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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.

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.

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.

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.


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.

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 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

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. 

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.

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 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.

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

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.

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.

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


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.

Weather Delays Corn Planting but High Yield Potential Exists

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. 

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".

By: Mike Boersma, Extension Educator, Murray and Pipestone counties


The University of Minnesota Winter Crops Day and Small Grains Program is a great opportunity to hear the latest University-based research and information about corn, soybean, and small grain production. Whether you are a producer or an Ag professional who works with producers, this program is sure to provide relevant and practical information to help you be successful. The morning will focus on various aspects of corn and soybean production while the afternoon will focus on small grain production in southern Minnesota. The program will be held at the Slayton Pizza Ranch on Tuesday, February 25th. Registration will begin at 8:30 am, with the program running from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm.

2014 Extension Drainage Design Workshops

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The annual Extension Drainage Design Workshops will be held in four locations in 2014: January 29 - 30, SDSU Extension Regional Center, Sioux Falls, SD; February 11 - 12, North Dakota State College of Science, Wahpeton, ND; March 5 - 6, University of Minnesota - Crookston, Crookston, MN, and March 18 - 19, Holiday Inn, Owatonna, MN. The workshops are a collaborative effort between the University of Minnesota, North Dakota State University, and South Dakota State University Extension.

The 2-day workshops start at 8:00 a.m. and end at 5:00 p.m. on day two. The workshops will focus on planning and design of agricultural tile drainage systems to meet both profitability and environmental objectives. The course content is taught in a hands-on manner with lots of discussion time.

Each workshop is intended for those interested in a more complete understanding of the planning and design principles and practices for drainage and water table management systems, including: farmers, landowners, consultants, drainage contractors, government agency staff and water resource managers. Planning topics include legal aspects, basics of drainable soils, agronomic perspectives, doing your own tiling, land evaluation tools, wetlands, and conservation drainage concepts and techniques. The design topics begin with basic design considerations and progress through individual small team projects, with several hands-on problem-solving examples covering basic design and layout principles, water flow calculations, drain spacing, sizing, and grades. Design principles for lift stations and conservation drainage practices are also considered.

Registration for the four workshops sessions is now available at: www.regonline.com/2014drainage The registration price is $225 (price goes up to $300 about 3 weeks before the start of each workshop), and each workshop is limited to about 65 participants. These workshops have typically filled quickly, so register early to guarantee a spot. Due to seating limitations, on-site registration will not be available on the day of the event. Detailed agendas and additional information will follow shortly and be posted to the registration site.

For more information contact Brad Carlson at bcarlson@umn.edu, or visit www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/water/.

U of M Conservation Tillage Conference in St. Cloud, Feb 18-19

How-to information, expert advice, practical tips

By Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension Educator - Crops and Conservation Tillage Conference Coordinator

 

Roll up your sleeves for some practical, hands-on information that will save you soil, time, fuel -- and money. Conservation tillage is the focus of the ninth annual University of Minnesota Extension Conservation Tillage Conference and trade show Feb. 17 and 18, at the Holiday Inn and Suites, St. Cloud, MN. This conference emphasizes proven farmer experience and applied science. Straight from the trenches, learn how heavier, colder soils aren't necessarily the challenge they're made out to be. And, what have long-time no-tillers and reduced-tillage farmers learned that could spare you the same lessons?

Corn Silage Trial Results Available

Advance Corn Hybrid Selection with New Trial Results

By Daniel Kaiser
Fabian Fernandez
John Lamb
Carl Rosen

University of Minnesota Extension Nutrient Management Specialists

The increase number of acres planted to cover crops has raised questions on nitrogen (N) crediting for the 2014 cropping year.  While there are many benefits touted for the use of cover crops, there are a lot of unknowns when determining N credits.  This is especially true for mixes with multiple plant species. 

By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Nutrient Management Specialist


The increased number of corn acres managed with prevented planting in 2013 has resulted in numerous questions about management in 2014.  One major question that arises is the effect of fallow syndrome.  Fallow syndrome is a result of reduced colonization of plant roots by vesicular arbuscular mycorrhizae (abbreviated VAM).  Since VAM are important in the uptake of elements such as phosphorus and zinc, questions arise as to proper management for the following years crops.  However, fallow syndrome does not affect all crops nor will it likely be an issue for all prevented planting acres

Larry D. Jacobson, Extension Agricultural Engineer, U of M Extension

With the harvest season fast approaching, the application of stored manure from animal facilities on the harvested fields will soon follow. This year, pork producers need to be aware of the risk of spreading Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea (PED) through equipment used to pump and land apply manure from all farms but especially those with pigs exhibiting clinical signs of the disease. PED can be spread through oral-fecal contact, manure contaminated boots, clothing, birds and wildlife, transport trailers and other equipment.

PED is a viral enteric swine ONLY disease with clinical symptoms of diarrhea, fever, vomiting, and death (age dependent). PED was first detected in the United States this spring and as of the first of September the disease had been confirmed on more than 500 swine herds in the United States. Spread of the virus continues, and it is both a good animal husbandry practice and a good neighbor policy for all pork farmers with pigs exhibiting clinical signs of PED to obtain a confirmed diagnosis and immediately establish enhanced biosecurity practices to avoid spreading the virus within their own animals and (or) to neighboring swine herds.

Because many pork producers hire commercial manure applicators to pump and land apply their manure from a farm's storage pits, tanks, and/or basins, their equipment can easily spread this virus from infected farms (barns) to uninfected farms (barns). In response to this urgent concern, the National Pork Board (NPB) along with several midwestern universities (Michigan State, Iowa State, and Minnesota) have just released a one page fact sheet listing the biosecurity recommendations that commercial manure haulers should follow to reduce the risk of spreading this virus.

The fact sheet emphasizes the need for the manure applicator to communicate closely with the pork producers when pumping manure on a farm to reduce the risk of transferring this virus by manure handling equipment either from or to the farm.

The fact sheet is available here: NPB's Biosecure Manure Pumping Protocols for PED Control. Additional PEDV resources are available at http://www.pork.org/Research/4316/PEDVResources.aspx.

Dean Malvick

The unusual weather this season in Minnesota has created favorable conditions for various diseases in corn and soybean crops. Some diseases have been appearing since June due in part to delayed planting and crop growth and abundant rainfall in many areas. This article focuses on diseases that have been recently been confirmed and have raised concern. In corn fields, above average levels of common rust are being reported and Goss's wilt was confirmed in two fields. In soybean, Phytophthora root and stem rot and the less important but often noticed leaf diseases bacterial blight and Septoria brown spot are widespread. This is a good time of the year to scout fields for crop diseases.


Protect pollinators while trying to protect your crops

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By Robert Koch & Marla Spivak, Extension Entomologists

Honey bees and native bees forage in and near soybean and cornfields, especially during dry weather. When treatment decisions are being made for pests of these crops, it is important to consider minimizing the risk to these pollinators. Bees are the most important pollinators of our fruits, vegetables and crops like alfalfa hay that feed our farm animals. Honey bees and the thousands of native bee species all rely on the flowers they pollinate for good nutrition and health. Bees are being pushed to the tipping point by various factors, such as disruption of natural habitats, diseases and parasites, and widespread overuse of pesticides.

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.

By Lizabeth Stahl and Jill Sackett, Extension Educators

 

The challenging spring of 2013 resulted in wide-spread planting delays across 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.  Leaving the ground bare greatly increases the risk of not only soil erosion, but also the risk of "Fallow Syndrome" the following year. 

By Daniel Kaiser and John Lamb
Extension Soil Fertility Specialists

Many of our earlier planted fields in Minnesota have been exhibiting some significant variation in plant growth and yellowing this spring.  Our conditions in May and early June have been less than favorable for corn growth and for the release of nutrients from organic matter.  Due to the heavy rains nitrogen loss is being increasingly questioned and the decision of whether to side-dress or not will need to be made sooner or later.  There are a few considerations to make when deciding if more nitrogen should be applied.

Volunteer Corn: It's More Than a Weed Control Issue

By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

Volunteer corn has become one of the more prevalent weeds in fields across the Midwest. Conditions experienced in 2012, however, have combined to create almost a perfect storm in some fields for potentially high volunteer corn populations in 2013.

Snow, rain, mud, now what?

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crop news late plant  pic 4.jpg

The weather has put us in a bind. Significant amounts of planting have yet to be completed, which has led to questions on the "correct" course of action. There will be no one "correct" course of action and with fields unsuitable for planting and more rain in the forecast there will be no easy decisions. One choice could be to utilize prevented planting, a choice that is appropriate for some and will lead to many other decisions to be made. A second option is to switch corn acres to soybeans; this may also be a wise and appropriate decision for some acres. Remember when planting soybeans after June 10th it is generally recommended to drop 0.5 RM from your typical full season varieties. The final choice is to stay the course and plant corn, a perfectly viable option for some acres.
A full set of delayed planting resources can be found at: http://z.umn.edu/lateplanting

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

With very tight windows of opportunity to plant this year, preemergence herbicides may not have been applied as planned.  Application of a residual herbicide prior to planting or emergence of the crop, in both corn and soybean, is a great weed management strategy overall and also a key tool in managing against herbicide resistance.  What are some of our options if soybeans emerged before a preemergence herbicide application was made?   

Hybrid Maturity Considerations for Delayed Corn Planting

By Daniel Kaiser

Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

With the variation in conditions we have seen this spring there are a few issues that may show up in fields related to cool and wet soils. Purpling of corn leaves due to phosphorus (P) deficiency and early season interveinal striping due to sulfur (S) may occur if temperatures remain cool and we continue to have frequent rains. I want to take some time and outline these issues and some of the related research that has been conducted in the past five years.

Les Everett - Water Resources Center Education Coordinator, U of M. Randy Pepin and Jose A. Hernandez - Extension Educators, University of Minnesota - Extension

Using grid soil sampling to guide manure application can be a profitable investment, is the conclusion from case studies based on eight Minnesota farms. In fields where there is a history of non-uniform manure application, targeting new manure applications to areas with lower phosphorus and potassium soil test values can result in considerable economic returns above the cost of grid soil sampling. Variable rate manure applicators are not required when fields can be divided into application and no-application zones, with supplemental nitrogen fertilizer in the no-manure zones. The brief case studies are available on the University of Minnesota Extension web page for Manure Management and Air Quality http://www.manure.umn.edu, under Grid Soil Sampling for Manure Application. An introduction, the eight case studies, and a set of short video presentations based on the case studies are available at http://z.umn.edu/gridsoilsampling.

Funding for the development of these case studies was provided by the McKnight Foundation.

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.

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.

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.

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.

U of MN Field Crop Trials Bulletin Available

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By Lizabeth Stahl

The University of MN Field Crop Trials Bulletin is now available in print and electronic forms. The new publication, dated January 2013, provides results from U of MN trials conducted in 2012 across the state. The varieties tested are from both public and private breeding programs and include U of MN developed forage, grain, and oilseed crop varieties.

By Liz Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops and Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist

Results of the 2012 University of Minnesota corn grain and silage trials are available online at the following links:

2012 Corn Grain Hybrid Trial Results: http://z.umn.edu/corn2012

2012 Corn Silage Hybrid Trial Results: http://z.umn.edu/cornsilage2012

Results are based on replicated trials conducted at multiple locations across Minnesota to provide growers and agronomists with an unbiased source of information on hybrid performance. 

By Jose A. Hernandez
Extension Educator - Nutrient Management

A new Manure Management and Air Quality Education website has been launched. The new website provides educational materials, and current research from the University of Minnesota, in the area of manure management and air quality in livestock production.

Major categories in the new website are: manure management, feedlot and manure storage, air quality, milk house wastewater, manure pathogens, manure treatment, and manure application.

The revised website includes the release of three major additions:


  • The long-standing UM Extension Bulletin "Manure Management in Minnesota" has been updated, printed, and posted on the web.

  • Results of 12 site-years of trials measuring corn yield response to time of swine manure application have been published as a research report entitled: "Swine manure application timing: Results of experiments in southern Minnesota."

  • Eight case studies of the economic and environmental response to using grid soil sampling to guide zonal manure application have been posted to the revised Manure Management and Air Quality website. These case studies will be presented in workshops this winter.

The website will also provide an events calendar with local and regional manure management educational opportunities.

This website was made possible by funding from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, Section 319 Nonpoint Source (NPS) Management Program from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.

By Dean Malvick

Development of corn ear and kernel rots and associated mycotoxins in grain may have been favored by the dry and hot weather in some areas of Minnesota this summer. Although few problems with ear rots or mycotoxins seem to have been reported so far, only about 12% of corn was harvested in Minnesota as of September 16 and there is much grain to be harvested where potential problems may have occurred. Several different types of ear rots occur in Minnesota, but Aspergillus ear rot and Fusarium ear rot are of greatest concern because they produce mycotoxins and are favored by hot and dry conditions.

By Ken Ostlie and Bruce Potter, University of Minnesota Extension

Bt-RW problem field with lodged corn

Bt-RW problem field with lodged corn

Calls over the last two weeks indicate Bt-RW trait performance problems may be expanding in scope. Field observations suggest corn rootworm populations have increased markedly in corn after corn fields since 2011; recent calls indicate a major expansion of the geography of performance problems into SC and WC Minnesota. Unfortunately the drought has masked the primary tip-off to severe corn rootworm injury—lodging. With injury largely completed and corn rootworm emergence peaking, now is the time to check fields for signs or symptoms of performance problems with your Bt-RW traits. Getting a handle on Bt trait performance is critical before making seed purchases for 2013. You may need to change your corn rootworm management strategy/strategies.

corn rootworm map

2009-11 problem fields

Since the first reports surfaced in 2009, scattered performance-problem fields have been reported in a broad arc from NW Illinois through NE Iowa, W Wisconsin, SE Minnesota, SW Minnesota, E South Dakota, NW Iowa, and NE Nebraska. The map at the right indicates where Bt-RW performance problems have been previously reported in Minnesota (2009-2011 map). Field visits and phone calls in 2012 suggest an increase in the geographical scope of performance problems, especially in SC and WC Minnesota, and prospective resistance to more Bt-RW traits. Your help is needed in identifying where, and to which traits, these problems are occurring!

Drought this summer has been both a blessing and a curse when it comes to identifying performance problems. Typically, the most visual tip-off to corn rootworm injury and performance problems is lodging. But lodging is an imperfect indicator since besides corn rootworm injury, it also requires thunderstorm activity. The moist soils loosen root grip and strong winds generate strong force on the corn. Under drought conditions, thunderstorm prevalence has been minimal and offer little insight into status of the resistance problem. However, corn rootworm survival and injury is enhanced under drought conditions and above-ground, stress symptoms of this root injury (stunting, leaf roll) are magnified. For many growers this year, it's these symptoms and unusually high numbers of corn rootworm beetles that have been the tip-off to performance problems.

Click an image below for a closer look at symptoms.

If you identify fields with Bt-RW performance problems, and prospective resistance to a Bt-RW trait, it's critical to report the field ASAP to the seed company (whether or not the field is in compliance with respect to refuge)! Confirming resistance involves both field and lab verification. The process begins by contacting your seed dealer to report the problem. This page outlines this reporting process and what to expect. Field visits will gather field history, verify trait presence and corn rootworm injury of sufficient magnitude to report the problem, and possibly collect adult beetles to evaluate their progeny for resistance.

If you detect a performance problem field, we'd appreciate notification as well: www.extension.umn.edu/cornrootworm/. These reports will enable us to get a better handle on the geography of the problem and the traits involved so we can tailor our extension and research efforts, serve as an independent source of information, and improve transparency on the critical issue of Bt-RW trait resistance!

Using Drought-Stressed Corn for Forage

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By Lizabeth Stahl, Extension Educator - Crops

Drought conditions continue to intensify in areas across the state including Southwestern Minnesota.  According to the July 24, 2012, U.S. Drought Monitor report, the southwest corner of the state is now rated in the "Severe" drought category.  The western half and southern counties of the state are also rated as "Abnormally Dry" or in the "Moderate" to "Severe" drought categories, and throughout this area soil moisture levels are low.  For example at the U of MN Southwest Research and Outreach Center in Lamberton, soil moisture levels are less than half the historic average for this time of year, and what moisture remains is almost all at a depth of more than 3 feet.  In areas hardest hit by the drought, growers are assessing grain yield potential and if or when to harvest drought-stressed corn for forage. 

Don Nitchie, Extension educator, dnitchie@umn.edu

How quickly crop conditions have changed from the wet weather of May.

Extreme heat and lack of rainfall throughout June has resulted in USDA Crop reports having been dramatically revised to reflect deteriorating crop progress throughout the U.S. Corn Belt. At the moment, conditions appear not quite as severe in SW Minnesota as in other regions but, that could change soon. I hope it is for the better as the result of rainfall.

Dry conditions threatening to generally impact final yields across the U.S. Corn Belt have historically had significant impacts on "old crop" and "new crop" prices. We have certainly seen that in the last few weeks. If market demand for corn or soybeans remain the same and stocks are tight, a relatively small change in expected supply leads to a larger change in prices.

Relief spelled R-A-I-N for some

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Dan Martens, Extension educator, marte011@umn.edu

Rain during the last week to 10 days provided some relief to some crops through central Minnesota in various amounts. Crops are at a lot of different stages. Some scorched corn crop may not benefit much from rain anymore. Pollination may have been hurt for some corn. There is a large amount of corn, soybeans and hay crops that will benefit significantly from recent rains.

Where crops are starting to deteriorate, like corn turning brown, some farmers might think about saving some other stored feed and starting to chop some of this corn. For anything you might do with the crop, for those carrying crop insurance, have a good discussion on with your crop insurance rep first.

For day to day feeding I'd think about the following:

John Lamb and Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Specialists


The corn is tasseling, we are praying for rain, and the week of the 4th of July was hot and miserable.  It must be time to think about evaluating this year's nitrogen management program and making decisions about next year's nitrogen needs.  

Dry Conditions During Corn Pollination in Minnesota

Update on Goss's Wilt in Minnesota

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By Dean Malvick, Department of Plant Pathology


The fact that Goss's wilt is was a widespread corn disease in Minnesota in 2011 is broadly known.  The question of how much Goss's wilt will develop in 2012 is dependent in part on field and weather conditions.  As of June 13, 2012, Goss's wilt had been confirmed over the previous week in several counties in Iowa and Nebraska. Thus it could also start to appear soon in Minnesota.  This article summarizes key points about this disease, including where it has been confirmed in Minnesota, factors that favor its development, and how to recognize it.

By Dean Malvick

With most of the soybean and corn crop emerged and growing across Minnesota - it is a good time to assess fields for seedling disease problems and the potential benefits or failures of seed treatments.  The recent fluctuating temperatures and abundant rainfall that resulted in surplus topsoil moisture in about 21% of the state last week (USDA-NASS data) have created good conditions for seedling diseases and root infection by a complex mix of pathogens in many fields.  Scattered problems with seedling diseases have been reported.

John A. Lamb and Daniel E. Kaiser
Soil Fertility Specialists

Nitrogen is important for corn growth. This has been a concern on growers' minds since March. First concern was with the poor tillage conditions last fall. Did the nitrogen applied stay in the soil. We attempted to answer that question in a March 18 E-news. At the time of that E-news, drought was the weather condition on everyone's mind. Now with the record rainfalls, there are concerns if nitrogen has been lost to leaching or denitrification.

Volunteer Corn - An Issue in Corn and Soybean

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By Liz Stahl and Jeff Coulter

Growers are finding high populations of volunteer corn in their fields this spring.  Factors likely contributing to this include lodging in many fields last fall due to poor stalk quality and drought conditions, and higher harvest losses due to low grain moisture at harvest.  Other factors that can lead to high populations of volunteer corn the following year include storm damage and ear droppage.  The question arises:  When are populations of volunteer corn high enough to warrant control?  
Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist


Dry fall and early spring soils have led to questions about starter fertilizer application this spring.  While that planting with starter in a dry seedbed can significantly increase the risks, the overall effect will not be known until after planting.  Assessing the situation after emergence will be the best way to determine if damage has occurred due to "pop-up" fertilizer application.  With some corn already planted and fertilizer decisions made there are a few key points to remember when dealing with starter fertilizers.

Planting Date Considerations for Corn

Daniel Kaiser and John Lamb

Soil Fertility Extension Specialists

The snow is gone and summer is here? The change in weather this spring has allowed for earlier field work to begin. Questions that come to mind include what kind of tillage should I do and do these condition affect me nitrogen management program for corn.

By Jennifer Obst, Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, 612-625-4741

A comprehensive comparison of most crop varieties grown in Minnesota is now available in print and electronic forms. Minnesota Varietal Trials 2012, published by the Minnesota Agricultural Experiment Station, provides the results of the 2011 University of Minnesota evaluation of more than 1000 individual entries of plant varieties.

Now is the time to develop a plan and take control of herbicide-resistant weeds before they take control of you. Due to the long-term exposure to glyphosate in the corn and soybean cropping system, we are now in a situation where the probability of finding a glyphosate-resistant giant or common ragweed or waterhemp is high.

2011 Corn Grain and Silage Hybrid Trial Results Available

 

By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

U of M Nutrient Management Website

A new nutrient management website has been launched that houses most of the current fertilizer suggestions and data from the University of Minnesota. This website was made possible by funding from the Minnesota Agricultural Fertilizer Research and Education Council and was put together through a joint effort for several researchers from the University of Minnesota who's research focuses on nutrient management issues for several crops growth throughout the state of Minnesota.  We would like to thank the AFREC program because without them this effort would not have been possible

Yield and Harvest Considerations for Frost Damaged Corn

Weeds: END OF SEASON WEED CONTROL REMINDERS

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written by Dr. Jeff Stachler, Weed Scientist, UMN and NDSU

Scouting fields for weeds throughout the growing season is extremely important to maintaining herbicide effectiveness and planning for future weed control decisions. Scout fields now and at harvest to determine the effectiveness of this season's weed control practices. If weeds are present now, determine why they are present. If weeds are present due to herbicide resistance, then weed control and cropping practices must be different next season and beyond.

By Dean Malvick

Goss's leaf blight and wilt of corn is a damaging disease that is new to Minnesota and has caused problems in fields over the past two years.  The weather conditions this summer may favor development of this disease again.  It was reported from two fields in southern MN in the past week, and it may be starting to develop in many fields.  This is a disease to watch for across Minnesota. If you see infected plants, please send infected leaf samples for a new research study as described below.

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.

By: Daniel Kaiser and Jeffrey Coulter
University of Minnesota Extension Specialists

With all of the flooded soils and wet fields there likely are questions on denitrification and whether side-dress nitrogen (N) should be applied. The fact is that it can be difficult to predict the amount of N lost. However, two things should be considered when dealing with denitrification:

Switch from corn to soybeans? Not so fast!

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By Jeff Stachler, Jeff Gunsolus and Rich Zollinger

Waterhemp is an annual weed species in the pigweed family that is capable of producing greater than 1 million seeds per plant and due to a limited number of effective herbicides, especially in sugarbeet and soybean, is difficult to control compared to most weed species.  In addition to the production of large quantities of seeds, continual germination throughout the growing season and an increased frequency of herbicide-resistant biotypes adds to the degree of difficulty in keeping this weed species under control.  The good news is that the longevity of waterhemp seeds in the seedbank is relatively short compared to most species (1 to 12% survival after 4 years), meaning complete control (zero seed production) of all plants over a three to four year time period should significantly reduce the waterhemp seed bank densities, allowing the farmer to take control of this difficult weed problem.

By Jeffrey L. Gunsolus, Extension Agronomist-Weed Science

An early corn and soybean harvest and good weather conditions are keeping the window of opportunity open for fall dandelion control this year.  Fall is an excellent time to target several herbaceous perennials including: alfalfa, Canada thistle and dandelion.  A fall application is more effective than a spring application because systemic herbicides such as glyphosate, 2,4-D, Express, Basis and Synchrony tend to accumulate in greater amounts in a perennial plant's roots or rhizomes after a fall application.  Movement to the below ground roots and rhizome buds increases herbicide effectiveness and possibly decreases winter hardiness of the plant. 
By David MacDonald

Different plant stresses above and beyond those of soil fertility, moisture holding capacity, and drainage that are usually emphasized at harvest can also restrict the productivity of crops. One of those stresses that has the potential to be present in every farm field is created by the feeding and other activities of plant nematodes. Autumn is the preferred time to collect soil samples for plant nematode analysis. Justification for the previous statement and additional information about plant nematodes are provided in the following paragraphs.


By Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

With the recent flooding or late season hail there may be questions on whether a credit can be taken from soybeans not harvested for the next year's crop. Soybeans are a high protein crop which means they can contain a large amount of nitrogen. Average vaules of nitrogen removed in soybean grain are reported at around 3.8 lbs of N per bushel (Source IPNI) for a total of 190 lbs of N in a 50 bu/ac soybean crop. In comparison corn grain would remove about 0.90 lbs of N per bushel and a total of 180 lbs of N in a 200 bu/ac crop.  Can all of this nitrogen be counted on if the soybeans cannot be harvested and are plowed under if they cannot be harvested?  

By Gyles Randall
Southern Research and Outreach Center, University of Minnesota

Nitrogen management practices for corn have become a popular discussion topic lately among growers, dealers, and crop advisors. Record June-July rainfall (16.25" at Waseca) placed intense pressure on N availability for corn, resulting in considerable acreage of lighter green to yellowish green corn in southern Minnesota. This appearance indicates a shortage of N; likely due to denitrification losses of N from the saturated soils during June and July. Scenarios where N losses and N-deficient corn were most apparent include: 1) corn following corn, 2) fall-applied N, and 3) poorly to very poorly drained soils. Based on previous research, applying an additional 50 to 60 lb N/A, especially in the fall, under these "high N loss" conditions would not have been sufficient to meet the N demand of this year's corn.

Plan Now for Successful Corn after Alfalfa

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Dean Malvick
Extension Plant Pathologist
Not only have the hot and dry conditions and hail affected corn yields in Minnesota this year, these conditions have also favored development of ear rots. Reports of ear rots have been coming in from several different areas, and the quality of grain that comes off these affected fields may be reduced. Several different types of ear rots occur in Minnesota, and all are not equally important. Aspergillus ear rot and Fusarium ear rot may be of particular importance this year due to the hot and dry conditions in much of Minnesota.


Authors: Dimitre Mollov and Jennifer Flynn

When crops or plants are not growing well and look diseased or less vigorous than healthy plants, an accurate diagnosis of the problem may be critical to reducing and managing it. The Plant Disease Clinic at the University of Minnesota in St. Paul is open year-round to diagnose crop and plant problems and to assist with other plant testing questions. The Plant Disease Clinic welcomes samples from anyone and offers a wide variety of diagnostic and testing services.



Control of Volunteer Soybean in Corn

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By Jeff Gunsolus


This week I have received several inquires about the presence and potential impact of volunteer soybean in corn and cost-effective control procedures.  The scenario of volunteer soybean in corn is a fairly recent phenomenon due to the wide-spread use of the glyphosate-resistant technology in corn and soybean.  As a result, to my knowledge, data on corn yield loss potential as a function of volunteer soybean density is not available.  However, I do know of one NDSU study conducted by Dr. Richard Zollinger that does evaluate several herbicide options to control volunteer soybean in corn. You can find a general summary titled Control of Volunteer Roundup Ready Crops at:

http://z.umn.edu/ndweedguide and click on Weed Control Ratings.

By Dean Malvick,  Department of Plant Pathology

 

Early planting and warm weather in April, followed by an extended period of cool, wet weather and frost in May has created stress for corn seedlings throughout much of Minnesota.  As of May 9, 94% of the corn in Minnesota was planted and 32% had emerged (compared to the 5 year averages of 64% planted and 9% emerged).   While the stress of the cool conditions and frost may only set back the corn slightly, it could also set up a situation for seedling disease in some areas.  Keep in mind that many factors other than disease result in poor stands, reduced growth, and low vigor.  In most years and in most fields, seedling diseases are a minor problem, but this year they may be more common than usual.  

Spring Frost Damage to Early-Planted Corn

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Plan Now for Successful Corn Planting

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By: Daniel Kaiser
University of Minnesota Soil Fertility Extension Specialist


With spring almost upon us there have been questions regarding sulfur application for corn for the upcoming year.  Our current Minnesota recommendations focus on sulfur application to sandy soils that are low in organic matter.  This is mainly due to the fact that sulfate-sulfur is mobile and may leach out of the soil, and that the organic matter is a large storehouse of sulfur and through mineralization this sulfur can become available for uptake in plants.  In the past sulfur was added through atmospheric deposition, applied (but not accounted for) with other nutrients in some commercial fertilizer sources, and in animal manures.  Over time most of these indirect additions have lessened and it is reasonable to assume that there may be deficiencies showing up more prevalent today then in the past.  However, a large research focus has been placed on determining how widespread this problem is and if only certain soils or regions in the area are impacted by potential sulfur deficiencies.  While much of our research is ongoing we have tried to identify key areas to look for in the upcoming cropping year.    
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