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Extension > Minnesota Crop News > Archives > July 2013 Archives

July 2013 Archives

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops


The harvesting of ditch hay (grass and legumes growing along roadsides) has provided livestock owners with a source of forage for years.  Tight forage supplies, however, have led to a greater demand for ditch hay than usual this year.  If you feed or sell ditch hay, be sure you know what, if any, herbicides were applied to the ditch hay to avoid potential herbicide carryover issues in manure from animals fed the ditch hay. 

Small Grains Disease Update 07-18-13

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The grain fill is rapidly progressing towards physiological maturity in both spring and winter wheat across the State. Actually, the first winter wheat in West Central Minnesota was reportedly harvested today. The scouts continue to predominantly fin the tanspot/Septoria complex of leaf diseases and BYDV. Incidence of leaf rust remains low while no stem or stripe rust was found to date.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the great scab epidemic of 1993 and. Although we have made considerable progress towards controlling the disease, by now means have we eradicated or silenced the disease. Winter wheat trials in LeCenter and Crookston are showing a fair amount of FHB as do the some of the earliest spring wheat fields. It is too early to tell whether we have widespread problems this growing season but that the disease is here again this year is pretty clear.

Therefore, assess the damage caused by FHB now and prepare for harvest accordingly. If you have little to no affected spikelets 10 to 14 days after anthesis you escaped the worst and can probably harvest the way you always do. If, however, you see 10% more of the spikelets affected, you need to make sure that you: 1) increase the fan speed to attempt to remove as much of the tombstone kernels as possible, 2) store the harvested grain separately as much as possible. The idea is to reduce the DON toxin levels as much as possible in the harvested grain and quarantine grain that may have elevated levels of DON as to not contaminate otherwise sound grain from other fields/varieties.

Bruce Potter in Lamberton reported on flights of armyworm moths a few weeks back. Doug Holen confirmed armyworm damage in lodged grain earlier today in the Fergus Falls area that included leaf and head clipping. Armyworms are dark green to light brown worms that can get up to 1.5" inches in length. Scouting for armyworms requires some effort as they are largely inactive during the day. Look for the small fecal pellets on top of the soil and move debris and small clumps of soil around to find the larvae curled up underneath. A treatment to control armyworm is recommended if 4 to 5 larvae per square foot can be found across much of the field. Reduce this threshold if head clipping occurs.

Small Grains Disease Update 07-18-13

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The grain fill is rapidly progressing towards physiological maturity in both spring and winter wheat across the State. Actually, the first winter wheat in West Central Minnesota was reportedly harvested today. The scouts continue to predominantly fin the tanspot/Septoria complex of leaf diseases and BYDV. Incidence of leaf rust remains low while no stem or stripe rust was found to date.

This year marks the 20th anniversary of the great scab epidemic of 1993 and. Although we have made considerable progress towards controlling the disease, by now means have we eradicated or silenced the disease. Winter wheat trials in LeCenter and Crookston are showing a fair amount of FHB as do the some of the earliest spring wheat fields. It is too early to tell whether we have widespread problems this growing season but that the disease is here again this year is pretty clear.

Therefore, assess the damage caused by FHB now and prepare for harvest accordingly. If you have little to no affected spikelets 10 to 14 days after anthesis you escaped the worst and can probably harvest the way you always do. If, however, you see 10% more of the spikelets affected, you need to make sure that you: 1) increase the fan speed to attempt to remove as much of the tombstone kernels as possible, 2) store the harvested grain separately as much as possible. The idea is to reduce the DON toxin levels as much as possible in the harvested grain and quarantine grain that may have elevated levels of DON as to not contaminate otherwise sound grain from other fields/varieties.

Bruce Potter in Lamberton reported on flights of armyworm moths a few weeks back. Doug Holen confirmed armyworm damage in lodged grain earlier today in the Fergus Falls area that included leaf and head clipping. Armyworms are dark green to light brown worms that can get up to 1.5" inches in length. Scouting for armyworms requires some effort as they are largely inactive during the day. Look for the small fecal pellets on top of the soil and move debris and small clumps of soil around to find the larvae curled up underneath. A treatment to control armyworm is recommended if 4 to 5 larvae per square foot can be found across much of the field. Reduce this threshold if head clipping occurs.

By Dave Nicolai, Coordinator, Institute for Ag Professionals

A reminder that the University of Minnesota Institute for Ag Professional's 2013 Field School for Ag Professionals will be held on July 30-31 which is a Tuesday and Wednesday at the University of Minnesota Agriculture Experiment Station, St. Paul Campus, University of Minnesota. The two-day program focuses on core principles in agronomy, entomology, plant pathology and weed science on the first day and builds on this foundation with timely, cutting-edge topics on the second day.

This program is targeted towards agronomists, crop production retailers, seed sellers, consultants, Extension Educators, agriculture government agency personnel, farm managers and summer field scouts. Participants will have the opportunity to enhance their troubleshooting and crop management skills in specially designed plots that display actual cropping situations.

 A total of 12 Certified Crop Advisor Continuing Education Units will be offered for the two days of the Field School. Participants may choose to attend either day or both days of the field school. Advance registrations made before Thursday, July 25th are eligible for a discount; $150 per day or $270 for both days before July 25th, after July 25th the registration tuition will be $300 for both days. 

Enrollment is limited to 120 participants, so please register early!





Weed Management in Prevented Planting Acres

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By Jeffrey L. Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist - Weed Science

The wet weather pattern this spring and early summer has left a significant number of acres, especially in southeastern MN, unplanted.  Current estimates in southeastern MN project 30% of the tillable acres have not been planted and on many of these acres weeds such as giant ragweed, common lambsquarters and waterhemp are thriving. 

Although weeds are beneficial from an erosion control perspective their rapid growth will make seedbed preparation for planting cover crops very difficult and weed seed production potential will challenge even the best weed management tactics available in 2014.

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