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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.drainageoutlet.umn.edu

John A. Lamb
Nutrient Management Extension Specialist
University of Minnesota

Because of weather, a number of acres of the 2013 sugar beet crop will not be harvested.  It has been a number of years (PIK years) since this many acres have been left un-harvested.  At that time, SMBSC and the University of Minnesota did conduct a number of research studies to answer the main production question:  "What should I do with these fields for next year?" 

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

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.

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.

By John Wiersma
Agronomist
Northwest Research and Outreach Center

High pH, highly calcareous soils, common in western Minnesota, restrict the availability of soil Fe needed for optimum soybean growth and yield. On such soils, the amount of Fe fertilizer applied must surpass a threshold before there is sufficient available Fe in the soil solution to induce a positive growth response. Only a limited number of management tactics designed to improve the availability of Fe have been studied with soybean. These include variety selection, seeding density, seed-applied or in-furrow materials, and foliar treatments.

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.

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. 

Fall Nitrogen Application

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By John Lamb
Extension Soil Scientist


This year the crops have matured early and harvest is moving ahead of normal.  With a large amount of the soybeans and corn coming out, thoughts are turning to getting fertilizer applied for next year's crop.  For phosphorus and potassium, there are very few problems with an early fall application.  These nutrients are not mobile in most soils.  The only big concern with a broadcast application of P and K is getting the fertilizer incorporated into the soil so it is in a place for the plant roots to utilize them next spring.  Incorporation also reduces the chances of P and K being lost through erosion.

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.  

Aphid Alert 2012 - Ian MacRae (UMN), Robert Koch (MDA)


The aphid monitoring network, Aphid Alert, lives again....

The network, which ran from 1997 through 2003, was designed to monitor the seasonal dynamics of aphid vectors of viral diseases of seed potatoes. The national epidemic of Potato Virus Y (PVY) has been increasingly impacting marketability of MN & ND seed potatoes. Vector control is an important part of PVY management, but is depedent upon a cleqar understanding of the spatial and temporal dynamics of vector populations. To provide this data to producers in MN and ND, we are re-establishing the Aphid Alert network.

Aphids have already been found in the Crookston location trap and in plots at the NWROC. It looks to be an early year!

Weekly results and updates can be found on:
aphidalert.blogspot.com

Potassium and Dry Soils

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Daniel Kaiser and Jochum Wiersma
University of Minnesota Extension

Weather conditions have been extremely variable around the state of Minnesota this year. While some areas have experienced near record rainfalls others have still been in the midst of a drought. These differences have brought some interesting questions regarding management of potassium and soil testing in the midst of dry soil conditions.

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.

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.

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.

Soybean College: Addressing Soybean Production and Management

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Soybean College

on the campus of University of Minnesota - Crookston
Crookston, Minnesota

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

8:30 a.m. to 3:10 p.m.
(Registration begins at 8 a.m. in Bede Ballroom, Sargeant Student Center)

click here for a copy of the Soybean College 2011 Brochure for registration information

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

Irrigated Corn Silage Plot Tour

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Friday, September 2, 2011

10:30 a.m.

Dan Dreyer Farm - Ottertail City

2011 Northern MN Soybean Research and Variety Plot Tours

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Northern Minnesota Soybean Growers (and our neighbors in the Dakotas) have the opportunity to attend a wide range of Variety and Research Plot tours the first week of September. The attached flyer lists ALL the upcoming plot tours for summer-fall. Next up, are the . . .

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.

Tires, Traction, and Compaction Field Day

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University of Minnesota Extension is proud to partner with NDSU Extension to bring you Tires, Traction, and Compaction Field Day on September 1, 2011 south of Fergus Falls, MN. Registration for the day starts at 9:00 am and discussion and demonstrations will continue until 2:30. The event will be held rain or shine.

Aphids in Small Grains and Soybeans: an update from NW MN

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update prepared by Dr. Ian MacRae, UMN Extension Entomologist, NWROC-Crookston

Many field projects are underway and we're scouting small grain and soybean fields to stay on top of what is happening with aphid populations in these crops. Following are comments based on what our field visits are revealing in northwest Minnesota.

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.

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:


Author: Dr. Jeff Stachler U of MN Extension and NDSU Agronomist - Sugarbeet/Weed Science

Sugarbeets have emerged or are beginning to emerge. That means it is time to begin postemergence herbicide applications to sugarbeet. Timing of the first postemergence herbicide application is the MOST critical weed management tactic, regardless of the type of sugarbeet planted.

Attend the 2011 Conservation Tillage Conference!

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U of M Conservation Tillage Conference in Fergus Falls, Feb. 9-10
By Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension Educator, Crops

Learn how conservation tillage can save soil, time, fuel -- and money.

University of Minnesota Extension will host the seventh annual Conservation Tillage Conference and tradeshow Feb. 9 and 10, at Bigwood Event Center, 921 Western Avenue, Fergus Falls, Minn., just off U.S. Interstate 94.

The day-and-a-half-long conference will provide practical, how-to information on nearly every aspect of conservation tillage.

"Whether you are an experienced steward looking to fine-tune what you are doing, a crop consultant who helps growers, or a novice looking to get your feet wet, you should put this conference on your calendar now," says Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Minnesota Extension tillage specialist and conference coordinator.

Experts from the University of Minnesota, neighboring states and Canada will present the results of extensive research comparing tillage systems, including strip tillage. In addition, experienced conservation tillage farmers will answer questions and provide management tips.

Conference topics include:
•Matching tillage systems with soil types
•Weed species shift and control
•Nutrient management in high residue systems
•Residue breakdown strategies
•Tractor efficiency and traction
•Introduction to vertical tillage.

New at this year's conference:
•Stump the Tillage Specialists: Question tillage experts from Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin;
•Vendor Sessions: Learn about new equipment and technology.

The popular "Farmer Panel" will be back again, offering practical insights and management tips from experienced northern strip tillers and ridge tillers.

Also back is "Beer & Bull," your chance to pick the brains of other farmers, consultants and researchers in a relaxed, informal setting.

The conference will open with a provocative keynote speech from Bruce Vincent: "With vision, there is hope." Vincent is a third generation logger from Libby, Montana. "During the past 20 years, he has given motivational speeches throughout the U.S. and the world on how to educate consumers about agriculture in a truthful and balanced way," DeJong-Hughes says.

The Conservation Tillage Conference runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 9th, and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 10th. The tradeshow will be open on Feb. 9 only.

The registration fee is $140 per person, which includes nine continuing education units (CEUs). An early bird fee of $115 per person is offered for those registering by Jan. 31, 2011.

More information, including schedules, maps, contacts and exhibitor registration is available at www.TillageConference.com. Or contact Jodi DeJong-Hughes at 507-337-2800 or dejon003@umn.edu.


U of M Conservation Tillage Conference in Fergus Falls, Feb. 9-10

Learn how conservation tillage can save soil, time, fuel -- and money.

University of Minnesota Extension will host the seventh annual Conservation Tillage Conference and tradeshow Feb. 9 and 10, at Bigwood Event Center, 921 Western Avenue, Fergus Falls, Minn., just off U.S. Interstate 94.

The day-and-a-half-long conference will provide practical, how-to information on nearly every aspect of conservation tillage.

"Whether you are an experienced steward looking to fine-tune what you are doing, a crop consultant who helps growers, or a novice looking to get your feet wet, you should put this conference on your calendar now," says Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Minnesota Extension tillage specialist and conference coordinator.

Experts from the University of Minnesota, neighboring states and Canada will present the results of extensive research comparing tillage systems, including strip tillage. In addition, experienced conservation tillage farmers will answer questions and provide management tips.

Conference topics include:
•Matching tillage systems with soil types
•Weed species shift and control
•Nutrient management in high residue systems
•Residue breakdown strategies
•Tractor efficiency and traction
•Introduction to vertical tillage.

New at this year's conference:
•Stump the Tillage Specialists: Question tillage experts from Minnesota, North Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin;
•Vendor Sessions: Learn about new equipment and technology.

The popular "Farmer Panel" will be back again, offering practical insights and management tips from experienced northern strip tillers and ridge tillers.

Also back is "Beer & Bull," your chance to pick the brains of other farmers, consultants and researchers in a relaxed, informal setting.

The conference will open with a provocative keynote speech from Bruce Vincent: "With vision, there is hope." Vincent is a third generation logger from Libby, Montana. "During the past 20 years, he has given motivational speeches throughout the U.S. and the world on how to educate consumers about agriculture in a truthful and balanced way," DeJong-Hughes says.

The Conservation Tillage Conference runs from 9:00 a.m. to 5:15 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 9th, and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thurs., Feb. 10th. The tradeshow will be open on Feb. 9 only.

The registration fee is $140 per person, which includes nine continuing education units (CEUs). An early bird fee of $115 per person is offered for those registering by Jan. 31, 2011.

More information, including schedules, maps, contacts and exhibitor registration is available at www.TillageConference.com. Or contact Jodi DeJong-Hughes at 507-337-2800 or dejon003@umn.edu.


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.

By Daniel Kaiser and Jochum Wiersma

Decisions about the amount of nitrogen to apply in wheat and barley are challenging each and every year as the return per acre is not simple a function of the price of the commodity but also on the quality (grain protein %) of those bushels. There are opportunities to capture premiums for protein but more often than not producers are faced with discounts as the grain protein percentages fall below the market's 14% threshold.  While this was already an issue in 2008 with high yields in Northwest Minnesota leading to lower protein, it was greatly magnified in 2009 with producers reporting grain protein percentages of 10% or less.  This issue is not new since it has been long noticed that yield and protein are inversely related. The amount of grain protein produced per acre appears to be relatively constant over years. In high yielding years the extra starch produced  simply dilutes the total protein produced per acre leading to smaller percentages in the grain  Unfortunately farmers are not paid for total production of grain protein per acre but rather they are paid for concentration in grain.

U of M Hosts Conservation Tillage Conference

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Thumbnail image for 2010 promo register.jpg

U of M hosts Conservation Tillage Conference in Morton

University of Minnesota Extension will host the sixth annual Conservation Tillage Conference and tradeshow Jan. 27th and 28th, 2010, at Jackpot Junction, 39375 County Hwy. 24, Morton.

Conserve soil, time and fuel with conservation tillage. This conference will send you home with hands-on, how-to information in nearly every aspect of conservation tillage. Whether you are an experienced steward looking to fine-tune what you are doing, a crop consultant who helps growers, or a novice looking to get his feet wet, put this conference on your calendar now.

This year includes several of the leading industry and University researchers in the Northern Corn Belt. This 2-day conference and tradeshow will offer a full range of topics including:
¨ Weed species shift and control
¨ Crop production in no-till
¨ Soil physical characteristics and nutrient availability
¨ Government policy concerning reduced tillage
¨ Benefits and challenges of reduced tillage
¨ Corn nematode management
¨ Seed treatments and fungicide

The University of Minnesota and neighboring states have conducted extensive research comparing tillage systems, including strip tillage. In addition to the research-based presentations, a panel of experienced conservation tillage farmers will provide management tips and answer questions.

The program is packed with valuable information you won't want to miss. So make this year's Conservation Tillage Conference a must-attend session. The conference runs from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Jan. 27, and from 8 a.m. to 12:15 Jan. 28.

The registration fee is $125 per person, which includes continuing education units (CEUs). An early bird fee of $100 per person is offered for those paying by Jan 8, 2010.

More information, including schedules, maps, contacts and exhibitor registration is available at www.tillageconference.com.

Jodi DeJong-Hughes, Extension crops educator
phone: (507) 337-2816
email: dejon003@umn.edu

Ryan Miller, Extension crops educator
phone: (507) 529-2759
email: mill0869@umn.edu

Recognizing Glyphosate-Resistant Weeds: A Field ID Experience

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Wednesday, September 9 ----- Plummer, MN

Meet at and depart from Plummer Co-op Creamery
(Cenex Station) 1 pm


Thursday, September 10 ----- Hawley, MN
Meet at and depart from RDO Equipment 9:30 am


Is glyphosate less effective than 10 years ago?


Can you recognize the presence of glyphosate-resistant weeds in a field?


Irrigated Corn Silage Plot Tour

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Friday, August 28, 2009
10:30 a.m.
Dan Dreyer Farm - Ottertail City

Tour Agenda:
Forage Production and Management Update
Forage Insects Past, Present, and Future
Alfalfa/Grass Stand Management
Hybrid Evaluation and Industry Update From Seed Companies

Soybean Growth Stages for Pest Management Decisions

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by Phillip Glogoza, Extension Educator, Crops

Management decisions on whether to treat soybean aphids will be affected by the soybean growth stage in a field during the next two weeks. As plants progress to the later reproductive stages (e.g., R5, R6, R7, etc.) risk of yield loss from aphids declines. Currently, the soybean crop ranges from R3 to R5. Insecticide treatments for R5 stage soybeans may respond positively to soybean aphid treatments when populations exceed threshold, however the level of the yield response is less predictable. Early R5 treatments are more likely to realize a positive response than late R5 treatments. Treatments for aphids are generally not recommended beyond the R6 growth stage.


by Dr. Ian MacRae, U of MN Extension Entomologist


There has been increasing pressure to apply insecticide and tank mixed pesticides at lower thresholds based on claims of increased yield benefits. While increased commodity prices can stimulate the desire to decrease risk tolerance and increase the use of pesticides, this is not always a paying proposition.

by Dr. Ian MacRae, U of MN Extension Entomologist


sba.jpg


.... Low populations of Soybean Aphid (SBA) have been reported throughout NW MN and NE ND. Populations are still low and generally not on more than 30% of the plants. The cooler weather will slow reproduction for a few days but it is predicted to warm up by the weekend, at which time we'll start to see some more population growth and dispersal across fields. Although most fields are well below treatment levels so far, it is time to start scouting the soybean fields, getting a handle on what populations you may have and tracking progress and population growth.

2009 Soybean Cyst Nematode Survey in the Red River Valley

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by Dr. Charla Hollingsworth, U of MN Extension Plant Pathologist


In 1954, the first detection of the soybean cyst nematode (SCN) occurred in North Carolina. Since that time, the nematode has become the most important disease issue of soybean in the world. Spread with soil, this microscopic roundworm continues to gain ground in Minnesota soybean-producing areas. Essentially anything that can move small particles of soil will also transport this nematode.

Final Words of Caution on Wheat Midge

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by Phillip Glogoza, Extension Educator - Crops


A lot of wheat is now heading in NW Minnesota. In the northern most counties, degree day accumulations are just reaching the 1300 DD mark (see map), the point where 10% of female midge have emerged. Emergence will continue through 1600+ DD (90% female emergence).

Sunflower Rust is Widespread but Developing Slowly

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by Dr. Charla Hollingsworth, U of MN Extension Plant Pathologist

SNFLWR_Rust_pycnia.jpg Early lifecycle stage structures (pycnia) of sunflower rust were detected on volunteer sunflowers during early-June in Minnesota and North Dakota (Figure 1). These detections created concern because that meant:

  • the fungus was only two spore stages away from producing the spores responsible for epidemics (pycnia → aeciospores → urediospores);

  • it was much too early in the growing season to see rust developing; and

  • the fungus had overwintered in our agroecosystem in its sexual stage. A possible outcome of winter survival is the potential for genetic recombination by the pathogen where more virulence might occur on sunflower varieties grown here.
  • by Dr. Charla Hollingsworth, U of MN Extension Plant Pathologist


    Crop growth stages of spring wheat are rapidly approaching early flower in some locations. This is the time of year that managers must make a decision to apply a fungicide application targeted for Fusarium head blight (FHB) management.

    Northwest Research and Outreach Center - Crookston

    Crops and Soils Day

    Friday, July 17, 2009 8:00 A.M.

    Weed Control in Roundup Ready Sugarbeet

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    by Dr. Jeff Stachler, Sugar beet Weed Scientist
    U of MN Extension / NDSU Extension

    For those growers unable to apply glyphosate to Roundup Ready sugarbeet for the first time due to wet soil conditions, apply the maximum rate of glyphosate allowed. The maximum glyphosate rate for Roundup Ready sugarbeet is 1.125 pounds acid equivalent per acre (lbs ae/A). This equates to 32 fluid ounces per acre (fl oz/A) of Roundup-branded products, 48 fl oz/A of 3.0 pounds acid equivalent per gallon (lbs ae/gal) products, and 39 fl oz/A of 3.7 lbs ae/gal products. This glyphosate rate can only be applied up to the eight-leaf stage of sugarbeet. This rate should be applied to any field with weeds greater than two to three inches in height or with difficult to control species such as wild buckwheat, lambsquarters, and common and giant ragweed.

    Watch for Midge as Wheat Approaches Heading Stage

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    by Phillip Glogoza, Extension Educator - Crops

    There could be about 70% of the region's wheat acres at the heading stage when wheat midge are emerging, based on those acres being planted in the high risk window (Figure 1). Heading is the growth stage when wheat is attractive to female midge for egg laying, and the time the plant is most susceptible to injury from midge larval feeding. Though midge populations have been small in recent years, this will be the most wheat acres we have had that are susceptible to midge in many years.

    Aphids in Small Grains - June 29, 2009

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    by Dr. Ian MacRae, U of MN Extension Entomologist

    There have been some reports of bird cherry-oat aphids (Figure 1 and Figure 2) in small grains in NW and WC MN over the last week. The populations I've seen are at very low numbers. Add to this, the recent rainy weekend will likely have had a significant impact on those aphid populations, but it's still a good idea to scout for aphids in small grains. The most damaging aphid populations are ones that reach threshold around flag leaf stage, if populations are at or near threshold at this time, delaying treatment until heading may cost you yield.

    Bacterial leaf stripe of wheat: Something to keep in mind

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    by Dr. Charla Hollingsworth, U of MN Extension Plant Pathologist

    Bacterial leaf stripe is a disease that can usually be found on wheat in the Red River Valley (RRV) later as crop growth stages progress. The disease (caused by a Xanthomonas sp.) can develop and become severe rapidly after the crop reaches the heading growth stage. Bacterial leaf stripe (BLS) can cause significant yield losses on some varieties. Like other disease issues, development is dependent on weather conditions and the presence of susceptible plant hosts. Epidemics of BLS occurred in the RRV during 2005 and again in 2008.

    Soybean Rust: What will this year bring?

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    by Phillip Glogoza, Extension Educator - Crops

    Soybean rust was found in 392 counties in the United States in 2008. This is the highest number of counties reporting the disease since it was first discovered in the continental U.S. in 2004. Soybean growers in Alabama were encouraged to use fungicides on at risk beans in late August, many neighboring states reported mostly low infection levels throughout the month of September as the crop matured.

    Alfalfa Weevil: Coming on Strong in West Central MN

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    by Doug Holen, Extension Educator - Crops, Fergus Falls
    and Phillip Glogoza, Extension Educator - Crops, Moorhead

    Just a quick note to report a significant outbreak of alfalfa weevil in WC MN. It escalated over the weekend with a lot of spraying starting on Monday. We have fields in all stages with 1st crop still standing, cut alfalfa in windrow for some time, and 16" of 2nd crop regrowth. All fields have been hit hard. All alfalfa growers in west central MN should be checking for possible infestations.

    By Dr. Charla Hollingsworth, Plant Pathologist, U of Minnesota Extension
    and Dr. Sam Markell, Plant Pathologist, NDSU Extension Service

    This past week, the fungus that causes rust on sunflower, Puccinia helianthi, was identified on wild and volunteer sunflowers in Minnesota and North Dakota. The rust fungus is known as a "macrocyclic" pathogen because it produces five successive types of spores during its lifecycle. While all five types of spores are produced on sunflower, only one type is responsible for causing rust epidemics.

    Wireworms in Small Grains

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    by Dr. Ian MacRae, Extension Entomologist

    I've received reports of wireworms in small grains this season - not surprising this year given that wireworm tend to be more active in cooler conditions. There are several species of wireworms in the Red River Valley and although they're usually neither a frequent nor wide-spread problem in the RRV, when they do occur, damage can be quite significant even leading to a total field loss.

    Controlling Canada thistle with Milestone

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    By Carlyle Holen, IPM Specialist, U of Minnesota Extension

    What is the optimum time to treat Canada thistle (Figure 1) in non-cropland with Milestone? Based on field trials at Ada in 2007 the window for application is pretty wide and perhaps a better way to frame the question might be: What is the least effective time to treat Canada thistle? In the Ada trials, applications were made at two week intervals from June 1 to August 23 (Table 1). We found new shoots are initiated on a nearly continuous basis during the growing season with a large 'flush' of new rosettes in the spring and in late summer /early fall after older plants have finished dispersing seed. During the spring 'flush' new stems are rapidly added by the extensive root system and a single plant may have dozens of individual, interconnected stems. Figure 2 shows the increase in Canada thistle stem number, from June 1 to August 23 from untreated plots. In the two week period from June 1 to June 15 there was a 44% increase in stem number and from June 15 to June 29 the increase was 18%. The speed of shoot emergence is driven initially by soil temperature and continues at a fairly rapid pace until plants begin to flower. With a continuous emergence of new Canada thistle shoots you will find stems that are blooming next to ones that are just emerging. When staging plants make your assessment on the most advanced plants in the patches.

    By Phillip Glogoza, Extension Educator - Crops

    The cool temperatures have delayed alfalfa weevil population development in the region. In west central MN, first cut got underway two weeks ago. As we move northwest, first cut may just be beginning for some. In some cases, cutting alfalfa may have removed significant eggs laid in stems, while in other sites young larvae are feeding in the growing terminals, whether it is regrowth or uncut alfalfa.

    Now is The Time to Evaluate Stands

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    The challenging spring in Northwest Minnesota has forced many to seed their wheat and barley under less than ideal conditions and into poor seedbeds. Now is the time to evaluate how well your seeding operation went and what the attained stands are. This is important as the decision about inputs further into the season will depend on the yield potential that is left.

    Temperatures Affect Glyphosate Activity

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    Temperatures over the last month have fluctuated greatly. Cold temperatures two weeks ago caused a reduction in glyphosate activity. Individual plants of lambsquarters and annual smartweed species where not completely controlled at a research location while other plants and other species were completely controlled. Cold weather in early June of 2008 also caused a reduction in glyphosate activity. The cold weather last week and early this week will likely cause glyphosate applications to be less effective until warmer temperatures persist.

    Soybean Planting Date and Delayed Planting

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    We are into the fourth year of a soybean date planting trial at Crookston investigating how two different relative maturity soybean varieties respond to planting date. Results for 2006 - 2008 show maximum soybean yield when planting in the May 1 - 15th window of opportunity. Previous planting date trials from the University of Minnesota also show an optimum planting window of May 10 - 20 to achieve maximum yield (Table 1).

    The control of perennial noxious weeds can often be troublesome for farmers, CRP landowners, county and township road/weed department officials, and other land managers. Thanks to modern technology and a better understanding of biological control methods, land and roadside managers have new and effective tools to control such problem weeds. This plot tour and educational programplans to address these topics.

    Orange Wheat Blossom Midge: Vigilance is in order

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    Orange wheat blossom midge (Figure 1) as a wheat pest has been off the front page as a major production problem in NW MN for many years. Populations in the region have been small enough that significant outbreaks and associated yield losses have been of small concern. However, we learned in the mid-90’s that given the right circumstances, this insect can increase its population rapidly and cause major yield losses in a very short time frame.

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