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June 2011 Archives

Take Control of Waterhemp Field Tour

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Wednesday - July 6, 2011

3:30 PM to 5:30 PM

Dinner provided at 6:00 PM

Whom should attend? Sugarbeet and Soybean Growers, Consultants, Agronomists, Retailers, and Others

What is the tour about? Viewing plots for Managing glyphosate-resistant waterhemp throughout the crop rotation, especially sugarbeet and soybean.

Minnesota Small Grain Survey Underway

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A field survey project to inspect wheat and barley fields is underway in Minnesota. The survey program has resumed past efforts where survey scouts visit fields to assess crop progress and pest situations. Inspecting wheat and barley fields for the presence of plant diseases and insects provides a weekly regional snapshot of pest problems present in fields and the status of the infestation levels.

Small Grains Disease Risk Assessment Tools

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Minnesota's small grain disease forecasting model is up and running for the season. You can access the site here. Weather based risk models for tan spot, Septoria leaf blotch, leaf rust, and scab are available on this site. Simple select the disease of interest and a risk map for the state. The models can predict the risk up two days in advance and you can go back up to 365 days prior. You can also drill down to your area of interest with a simply mouse click on your area of interest. Another mouse click on a township's section will give a text summary of the risk for that local for that day and the previous seven days. Scouting reports and other commentary will be updated regularly.

The National Fusarium Head Blight Risk Assessment Tool is also available here. The National Risk Assessment Tool will also provide real time alerts. You can sign up on the US Wheat and Barley Scab Initiative website. Alerts can be delivered as a RSS feed, an e-mail, or as text messages to your mobile device.

The North Dakota Small Grains Disease Forecasting System has also come online for the 2011 season. The NDSU now includes a barley DON forecasting model. The model was developed by Dr. Jeff Stein at SDSU.

Scouts identified tan spot in many spring wheat fields across Minnesota last week. The incidence and severity was generally low. Weekly summaries of this statewide scouting activity that is funded by the Minnesota Wheat Research & promotion Council are forthcoming.

If you are considering controlling early season tan spot, please follow this link to an article that was published in Minnesota Crop News last spring. It describes how and when control of early season tan spot is warranted and lists fungicide choices and rates

If you are considering tank mixing a fungicide with your herbicide program be aware that tank mixing can increase the risk of crop injury with certain combinations of herbicides and fungicides. Research between 2004 and 2006 at the University of Minnesota, showed that combinations of the broadleaf herbicide bromoxynil with several grass herbicides and fungicides can increase the risk of crop injury, especially with cooler weather. The injury is caused by bromoxynil and is temporary with no effect on grain yield. There is, however, a small risk of reduced control of wild oats as the injury that is visible on wheat can also be found on the wild oats. It was postulated that the bromoxynil injury reduced uptake and/or translocation of the grass herbicide, ultimately resulting in a couple percent reduction in control.

By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

As the growing season moves forward more questions have occurred about what products to use in side-dress situations. While nitrogen is on the minds of many, sulfur deficiencies are starting to be seen in fields as well. Applying the right product in the right situation at the correct time can be crucial in order to maintain yields and minimize damage to growing plants.

Central MN Alfalfa Harvest Alert June 2 UPDATE

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

Check   Alfalfa Field Data 06 02 2011.pdf    for information updated Friday afternoon June 3 about 5 p.m. for sampling done on June 1 and 2. The end of the report has notes about "yellow alfalfa" and "alfalfa weevils."

Consider YOUR crop conditions, field conditions, feed targets, past experience and expertise, other priorities and your best hunch about the weather. 

Farm families are amazing people for the kinds of decisions they need to make on a day to day basis which a wide range of variables and significant factors such as the weather that they cannot control. We can all appreciate their efforts when we sit down at the table ... and the efforts of others for whom their work and livelihood is very weather dependent. 

Stand Loss and Replanting Decisions

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Torrential downpours the week prior and again over the Memorial Day weekend caused saturated conditions in many parts of the Red River Valley at possibly the worst time for not only for wrapping up spring field work but also for the just seeded crops. Now that the wheat has emerged, bare areas are quickly becoming evident. A quick survey suggests that in many cases the bare areas are in the ditches and the slightly depressed portions of fields. This points to excess water likely being to main culprit of these stand losses. Excess moisture (anytime the soil water content is above field capacity) depletes the soil of oxygen and germinating seed will quickly die in these anaerobic conditions. A clue whether excess water contributed to a poor emergence in the affected areas is to dig up the remnants of the seed. If the seed is firm and the radicle and coleoptile are white and firm, the emergence was only delayed (Photo 1). If the radicle and the coleoptile are soft and discolored and the seed has turned mushy, the young seedling died in the anaerobic conditions as a result of the saturated conditions.


Photo 1 - A sprouted wheat seed If you find the coleoptile and or first leave or crinkled up and etiolated right under soil surface, crusting is the main problem. Breaking the crusts as soon as possible will be crucial for the safe as much as possible of the stand 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 or a Brillion or Cambridge roller will also break the crust. Replanting decisions will be difficult as the optimum planting window for wheat has basically closed. If reduced stand is uniform (no big skips or holes), keep stands of 15 plants per square foot. After June 1 in northern Minnesota a replant decision should be to a crop other than wheat or barley since yields are reduced by about 50% when planting after these dates compared to normal planting dates.

Central MN Alfalfa Harvest Alert June 2

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By Dan Martens, Extension Educator Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
Check   Alfalfa Field Data 06 02 2011.pdf  for information we have so far from alfalfa fields sampled on June 1 & 2. This list includes the most recent info from farms where we don't have June 1 or 2 info. It also includes all information for individual farms.

See "Continued Reading" for some notes about "yellow alfalfa" and "alfalfa weevil."

Central MN Alfalfa Harvest Alert May 31 UPDATE

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

Check  Alfalfa Field Data 05 31 2011.pdf  for Alfalfa Scissors-Cut and PEAQ information we have so far from fields sample May 30/31 ... UPDATED June 1 about 5 p.m. Fields are being sampled on some variable schedules due to Memorial Day Holiday - a couple on May 30, some May 31. The McLeod and Meeker fields will be sampled on Wednesday June 1 for this week.
Many fields in our sampling area are at a place where they could be harvested now with the first good weather opportunity; and weather forecasts continue to look like we'll be dancing around egg shells some.
The end of the report offers a May 30 update on Alfalfa Weevil Growing Degree Days and information from an Alfalfa Grass Mixed Sample a couple miles south of Foley.

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