicides. Cool growing conditions make a number of our common small grain herbicides more prone to cause temporary injury. Especially the ACCase class of grass herbicides is more active with cool(er) growing conditions. This temporary yellowing will dissipate in one to two weeks after application with no effect on grain yield.

Hoeft, Robert. 2004. Predicting and Measuring Nitrogen Loss. University of Illinois Extension

Switching to Soybeans?

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by Seth Naeve, University of Minnesota Extension Soybean Agronomist

As June 1 looms in the not-too-distant future, large areas of land intended for small grains or corn remain unplanted in Northwestern Minnesota.  Likewise, there are localized areas in East-central and South-central Minnesota where the corn crop has not yet been planted.  With recent rainfall, and a May 31 crop insurance cut-off date around the corner, some producers are considering switching to soybeans.


Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 27, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties marte011@umn.edu or 1-800-964-4929 or 968-5077 if a local call to Foley

May 27 Evening - May 28 Evening Update

The crop has taken a pretty significant leap forward during the past week. It's probably time to take a yard stick out to most field in the area.

This report includes new data from Scott County on May 22, and on May 26 and 27 from McLeod, Meeker, Wright, Benton, Stearns and Morrison. Some NOTES ABOUT FIELD OBSERVATIONS are included  following the numbers.

Alfalfa Field Data 2014 05 27.pdf

This document will be revised in this posting on Wednesday evening May 28 with more lab reports.

New samples will be taken on Thursday Morning May 29, with the goal of having some of that posted on Thursday evening.

For more U of M information about forages go to: 

http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/forages

Go to Midwest Forage Association if you'd like to order PEAQ Sticks: http://www.midwestforage.org

The Wisconsin Extension Forage web page can be found at: http://fyi.uwex.edu/forage

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Data May 22, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
May 23 Evening

This report includes data from Thursday May 22 in Carver, Wright, Stearns, Benton, and Morrison County. Some NOTES ABOUT FIELD OBSERVATIONS are include following the numbers.

Alfalfa Field Data 2014 05 22.pdf

The next report should be posted Tuesday Evening May 27.

Some sites are not tall enough to be sampled yet. We generally suggest starting field measurements and or lab sampling when the tallest stems are about 16 inches.

For more U of M information about forages go to www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/forages

Go to Midwest Forage Association if you'd like to order PEAQ Sticks: http://www.midwestforage.org

The Wisconsin Extension Forage web page can be found at: http://fyi.uwex.edu/forage

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary May 15, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on May 15, 2014.

"Continue Reading" for Links to reports and other information - including the data from the Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors Cut Project.

There will be an auction again at Sauk Centre on June 5.

 

Alfalfa Harvest Alert Project 2014 Starts

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
May 20 Evening

The 2014 Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors Cut project has started this week with 3 samples taken on Monday May 19 in Carver County and 1 sample in Benton County. We generally suggest starting field measurements and or lab sampling when the tallest stems are about 16 inches.

With an unusual spring again this year, it's good to get an early look at a few samples to see what things are like.

"Continue reading" 1) to get the link for May 19 results with observations; 2) to get the link for a News Release that tells about the project and where listen to or read reports; 3) links to U of M Forage Information; and 4) link to Midwest Forage Association for buying a PEAQ stick

By Lizabeth Stahl and Lisa Behnken, Extension Educators in Crops  

Access to results for many of the U of MN crops research trials conducted across the state has now become streamlined with the launch of the new, U of MN Extension Crops Research website.  This one-stop shop can be accessed through the U of MN Extension Crops webpage at www.extension.umn.edu/crops under "Research Reports".

The website contains results for small plot and on-farm crops research and demonstration trials conducted across Southern MN from 2003 to 2013.  You can also access research results for crops trials conducted at Research and Outreach Centers located across the state by clicking on the respective link.  Statewide results for weed science research can be accessed through the "Applied Weed Science" link, and results for the Minnesota hybrid and variety trials can be accessed through the "Minnesota Field Crops Variety Trials" link. 

The Research Reports webpage supplements U of MN Crops websites such as the "Corn", "Soybean", "Small Grains", "Forages", or "Sugarbeets" websites, or the "Nutrient Management", "Pest Management", "Ag Drainage", "Climate and Weather", and "Tillage" websites, where you can find research-based information and resources to help with specific crops-related decisions. 

By Robert Koch, Extension Entomologist

Recent cool and wet conditions may increase the risk of seedcorn maggot infestation in some soybean and corn fields. Seedcorn maggots are small (1/4 inch long), white maggots (fly larvae) that feed on germinating seeds. The maggots can tunnel into seed, which may result in seed death, and can injure the emerging plant tissues, which can affect plant growth or lead to damping off. Such injury can result in stand loss or weakened plants. For example, if the growing point of soybean is killed, "Y-plants" can result when branching develops at the cotyledons. Yield from "Y-plants" may be reduced if competing with neighboring healthy plants. Seedcorn maggot injury can be difficult to distinguish from other problems such as Pythium and other seedling diseases.
Fields at greatest risk are those with decaying organic matter, such as a recently incorporated cover crop or manure. Risk of injury is greater when cool and wet conditions slow germination and emergence, which increases the window of time plants are susceptible to attack. Rescue treatments are not available for this pest. However, preventative tactics can be utilized to protect seed and plants in high-risk situations. Seed-applied and soil insecticides can offer effective protection of germinating plants from seedcorn maggot (be sure to follow instructions on product label). In addition, degree-day models are available to guide decisions about adjusting planting date to avoid periods with high larval abundance (UW seedcorn maggot degree-days).
When significant stand loss occurs, replanting may be required, but this option should be considered carefully. Information is available to guide replant decisions in soybean (U of MN Extension soybean replant guide) and corn (U of MN Extension corn replant guide).

Black cutworm traps pick up significant flights

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Over the past couple weeks, cooperator-run pheromone traps indicate the potential for localized damaging populations of black cutworm in corn and other crops. Faribault, Lac Qui Parle, Swift and Waseca Counties have had significant captures. Cutting from the earliest of these flights is projected to occur after May 28.

Areas with delayed spring tillage and early season weeds are most attractive for migrant cutworms to lay eggs.

This does not mean insurance insecticide applications are warranted and insecticide rescue treatments work well where economic threshold populations occur.

2014 University of Minnesota Cooperative Black Cutworm Trapping Network newsletters with further information on cutworm biology, scouting, thresholds and control as well as maps of trap captures and cutting predictions can be found at: http://swroc.cfans.umn.edu/ResearchandOutreach/PestManagement/CutwormNetwork/index.htm


Late Planting of Small Grains

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Wheat, barley, and oat are cool season annuals and are most productive when they grow and develop during cool weather. The yield potential of a crop is largely determined by the 6 leaf stage. Cool temperatures during this period are particularly important for the development of a high yield potential. For example, the number of tillers that ultimately produce grain at harvest declines as planting is delayed (Figure 1). The number of spikelets per spike is determined during the 4 to 5.5 leaf stage (Figure 2). Spikelet numbers are negatively correlated with temperature; spikelet numbers are greater when temperatures during the 4-5.5 leaf stages are cool.

14 Figure 1 Late Planting.jpg
Figure 1 - The effect of planting date for on number of heads per square feet of hard spring wheat at harvest in Langdon, ND (data and graph courtesy of Terry Gregoire, Area Agronomist, NDSU).

14 Figure 2 Late Planting.jpg
Figure 2 - The effect of maximum daily temperatures on the number of spikelets per spike that are initiated between the 4 and 5.5 leaf stage of spring wheat in Langdon, ND (data and graph courtesy of Terry Gregoire, Area Agronomist, NDSU).

Because of the expectation that average temperatures will be higher as we plant later, development of the crop will speed up too. The number of heat units required for a plant to move to the next phase of development will accumulate faster. This forces development along faster and causes the plant to have less time to grow. Plants end up with fewer tillers, smaller heads, and fewer and smaller kernels per head, cutting into our yields.

To improve the odds of high grain yields is to ensure that the tillering and head initiation phases occur during relatively cool temperatures is by planting early. Early planting is pivotal in this regard (Table 1)

Table 1 - The average seeding dates and last recommended seeding dates for small grains in Minnesota.
14 Table 1 Late Planting.JPG

Research has shown that, on average, yields decreased 1% per day when planting is delayed past the optimum planting date. Planting after the last possible date is not recommended because the odds that grain yield and quality (test weight) will be dramatically reduced due to heat stress.

You can partially offset this yield loss by increasing the seeding rate and ensuring that you have more main stems per unit area. The recommendation is to increase the seeding rate by 1 percent for every day after the optimum planting window.

The last possible date for planting is not chiseled in stone. The chances of a profitable crop just drop because of the anticipated weather and temperatures later during the growing season. Past the last possible date, you may want to consider an alternative crop, though economic reality might prevent this. If you stay with small grains past that date you will have to hope for a cool and dry summer. Point and case being the summer of 2013; weather conditions during grain fill last year proofed so favorable that, despite the late planting date, the State's average HRSW yield was the third highest ever reported. This feat was largely the result of the cooler nighttime temperatures. Figure 3 shows the difference in the minimum temperatures during the growing season in 2012 and 2013.

14 Figure 3 Late Planting.JPG
Figure 3 - The difference in daily minimum temperatures during the growing seasons in 2012 and 2013 in Devils Lake, ND. Day 56 marks the approximate beginning of grain fill.

Crusting and Emergence Problems

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Last week's heavy rains have caused widespread crusting problems. Dr. David Franzen , NDSU Extension Soil Scientist, summarized the options available to you in an article more than a decade ago. It has been reprinted here as a refresher.

Crusting results from rains breaking down soil aggregates into particles that cement into hard layers at the soil surface when drying occurs rapidly. In soils that have not been seeded, the crust prevents further soil drying by sealing off the underlying soil from the air. The crust also reflects sunlight, in effect insulating the soil and maintaining cooler soil temperatures that further slow drying.

Crusts in unseeded fields can be broken by working the fields very shallow, no deeper than the depth of the crust, with such tools as a rotary hoe, a field cultivator with narrow shovels or spikes, or a rigid harrow. Breaking the crust will help dry the field more quickly and warm the soil. Some compaction will result from the extra trip over the field, but the benefits of the tillage should outweigh the negatives.

In seeded fields that received heavy rains after seeding and developed crusts, breaking the crusts may be crucial for good stand establishment and to avoid reseeding. A rotary hoe is the best tool for breaking a crust. A spring-tooth harrow with the teeth set straight down instead of slanted back can sometimes be used. The circular motion of harrow teeth set in this fashion can be very effective at breaking a crust enough for young seedlings to emerge. A heavy rigid harrow should be avoided as too much soil movement may expose seedling roots. If neither of these tools is available, running over the field with and empty double disc drill will also break the crust.

The goal of any crust-breaking trip is to crack the crust into small pieces and move them around slightly to let air and light into the soil below. Seedlings trapped under a crust will try to grow and elongate below the crust until they run out of stored energy from the seed. The cooler the weather, the longer the seedling can survive, unless a seedling disease infects it. The warmer the temperature, the faster the seedling will try to grow and the sooner it will run out of energy. It is important to deal with crusts soon after they form.

With any crust-breaking method, some stand damage is likely. However, compared to the damage a crust can do, the damage done while breaking crust is usually much less than the crust itself causes.

Evaluating Winter Wheat Plant Stands

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One of the hardest decisions with growing winter wheat is evaluating the amount of winter kill and making the decision whether to keep a stand. Winter wheat is planted in the fall and develops in the spring during relatively ideal conditions for tiller development. Therefore the optimum plant stands of winter wheat can be less than that of spring wheat. A stand of 900,000 - 1,000,000 plants/acre or 21 - 23 plants/ft2 will be enough to maximize grain yield.

Some winter kill is to be expected in Minnesota. This past winter was cold even by Minnesota standards. The extreme cold, combined with little snow cover in parts of the state, and that the fact some of winter wheat was planted on prevent plant acres that had little or no standing stubble to collect the limited snow that fell, means that winter kill is very likely this year. Roots are generally less winter hardy than crowns and regrowth may be very slow, even if roots and shoots appear dead.

The very cool and wet weather to date has meant that fields have been very slow to green up and have just started to put on new leaves and tillers. This past week was probably the first time that evaluating surviving plant density was fairly straightforward. The problem that remains, however, is that winter survival in all likelihood will variable within a field and depending on topography (windblown hilltops having less stand than protected areas of the field). If stands are reduced uniformly across the field, stands of 17 plants/ft2 can still produce near maximum grain yields. Even stands as low as 11 plants/ft2 can still produce a 40 bu/A yield.

Given the lateness of the spring and the likelihood that anything else that is planted will be planted later than optimum creates another incentive to stick with a less than ideal stand of winter wheat. Consider interseeding spring wheat to fill large gaps but be prepared for the fact that spring wheat matures later than winter wheat so harvest will be problematic. Furthermore, mixing wheat classes can cause problems at the elevator. Planting winter wheat into large gaps can also be an option. Winter wheat planted in the spring will not vernalize so it will not produce a head (or there will be fewer late heads), but will provide ground cover until harvest.

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary May 1, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on May 1, 2014.

Check "Continue Reading" for all the information.

Researchers at Cornell University recently discovered an isolate of Fusarium graminearum (the organism which causes Fusarium head blight (FHB)) with greatly reduced sensitivity to tebuconazole. Tebuconazole is the active ingredient (A.I.) in fungicides such as Folicur and one of the A.I.s in Prosaro. These fungicides are routinely used to control both leaf diseases and also for FHB suppression.
The researchers conducted a study to examine the sensitivity of 50 isolates of Fusarium to tebuconazole and another A.I , metconazole (the A. I. in Caramba). They found one isolate out of these 50 (designated TEB-R) so have such a reduced sensitivity to tebuconazole, they deemed it tebuconazole-resistant.

How has a tebuconazole resistant isolate of FHB arisen?

It's important to remember that fungicides themselves do not cause the mutations giving rise to the genetic variation mediating resistance. When fungicide applications are made over a period of time across a landscape, they create an environment where resistant isolates now have a competitive advantage over susceptible isolates. It's a classic case of survival of the fittest. This results in selection for resistant isolates at a much higher frequency in the population.
Interestingly, until recently, New York has been one of the few states where tebuconazole has not been widely used to suppress FHB. However, seed treatments containing tebuconazole have been commonly used throughout the state.

Is the discovery of a fungicide -resistant isolate surprising?

In a word, no. It is not uncommon to find fungicide resistant isolates occurring at low frequencies in natural populations of Fusarium, even before exposure to fungicides. Fusarium graminaerum is known for its wide genetic variability. Once surveys are conducted to measure sensitivity of isolates to fungicides, we would expect to find some with resistance to tebuconazole or other fungicides.

Should producers be changing management practices in light of this discovery?

These findings don't mean that we should drop fungicides from our control programs, but it does mean we need to be smart about our fungicide use. Deploying resistant varieties in combination with fungicides where different modes of action are used in rotation or in tank mixes all help to prevent causing a huge population shift in the fungus towards resistant isolates resulting in loss of efficacy of A.I.s. It is worth remembering that this isolate, although resistant to tebuconazole, was still susceptible to other A.I.s. In the absence of the selection pressure caused by tebuconazole, this isolate of Fusarium seemed to have no competitive advantage over other tebuconazole susceptible isolates.

So what is the impact of this finding?

Should we stop using tebuconazole to control fungal diseases? This discovery highlights the need for careful monitoring of fungal populations of FHB and other disease-causing fungi and establishing baseline sensitivities to commonly used A. I.s in these fungicides. This will allow an early warning if populations are shifting towards an increased number of isolates with reduced sensitivity or resistance. Until we are able to gain a broader picture of what is happening in our fungal populations, integrated management strategies utilizing the best resistant wheat and barley varieties available and judicious use of fungicides ( including tebuconazole) are still the best approach to control this devastating disease. Indeed, in many other wheat growing regions of the world where fungicide resistance is a problem for some diseases, A.I. management (rotation of A.I.s) is already practiced as a matter of routine across all cropping systems. The issue of fungicide resistance should garner as much as attention as the currently recognized problems with herbicide and insecticide resistance in the U.S.

For more information contact: Dr. madeleine Smith at: smit7273@umn.edu or Dr. Gary Bergstrom at: gcb3@cornell.edu

Reference: P. Spolti et al. 2014 Triazole sensitivity in a contemporary population of Fusarium graminearum from New York wheat and competitiveness of a tebuconazole resistant isolate. Plant Disease.Vol 98: p 607-613

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops

Benefits of a preemergence (PRE) herbicide application in soybean were demonstrated through the "PRE Challenge" - a series of on-farm research and demonstration trials conducted across southern MN in 2012 and 2013. In these University of Minnesota Extension trials, made possible through financial support of the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council, cooperators compared a postemergence-only herbicide program to a program that included a PRE herbicide application.

by M. Scott Wells - Forage and Cropping System Agronomist
mswells@umn.edu

Being new to this state, I have been curious about how this spring compares to the previous year as it relates to precipitation. This time last year, much of Minnesota reported below normal precipitation (Figure 1a). However, across Southern Minnesota this year there has been greater than normal precipitation reported with some areas departing more than 6-inches from the normal (Figure 1b).


Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 5.50.27 PM.pngFigure 1.Minnesota Monthly Departure from Normal Precipitation for April 2013 (a) and 2014 (b). NOAA - Advance Hydrological Prediction Services. http://www.noaa.gov

With the increase in precipitation this spring, coupled with cool temperatures, there could be greater risk of delayed corn planting. Like many of you, we at the University are waiting for the soil to dry and warm so that we can plant research crops. Across the Midwest, several states report less than 20% of their corn acreage planted. In Minnesota, only 4% of the corn has been planted which is similar to the spring of 2013 (Figure 2). Unfortunately, judging the weather report for the next few days, it doesn't look like there will be a significant jump in corn acreage planted.

Screen Shot 2014-05-02 at 6.17.47 PM.pngFigure 2. USDA's weekly crop progress estimates of percentage of corn acreage planted as of April 28, 2014. http://www.agweb.com/corn_planting_map.aspx

Last year, corn planting was delayed and forage producers were faced with significant loses of alfalfa acreage due to winterkill. During our winter workshops, forage producers asked where they could find cover crop seed to plant as forages. Questions arose as to which cover crop species and seeding rates were most appropriate to use along with where to source the seed. Many producers commented that they were not able to find cover crop seed last year, even though there were seed suppliers in Minnesota that did have inventory last spring. Below is a list of seed suppliers in Minnesota that carry cover crop seeds along with information concerning planting date and seeding rates. The below list is meant to assist producers interested in planting cover crops, however, it is not comprehensive or endorsed by University of Minnesota Extension Forage Program. Additional information on prevent to plant cover crop options can be found at University of Minnesota Forages Extension website.

Albert Lea Seeds Albert Lea, MN 800-352-5247
Agassiz Seed & Supply West Fargo, ND 701-282-8118
Central Sota Buffalo, MN 763-682-1464
Cover Crop Solutions Robesania, PA 800-767-9441
Federated Coop Several Locations
FMX Turf Castle Rock, MN 651-463-8041
La Crosse Forage & Turf Seed, LLC La Crosse, WI 800-328-1909
Legacy Seeds, Inc. Scandinavia, WI 866-791-6390
Marty's Farm Service Several Locations
Millborn Seeds Brookings, SD 888-498-7333
Prairie Restorations Several Locations
Producer's Choice Seed Jordan, MN 877-560-5181
Shady Knoll Farm Redwood Falls, MN 507-640-0993
Waconia Farm Supply Waconia, MN 952-442-2126
Welter Seed and Honey Co. Onslow, IA 563.485.2762
Werner Farm Seed Dundas, MN 507-645-7995

Hopefully, May brings flowers and favorable planting conditions.


The continuous rainy weather that we've been experiencing can take an emotional toll on a farmer.  It's easy to feel a little helpless looking out at those soggy fields.  The common response is to keep active and begin to make contingency plans.  Some producers are beginning to get nervous about their variety choices and are calling on their seed dealers to inquire about sourcing earlier maturity soybeans. 

While this is a very normal response to the situation, it's important to remember that soybean maturities need not be adjusted for some time.  The standard University of Minnesota recommendations state that soybean maturities should not be adjusted until a target planting date of June 10 is reached.   We will have MANY good working days before then. 

There are two primary reasons why soybean maturities need not be adjusted for some time.  First, the soybean's reproductive development is much less impacted by heat unit accumulation than corn.  Shorter days help trigger flowering and maturation in soybean, so that even late planted - full maturity - soybeans tend to mature naturally, if only a day or two late.  Second, early May growth and development in Minnesota soybeans tends to be very slow.  Historically, soybeans planted in early May are only one or two leaves ahead of soybeans planted in late May due to the warm soil and air temperatures experienced by the later planted soybeans.

A secondary (but perhaps equally important) reason to delay maturity shifts relates to variety availability.  One should assume that they have already chosen the highest-yielding varieties for their farms.  Any swapping that occurs in the spring will result in producers accepting lesser varieties in trade.  Hold with your current varieties (at least) until a late May planting becomes imminent. 

Note:  Current University recommendations for late- and re-planting are based on antiquated research trials.  We know that farmers are planting much longer maturity soybeans today.  We know that this change will impact when soybean maturity switches should occur.  This is a research project that we hope to take on in coming years.

 

Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist

Naeve002@umn.edu

by David Nicolai, Coordinator for the Institute for Ag Professionals

2014 Ag Professional Field School

July 30 & 31, 2014 - St. Paul, MN

A hands-on, in-field program emphasizing crop and pest management diagnostic skill building in field crops. The program is geared to the educational needs of new and recently employed ag professionals who are in a beginning to intermediate phase in their agronomy careers.


As we enter soybean planting time, the most critical management period for soybean production, it's a good time to remember a few of the most critical decisions that can be made, including:

1)  Select and plant only the best varieties:  Not all soybeans are equal.  Each year, seed companies sell soybean seed with a wide range in yield potential.  Typically, the best-yielding varieties produce between 20 percent and 40 percent greater yields than those at the bottom.  Don't get stuck with a dog.  Make your initial selections carefully by using third-party yield information, and only accept substitutions with proven yield potential.

2)  Correct low-testing soils now:  Carefully evaluate soil test results.  Soybeans can typically utilize residual phosphorous and potassium from a well-fertilized previous corn crop, but if you're unsure about fertility levels, conduct a soil test in the spring.  Once planted it's too late to fix deficiencies.  Despite renewed attention to this old topic, do not apply nitrogen to soybeans.  Nitrogen very rarely increases soybean yields - not to mention extremely rare economic returns.

3)  Plant early:  Although delayed planting is likely in most areas, plant as early as possible -- but only into good soil conditions. Avoid planting with extreme cold and wet weather in the near-term forecast or in extremely dry soils.

4)  Plant in narrow rows:  Soybeans planted in narrow rows will out-yield those planted in 30-inch rows or wider.  You can expect approximately 5 percent of yield advantage for every 10 inches of narrowing, down to about 10 inches.  Fields with a history of white mold may still be planted in narrow rows, but populations should be managed carefully.

5)  Don't trust a post-emergence-only herbicide program:  Including pre-emergence herbicides into an overall weed-management strategy provides a wider window for mid-season applications and allows more options for weed control.  Reduce short- and long-term risks by using herbicides with diverse modes of action.

6)  Be Safe:  The springtime rush often brings long working hours.  Please avoid taking additional risks wherever possible.


Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Specialist

 
Reprinted from the United Soybean Board News:

Weather Delays Corn Planting but High Yield Potential Exists

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary April 17, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on April 17, 2014.

Here are the reports:

April 17 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf  Individual lots sold are sorted and averaged by type and quality.

History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf A summary of past 4 years and individual auctions so far this year.  

Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf  A line graph of for average from each sale 2001 to 2014 for Medium Square Alfalfa groups from 101 to 200 RFV.

As noted before, think carefully about averages.

We are making plans to do the Alfalfa Harvest Alert Scissors Cut Project in our Central MN area again this year.

MARKET REPORTS

"Weekly Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest" that is put together by Ken Barnett, UW Extension.

http://www.uwex.edu/ces/forage/pubs/04_19_13_Hay_Market_Report.pdf

USDA Hay Market Reports - Click on Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News, then look for Hay.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/LSMNpubs


2013 MN COUNTY HAY YIELDS

The National Ag Statistics 2013 Hay Production and Yield Reports for Minnesota have been posted on the website now. Go to http://www.nass.usda.gov/Statistics_by_State/Minnesota/Publications/County_Estimates

Stearns County produced the largest amount of Alfalfa Hay and Morrison County produced the largest amount of "Other Dry Hay" (grass hay for all practical purposes).

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator in Crops

Does glyphosate perform as well today as it did when you first used it?  When producers were asked this question at University of Minnesota Private Pesticide Applicator Training sessions across southern Minnesota in 2014, 87% of the respondents said "No".  This percentage is up significantly from 2009, when 55% of respondents answered "No" to this question.  Increasing issues with resistance to glyphosate is likely, at least in part, behind reported reductions in weed control.  To address issues of reduced weed control with glyphosate, diversification is key. 

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary April 3, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on April 3, 2014.

Here are the reports:

April 3 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf  Individual lots sold are sorted and averaged by type and quality.

History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf A summary of past 4 years and individual auctions so far this year.  

Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf   A line graph of for average from each sale 2001 to 2014 for Medium Square Alfalfa groups from 101 to 200 RFV.

As noted before, think carefully about averages.

The graphs might show a little up-turn in the market as we sometimes do in the spring as on-farm supplies run lower and first crop hay harvest is a ways off yet. You can do your own thinking about that. It was a wintery weather day on April 3 as you headed east from Sauk Center to the Wisconsin border.

MARKET REPORTS

"Weekly Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest" that is put together by Ken Barnett, UW Extension.

http://www.uwex.edu/ces/forage/pubs/hay_market_report.htm

USDA Hay Market Reports - Click on Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News, then look for Hay.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/LSMNpubs

By Lizabeth Stahl and Lisa Behnken, Extension Educators in Crops

University of Minnesota Extension has recently launched a U of MN Extension Crops YouTube video site. It can be accessed through the newly updated U of MN Extension Crops webpage at www.extension.umn.edu/crops under "Social Media".

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary March 20, 2014

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties, marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on March 20, 2014.

Here are the reports:

March 20 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf  Individual lots sold are sorted and averaged by type and quality.

History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdfA summary of past 4 years and individual auctions so far this year.  

Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf   A line graph of for average from each sale 2001 to 2014 for Medium Square Alfalfa groups from 101 to 200 RFV.

Please note that there was only ONE load of "Medium" Square Alfalfa in the 176-200 RFV group and it sold for $260/T. There were 4 loads of "Large" Square Alfalfa in the 176-200 RFV group that averaged $221, ranging from $210 to 230. So you can think about whether that weighs into how you think about the $260 price on the line graph. As noted before, think carefully about averages.

There were 2 small loads of small square bales of straw that sold for $3.50 and $3.75 per bale for 52 and 106 bales. Will it be a better year for small grain where the snow is melted and we might be able to plant small grain earlier than last year?

 MARKET REPORTS

"Weekly Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest" that is put together by Ken Barnett, UW Extension.

http://www.uwex.edu/ces/forage/pubs/hay_market_report.htm

 USDA Hay Market Reports - Click on Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News, then look for Hay.

http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/LSMNpubs



M. Scott Wells - Extension Forage and Cropping Systems Agronomist

We are excited to announce that our University of Minnesota Forage website has emerged from its complete rebuild. Visitors to the U of M Forage website will be able to successfully navigate with ease through a host of informative topics associated with forage production such as:

  • Variety Selection and Genetics
  • Soil and Water Management
  • Establishment
  • Nutrient Management
  • Growth and Development
  • Utilization and Management
  • Organic Production
  • Along with finding a wealth of information associated with forage production, visitors will have their attention drawn to upcoming U of M Extension and other statewide events across all crops via the Crops Calendar. The Crops Calendar offers a portal to more than scheduled events; with a quick click of the mouse, visitors can access valuable information associated with the chosen event including:
  • Event Flyers
  • Registration Forms
  • Maps and Locations
  • Event Coordinator(s) Contact Information
  • Visitors to the U of M Forage website will also find up to date information and news via the Minnesota Crop News Blog. The Crop News Blog is an excellent resource highlighting current and relevant news, research findings, and other valuable resources across all cropping systems at the U of M.

    The primary goal and objective of the U of M Forage website rebuild is to collect and organize the information in a logical and efficient way so that you, the visitor, can easily navigate and browse the information relative to your interest.

    Come take a look: http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/forages/

    A reminder that key forage production and management issues in Minnesota will be presented at a series of University of Minnesota Extension Forage Workshops which will be held this week. Individual sites include Fergus Falls on March 26th in the AgCountry Farm Credit Service Building, St. Charles on March 27th at the St. Charles City Hall, and Kingston on March 28 at the Kingston Community Center.  The forage workshop agendas and times for each location can be accessed at the following internet site: z.umn.edu/foragesforu  This program targets management information for producers and Ag professionals.  


    by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

    marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929

    This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on March 6, 2014. The next Sauk Centre auction is on March 20. There is an auction in Litchfield on March 25

    Here are the reports:

    Mar 6 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf  Individual lots sold, sorted and averaged by type and q

    History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf A summary of past 4 years and individual auctions so far this year.  

    Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf  A line graph of for average from each sale 2001 to 2014 for Medium Square Alfalfa groups from 101 to 200 RFV. Where sale lots are limited, averages might not mean much.

    Forages for U Brochure 2014.pdf  Workshops, March 26-28, Fergus Falls, St. Charles, Kingston. A news release is posted below on the webpage also. 

     MARKET REPORTS

    "Weekly Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest" that is put together by Ken Barnett, UW Extension.

    http://www.uwex.edu/ces/forage/pubs/hay_market_report.htm

    USDA Hay Market Reports - Click on Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News, then look for Hay.

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/LSMNpubs

     

    David Nicolai, Extension Educator-Crops

    To address key forage production and management issues in Minnesota, a series of Forage Workshops will be held the week of March 24th. Individual sites include Fergus Falls on March 26th in the AgCountry Farm Credit Service Building, St. Charles on March 27th at the St. Charles City Hall, and Kingston on March 28 at the Kingston Community Center.  This program is developed by the University of Minnesota Extension and is aimed at current issues and research in forage production and management with the intent to increase producers's forage production and farm profitability.

    Sauk Centre Hay Auction Summary Feb 20, 2014

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    by Dan Martens, Extension Educator, Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties

    marte011@umn.edu by phone, if a local call to Foley 968-5077 or 1-800-964-4929


    This information is for the Sauk Centre Hay Auction held on Feb 20, 2014.

    Another LARGE sale. Consider Averages Carefully. Check example in Large Round Grass Hay Protein greater than 13% and Large Round Grass 9-13%.

    Here are the reports:

    Feb 20 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf  Individual lots sold, sorted and averaged by type and quality.

    History of Selected Lots 2013-2014.pdf A summary of past 4 years and individual auctions so far this year.  

    Graph 2001 to 2014 SC Hay Auction.pdf   A line graph of for average from each sale 2001 to 2014 for Medium Square Alfalfa groups from 101 to 200 RFV. Where sale lots are limited, averages might not mean much.

    Hay Prod US 1919 to2013.pdf

    1.   What year had the largest harvested hay acres since 1919?

    2.     What year had the smallest harvested hay acres since 1919?

    3.     What year has the largest harvested alfalfa production since 1919?

    4.     What year had the smallest harvested alfalfa and other hay production since 1919?

    5.     What does RCAU stand for related to hay production?

    I'll give you that one: "Roughage Consuming Animal Units"

     MARKET REPORTS

    "Weekly Hay Market Demand and Price Report for the Upper Midwest" that is put together by Ken Barnett, UW Extension.

    http://www.uwex.edu/ces/forage/pubs/hay_market_report.htm

     USDA Hay Market Reports - Click on Livestock, Poultry and Grain Market News, then look for Hay.

    http://www.ams.usda.gov/AMSv1.0/LSMNpubs

    Predicting the future: Alfalfa winter injury in Minnesota

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    by M. Scott Wells
    mswells@umn.edu

    Over the past two and half months as the new U of MN Forage and Cropping System Extension Agronomist, the one question I have been asked the most is, "Are you surviving the winter?" Being from the southern US, I replied that I have now experienced real winter. Some of these experiences have been novel and interesting, such as tossing boiling water into the air and watching it become snow, and blowing bubbles in -15°F weather (if you not have tried the bubbles, I highly recommend it), whereas other experiences (truck not starting because its so cold) have been less thrilling.

    This question about "surviving the winter" is an important one when considering the devastating impact of the 2012-2013 winter on alfalfa stands throughout Minnesota. If you are an Alfalfa producer, the question of alfalfa winter injury, and to a greater extent winterkill, is definitely on your mind as it is on mine.

    Winter injury and winterkill of Alfalfa can be tricky to predict during an average winter where adequate snow cover (4 to 6 inches) persists throughout the season. However, this winter as been anything but "average" and with headlines such as: "Out of the blizzard, into the icebox; low temperature records may be shattered" (NBC News 1/4/2014); "Deep Freeze Recap: Coldest Temperatures of the Century for Some" (The Weather Channel 1/10/2014); "More frigid cold prompts Minnesota schools to cancel Thursday classes" (StarTribune 1/23/2014), and my personal favorite, "Minnesota weather remains frigid as heat wave hits Alaska" (KARE 11 News 1/28/2014); the question arises, how likely is winter injury and winterkill in Alfalfa this winter?

    As mentioned above, severe cold temperatures measured at the alfalfa crown from 15 and 5°F and below can cause damage, and during prolonged exposure, kill the plant. Even if the plants are not killed, the full extent of the damage is not until the plants reach 6 inches of spring growth (early May).

    Snow cover is essential in preventing soil temperatures from falling into the ranges where alfalfa is susceptible to winter injury and winterkill. Notice for both 2013 and 2014 how air temperatures dropped below the 5°F (e.g. bold black line, Figure 1), but what is more important than the air temperature is the temperature observed at the crown. In 2013 soil temperatures (e.g. 2-inches) were at or below 15°F (e.g. range for winter injury) for the months of January and February, and even worse, soil temperatures were measured below 5°F (Figure 1, black arrows). Even though the air temperatures were less severe than those experienced this year, the increased snow cover in 2014 has insulated the soil, preventing extreme changes in soil temperature, thus reducing the likelihood of alfalfa winter injury. Soil temperature at a 2 inch depth has mostly been above 20 F with periods where it reached near 16 F when air temperatures reached near-22°F. This illustrates the importance of managing alfalfa stands to increase snow cover retention.

    weatherfigf.jpg
    Figure 1. Temperature and snow depth for Waseca Experiment Station during the winters of 2013 and 2014. *Critical temperature threshold for alfalfa winter injury and winterkill. **Minimum snow depth to buffer and insulate soil temperature from extreme air temperatures.

    For the remainder of the winter and even into early spring, we need to watch out for alternative freeze and thaw cycles. These cycles can adversely affect alfalfa in several ways. (i) As the snow melts and refreezes, ice sheets can form. These ice sheets reduce the insulation factor of the remaining snow, thereby lowering the soil temperature at the crown, and much like the freezer bags use to keep your meat from spoiling in the freezer, the ice sheet restrict the diffusion of oxygen to the roots. The lower diffusion rates of oxygen to the roots, combined with the increased levels of carbon dioxide respiring from the roots, creates an anoxic zone (think low oxygen). (ii) The freeze-thaw cycles of the soil can physically lift alfalfa plants out of the soil via heaving. The heaved alfalfa crown is increasingly exposed to the elements and is more susceptible to winter injury. In extreme cases, alfalfa lateral roots can become severed, reducing the winter survivability and spring productivity. Typically heaving is more of an issue in wet, saturated soils, and less of an issue in well drained soils. (iii) Temperatures above 40°F can cause alfalfa buds to break dormancy. Once dormancy is broken, buds are much more susceptible to freezing damage. Plants with dead buds grow unevenly and slowly in the spring.

    We cannot control the weather, or predict how severe the winter will be, as production decisions are made the prior year. However, we do possess tools to help decrease the incidences of winter injury, and many of these tools and management strategies are placed in motion long before the winter. These controllable management strategies include:

    • Selecting varieties with greater winter hardiness and disease resistance. For detailed descriptions of variety, disease resistance, and winter hardiness, see Minnesota Variety Trial Results 2012.
    • Managing younger stands. Stand age is important since older stands are more exposed to cumulative stressors of plant diseases and physical injury than younger stands, resulting in reduced winter survivability in the older stands.
    • Soil K Level. Soil potassium (potash) is very important in enhancing alfalfa tolerance to winter injury. Management of soil nutrients Phosphorus, Boron, and Sulfur along with pH (<6.5) is critical to ensure winter survivability.
    • Soil drainage is important from both a disease management and ice sheeting point of view.
    • Harvest management combined with the above management strategies provide producers with increased control over winter survivability. More frequent cutting will normally cause more plant stress (reduction in root reserves).
      • In general, three cuts are less risky than four-cuts in southern Minnesota. The last harvest in the three-cut system must occur before September 1st. By doing so, the Alfalfa has enough time to regrow and accumulate carbohydrate reserves in concert with undergoing the normal fall dormancy changes.
      • When considering four-cut systems, delaying the last cut until October 15th instead of September 15th, can reduce the likelihood of winter injury since there is minimal chance of reducing root reserves through fall regrowth.
    • Stubble height management from un-harvested plant residue insulates the soil, catches snow for insulation, and by shading the soil surface from sunlight can minimize freezing and thawing cycles.
    Given the complex interactions, both climate-related and cultural, it is difficult to assess the degree of winter injury in Alfalfa. However, with the amount of snow-cover throughout the state, currently I think the risk for winterkill is minimal, but only time will tell.

    by David Nicolai, Extension Educator-Crops

    To help address key management issues of Northwestern and West Central Minnesota producers, Barriers to Bushels will be held at five locations in late February and early March. This is a program developed by University of Minnesota Extension aimed at current issues and research in corn/soybean crop production with the intent to ultimately help increase a producer's margins. Topics include: Managing Cost of Production (Bret Oelke), Key Soybean and Corn Diseases (Dr. Dean Malvick), Managing Inputs for High Yields While Controlling Costs in Corn Production (Dr. Jeff Coulter), Managing Herbicide Resistant Weeds (Dr. Jeff Gunsolus), Management Strategies for Avoiding SCN Pitfalls (Dr. Phil Glogoza), Optimizing Pop-up and Starter Fertilizers in Corn (Dr. Dan Kaiser), Insect Management Philosophy (Bruce Potter), and High Cost Management and Return in Soybeans (Dr. Seth Naeve).

    Program Announcement: 2014 Southern Wheat Tour

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    With increasing spring and fall workloads and problematic pests problems, including herbicide resistant weeds, wheat offers opportunities to diversity the cropping systems in southern Minnesota and manage these challenges cost effectively. The first objective of this program is to help farmers determine if wheat will work on their farm, in their rotation, and if it can be profitable. The second objective is to hand farmers the tools needed to make wheat a successful crop on their operation. This includes information on production agronomics, variety selection, disease identification and fungicide use, fertility, quality, and economics. Time will be set aside for open forum to discuss related topics and on farm experiences.

    Dates, Locations, Times and Contacts are as follows:
    February 25 - Slayton, Pizza Ranch, 1:00 - 4:00 (Contact: Liz Stahl at 507-372-3900 or Mike Boersma at 507-825-6715).

    March 5 - Benson, McKinney's, 1:00 - 4:00 (Contact: Scott Lee at 320-760-6129 or Doug Holen at 320-589-1711)

    March 6 - LeCenter, Fairground 4H Building, 12:30 - 4:00 (Contacts: Diane at 507-357-8230 or Doug Holen at 320-589-1711).

    Presenters at all locations will include Jochum Wiersma, University of Minnesota Extension Small Grain Specialists, and Doug Holen, University of Minnesota Extension Small Grain Educator.

    For more information or brochure contact Doug Holen.

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