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April 2013 Archives

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
I am posting 3 items based on information from the April 18, 2013 Hay Auction at Sauk Centre Minnesota. The next auction is scheduled for May 2, starting at 12:30.

April 18 SC Hay Auction.pdf.. A list of tested lots sold an bedding materials, grouped by bale type and quality.

History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf... Average and range of values for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101 to 200 RFV, listed for each sale this year.

Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf ... Line graph for market years since 2001 for Medium Square Alfalfa in groups by 25 RFV points from 101-200 RFV.


By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

Management of Iron (Fe) deficiency chlorosis (IDC) in soybean is seemingly and endless topic of research in soybean growing areas with high pH, calcareous, parent materials. We are just finishing a three-year summary of a series of IDC management strip trials that began in 2010. Our main focus for this work was to study the variability in response for a tolerant and susceptible variety to an oat companion crop and a 6% EDDHA-Fe treatment applied in-furrow (we used Soygreen at a rate of 3 lbs of product per acre). The field areas were selected to have some variation in the severity of IDC.

By Daniel Kaiser

University Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

With the extreme variability in growing conditions there have been some questions regarding the variability in soil test. A project is being launched to establish a series of sentinel plots to study the monthly variation in soil test values over the next two growing season. We are looking for participants that are willing to take samples from a single point within a field and mail them off to us at Saint Paul. The goal of this study is to gain a better understanding of what is happening over the growing season for a number of different nutrients commonly measured.

Black cutworm pheromone trapping network

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By Bruce Potter

IPM Specialist SW MN

The late spring has had one advantage.   Migration of insect pests from the south into Minnesota has been delayed.

The black cutworm, one of the migrant pest species that sporadically causes problems in Minnesota crops, reduced stands in some 2011 and 2012 corn fields.  The females prefer to lay eggs in un-worked fields where areas of winter annual or early spring germinating weeds, common lambsquarters for example, occur.

Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

I know there are still questions on the application of sulfur for soybean.  Between me and a number of other researchers in Minnesota, we have been working on a number of projects focusing on sulfur management on corn, soybean, and spring wheat.  Recently the soybean research has been fully summarized so I want to take a minute or two to highlight some of the findings to outline where we are at with the current guidelines for fertilizer management on soybean.

Safely Handling Treated Seed

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

Much of the seed planted this year will have been treated with a fungicide, insecticide and/or nematicide. As when working with any pesticide, care should be taken when handling treated seed so that exposure to the handler, non-target organisms, and the environment is reduced or prevented as much as possible.

Planting Window for Small Grains Already Closing

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While nearly all the small grains were seeded in Minnesota by this date in 2012, this spring is a different story. The unseasonably cold temperatures and relentless snow fall is setting us up for a (very) late spring. This will mean that, already, the planting window for small grains is closing for parts of the state. Understand that you can still plant spring wheat, barley, and oats after the last recommended date but that the chances to have good, competitive grain yields and quality are greatly reduced.

Check out this post from 2008 to understand how and why the planting window for wheat, barley and oats is what it.

Sauk Centre Hay Auction Report April 4, 2013

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by Dan Martens, Extension Educator Stearns-Benton-Morrison Counties
I am posting 3 items based on information from the April 4, 2013 Hay Auction at Sauk Centre Minnesota. The next auction is scheduled for April 18, starting at 12:30.

Apr 4 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf.. A list of tested lots sold an bedding materials, grouped by bale type and quality.

History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf .... Average and range of values for Medium Square Alfalfa in 25 RFV groups from 101 to 200 RFV, listed for each sale this year. 

Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf.... Line graph for market years since 2001 for Medium Square Alfalfa in groups by 25 RFV points from 101-200 RFV.


Sauk Centre Hay Auction Report March 21, 2013

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

I am posting three items based on the March 21 Sauk Centre Hay Auction:

Mar 21 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf... a list of loads sold, divided by kind and type of bale of hay or bedding, RFV in 25 point groups for alfalfa, grass based on protein... cost per pound of dry matter and per RFV are calculated.

History of Selected Lots 2012 2013.pdf... Average and range for Medium Square alfalfa RFV 101-200 in 25 point groups, medium square straw and round bales grass hay 5-9% protein

Graph 2001 to 2013 SC Hay Auction.pdf.. Line graph for Medium Square Alfalfa groups 101-200 RFV.

Read further for discussion about evaluating alfalfa stands this spring
Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist
University of Minnesota


Seemingly unpredictable weather conditions each spring inevitably bring up questions on placement of fertilizer with the seed.  Starter fertilizer has played an important role in nutrient management in corn in Minnesota.  However, tools for deciding on how much that can safely be applied have not been widely available.  While these tools can be used common sense is still needed in making a decision on what should be done.

Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

A few questions arose over the winter as to options for spring applied nitrogen for small grains in areas where fall application was not possible.  One option that was questioned was increasing application rates with the air seeder.  While this does present increased risk, with spring approaching I wanted to take the opportunity to highlight some resources available for helping make decisions on what to apply.  Application with the air seeder allows for more options due to a wide range of seedbed utilized with the various seed spread patters available. 

Soil Testing For K

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By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist


With spring finally approaching it is a good time to address some questions on soil testing that came up of the winter concerning testing soils in a field moist state versus the standard dried samples that are run through soil testing labs.  First I would like to make it clear that the issue of drying of a soil sample mainly pertains to potassium.  Most other tests routinely run through the lab are not affected by drying of the sample.  The reason why potassium is different is due to its chemistry in the soil.  We currently have finished the second year of potassium studies looking at both testing methods but will be continuing this work for the foreseeable future to gain a better understanding of what is going on within the soil.
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