By Jeff Coulter - Extension Corn Agronomist, Michael Russelle - USDA-ARS Soil Scientist, and Matt Yost - Graduate Research Assistant
Each year, corn is grown after alfalfa on an estimated 250,000 acres in Minnesota. Although this amounts to only 3% of total field corn acreage in the state today, it may represent the path to a more secure future. Including alfalfa in crop rotations is useful for reducing soil erosion, enhancing soil tilth and carbon storage, reducing weed seedbanks, disrupting the life cycles of disease and insect pests of corn, and supplying nitrogen to subsequent crops.
Current on-farm research being conducted by the University of Minnesota and the USDA Agricultural Research Service that is funded by the Minnesota Corn Growers Association, the Minnesota Corn Research and Promotion Council, and the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council is investigating agronomic management practices that increase the productivity, profitability, and sustainability of alfalfa-corn rotations. This year, there are eleven on-farm research sites across the state. Results from this research and related research projects will be presented at four upcoming on-farm field days near Chatfield, Lakefield, Montevideo, and Norwood, MN.
Field day highlights include a plot tour and multiple presentations on agronomic management for alfalfa-corn rotations by University of Minnesota and USDA scientists, Extension Educators, and cooperating growers. Refreshments and informational packets will be provided. Registration at each location begins at 12:30 p.m., with presentations starting at 1:00 p.m. These field days are free and open to the public.
Specific field day schedules are listed below. Click on the following links for location-specific directions, topics, and speakers:
Montevideo, MN: Friday, June 25, 2010: 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Chatfield, MN: Monday, June 28, 2010: 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Lakefield, MN: Wednesday, July 7, 2010: 12:30 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.
Norwood, MN: Friday, July 9, 2010: 12:30 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.