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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.drainageoutlet.umn.edu

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?

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 Robert Koch, Extension Entomologist

On June 11, 2013, we found soybean aphids on soybean at the Rosemount Research and Outreach Center near Rosemount, MN. Not many beans were out of the ground there, but in the two fields we sampled, we found aphids. We sampled one commercial soybean field at the VC growth stage (unifoliate leaves unfolded) and found 7.5% of plants infested with 1 to 9 aphids on each infested plant. The other field we sampled was a small plot trial, also at the VC growth stage, and had 10% of plants infested with 2 to 3 aphids on each plant.

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?   

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.

Daniel Kaiser
Extension Soil Fertility Specialist

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

Safely Handling Treated Seed

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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.

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.

One of the experiments at the U of M Southwest Research and Outreach Center (SWROC) is currently displaying interesting visual results which will rapidly fade as the season progresses. An impromptu tour on Friday, August 24 from 1 to 2 PM will give you a chance to see the effect of SCN resistance for yourself.

Spider mites: some points to consider

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From the University of Minnesota Extension Southeast Crop Connection newsletter

spider mites

Spider mites are the concern today. Symptoms have become more obvious in some fields, especially along field edges, drought pockets and drier area in the region. Is this a "tornado watch" or "warning"? A watch in most fields, but we have touchdown (warning), with damage in some (more drought stressed conditions). You need to scout now. Here are some additional precautions and suggestions to consider.

  1. We are entering the critical time for soybean growth--pod set and fill, determining yield.
  2. When/If you pull the trigger and apply an insecticide now, this early in the season, plan on multiple application for multiple pests (aphids). You'll remove all beneficial insects and open the door to other pests.
  3. When making multiple applications it is imperative that you choose multiple modes of action.
  4. Canopy penetration is critical for good control.
    • Do not cheat on insecticide rates.
    • Do not cheat on water (gallons/acre applied).
    • Do not cheat on pressure--keep PSI up.
  5. Consider preharvest interval (PHI) when planning multiple applications of insecticides. Average range, 18-45 days. You may need to use a product with a longer PHI first followed by one with a different mode of action and a shorter PHI second.
  6. Insecticide/miticides will not kill spider mite eggs. Life cycle completed in 5-19 days (faster with temps above 90°)
  7. Remember buffer zones, and setbacks to sensitive areas for the insecticides you use. Read the label.
  8. Places to scout first: heaviest infestation usually occur along roadways, ditches, near alfalfa fields. Watch for spider mite movement from alfalfa to soybeans.

Read this article for more information on managing spider mites.

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.

Spider Mites in Soybeans

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We've been getting calls about spider mites in soybeans, not surprising given our high temps and the dry conditions in some locations. As temps get into the 90's, spider mite reproduction and development rates increase significantly. Drought also exacerbates spider mite populations, and when drought conditions are relieved by rain, spider mite populations may not necessarily decrease. Consequently, even after drought conditions pass, best to continue scouting for spider mites damage.

Spider mites are tiny and only large females are visible to the naked eye (unless you've got really good eyesight!). The best way to see spider mites is to shake a plant over a piece of white paper - any moving pieces of dirt are likely spider mites... So to scout for something that small, it's best to look for damage. Spider mite damage will first appear as small yellow spots (stippling) on lower leaves. There is currently no solid treatment threshold in soybeans, but If stippling reaches mid-canopy leaves, a treatment is likely necessary. Pyrethroids may flare spider mite populations, spreading mites and increasing their populations.

A good source for information on spider mite biology, scouting and thresholds was prepared last year by Bruce Potter and Ken Ostlie and is available at:

http://www.soybeans.umn.edu/crop/insects/spider_mites.htm

Keep scouting!

Assessing Hail Damage in Corn and Soybean

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.

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

University of Minnesota Soil Fertility Specialist

Research on Iron Deficiency Chlorosis (IDC) has been identifying methods to manage the problem for soybeans. Since 2010 research has been conducted using strip trials within farmers' fields. Currently we are looking for a 5 acre area to conduct a field study looking at the effect of Soygreen and oat cover crops on areas of the field that range from no-IDC to severe IDC. Our goal is to determine the economic benefits of the treatments on varying IDC severity within fields planted with two soybean varieties with varying tolerances to IDC.

Conservation Tillage Conference, Rochester MN, Feb 7-8 2012

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CTC PROMO.jpg

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. 7 and 8, at the International Event Center in Rochester, MN.

The day-and-a-half-long conference will provide practical, how-to information on nearly every aspect of conservation tillage. Learn how conservation tillage can save soil, time, fuel -- and money. Besides saving valuable soil resources, conservation tillage has been proven to save $25-45/ac in tillage costs. And that's not including your time.

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 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:


  • Precision Ag solutions

  • Weed species shift and control

  • Nutrient management in high residue systems

  • Strip intercropping management

  • Soil health with reduced till systems

  • Vendor Sessions: Learn about new equipment, cover crops 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 Robert Recker: "Yield, Profitability, and Sustainability: Where to go from here?" Bob is the owner of Cedar Valley Innovation and a retired John Deere engineer, researching strip intercropping. He studies corn growth on a row by row basis trying to unlock the secrets of using technology and the sun to farm smarter.

The Conservation Tillage Conference runs from 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Tues., Feb. 7th, and from 8:00 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Wed., Feb. 8th. The tradeshow will be open both days.

The registration fee is $150 per person, which includes nine continuing education units (CEUs). An early bird fee of $120 per person is offered for those registering by Jan. 25, 2012.

More information, including schedules, maps, contacts and exhibitor registration is available at www.TillageConference.com. Or contact Jodi DeJong-Hughes at 320-815-4112 or dejon003@umn.edu.

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.

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

Soybean Yield Loss Estimates from Early Frost
Seth Naeve - Extension Soybean Agronomist


Few resources are available to producers and agricultural professionals relative to yield losses from late- season frost injury to soybean plants. A study investigating the risks and benefits of long-season soybean varieties was established in 2008. This work was carried out by the Naeve Soybean Production Project, and was funded by the Minnesota Soybean Research & Promotion Council. While we don't have all of the answers that folks search for after a late-season frost, a small piece of this research effort is described below.

In 2009, 2010, and 2011 soybean plots were established to investigate the yield effects of early frost on a range of soybean maturities. Three varieties with maturities of RM 0.8, 2.0, and 2.8 were examined in 2009. These were planted at a normal seeding date (around May 1) and at a late planting date (around May 21). Frost was simulated with applications of Liberty herbicide at a rate of 32oz per acre in 10 gallons of water on September 7 (early) or September 21 (late). In 2010 and 2011, five varieties ranging from MG 0.8 to 2.8 were planted at a singleplanting date (early May) and treated to simulate frost on three dates (approximately September 7, 14, and 21).

field shot.jpg

Photo of a soybean plot 'frosted' with Liberty approximately 10 days prior. In the left of the photo is a soybean plot 'frosted' 3 days prior.

Frost and Freezing Temperature Effects on Soybeans

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By Seth Naeve and Dave Nicolai University of Minnesota Extension

A hard frost occurred early Thursday morning (Sept 15th) across much of central and southern Minnesota.  The complete effects of this frost or freeze event may not be known for some time.  However, most soybean and corn fields have not reached physiological maturity.  Yield and quality in these fields were likely affected. 

 

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.

What does soil quality mean? Why is it so important? How do we measure it and how can we impact soil quality with our management practices? Hear experts from the University of Minnesota, Ohio State University, the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, and the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service address these questions and more at the "Soil Quality Workshop". This program will be held at two locations: Monday, September 12 at the West Central Research and Outreach Center in Morris, and Tuesday, September 13 at the Southern Research and Outreach Center in Waseca. Each workshop will start with check-in at 8:00, with the program running from 8:30 to 4:30. This program is sponsored by U of MN Extension, The Ohio State University, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture and North Central Region Sustainable Agriculture Research and Education.

By Dean Malvick

Questions about which soybean diseases will be problems this year in Minnesota come up often. Although there are no good predictive systems, the wet weather conditions this summer are favorable for sudden death syndrome (SDS) and Phytophthora root and stem rot.  Phytophthora rot occurs across MN.  SDS occurs most often in southern MN, but appears to be spreading north each year.

By Lizabeth Stahl

Hear the latest University of Minnesota research and information on strip tillage and see strip-tillage equipment in action through field demonstrations at the 2011 "Minnesota Strip Till Expo" on Friday, August 5th, at the College and University Center in Owatonna. This event will run, rain or shine, from 9:00 to 3:30, with registration and Exhibits starting at 8:30. Admission to the Expo is free and food will be available for purchase on-site. This program is brought to you by U of MN Extension and Riverland Community College.

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.

Assessing Hail-Damaged Corn and Soybean

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.

Ground Rolling Soybeans in 2011

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By Doug Holen and Phil Glogoza, University of Minnesota Crop Extension Educators.

 

Producers have been pushed to accomplish as much planting possible in the little time given as calendar dates roll by in a late spring start.  The goal has been to get the seed in the ground when fields are ready for equipment and between rain events.  It has been common across the state in previous years for producers to ground roll fields within hours of planting soybeans.  However, the push to plant between rain events and other delays this year has left many fields unrolled.  The question is, "Can I still roll without causing significant damage to the plants or stand?"      

Switch from corn to soybeans? Not so fast!

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Managing a late start to soybean planting

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By Dave Nicolai and Seth Naeve
Originally published in Ag News Wire

With only 28 percent of corn acres planted prior to May 9 in Minnesota, growers face the difficult decision of when to begin planting soybeans in order to maintain adequate yields.

Soil conditions are of primary importance when considering delayed planting.

Soil conditions and soil temperature

Soil conditions at and after planting usually make a difference in how successfully the crop is established. Soil compaction and smearing is a concern when pulling implements and the planter through, or driving on, wet soil.

To limit soil compaction, keep axle loads under 10 tons and properly maintain air pressure in the tires. Not only does this help the soil, but it will help your tractor run more efficiently and with less slippage. On wet soils, use the lightest tractor that can get the job done.

Soybean has delicate seed, so it benefits when planted about 1 1/2 inches deep, modestly firmed into the seed furrow, covered by relatively loose soil, and into soils with temperatures of 60 to 70 degrees. As of May 9 , soil temperatures at the 2-inch depth averaged 61 and 56 degrees, respectively, at University of Minnesota Research and Outreach centers in Lamberton and Waseca.

The lack of oxygen in saturated soils and the formation of a soil crust of even modest strength can almost eliminate soybean emergence. Therefore, it is important to pay attention to the five-day forecast prior to planting. Planting in cool and wet conditions may lead to poor germination and seedling diseases such as pythium. These problems are magnified by extended cold and rainy periods after planting.

University of Minnesota Extension research indicates that, under ideal conditions, soybeans in southern Minnesota should be planted at about 140,000 live seeds per acre (see Table 1). Soybeans grown in central and northwestern Minnesota require harvest stands of approximately 125,000 to 150,000 plants per acre to maximize yields. This is likely due to shorter-statured soybeans with fewer total nodes that are often produced in these regions. Increased seeding rates are required in central and northwestern Minnesota.

Table 1
Maturity group II soybeans 140,000 live seeds per acre
Maturity group I soybeans 150,000 live seeds per acre
Maturity group 0 soybeans 160,000 live seeds per acre
Maturity group 00 soybeans 170,000 live seeds per acre


Planting date and soybean yield

Since early-May plantings usually result in maximum yields, lower yields should be expected for later plantings (see Table 2). Planting soybeans in Minnesota on May 10 results in only a 2-percent yield loss; on May 15 in a 3-percent yield loss, and on May 20 in a 6-percent yield loss (or 94 percent of normal yield).

Table 2
Planting date Yield loss (%) Yield potential (%)
May 1 0 100
May 5 1 99
May 10 2 98
May 15 3 97
May 20 6 94
May 25 9 91
May 30 13 87
June 4 18 82
June 9 24 76
June 14 30 70


For more educational information and tools, visit www.soybeans.umn.edu, a cooperative effort among the University of Minnesota, University of Minnesota Extension, and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council. More information about delayed crop planting can be found at www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/crops/late-planting.

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.

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 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 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 Seth Naeve and Bruce Potter

Heavy rain fell across much southern Minnesota on September 22nd and 23rd and left large areas of Minnesota corn and soybean fields submerged.  Flood waters covered, perhaps 100,000 acres for several hours as rain water moved from fields into creeks and rivers.  Longer term flooding of fields affected tens of thousands of acres of cropland.  In most instances, drainage tile, where present,  were unable to prevent ponded waters.  In other cases, streams swollen by  4 -12 inches of rain falling on fields, roads and cities came out of their banks and flooded fields.

Dean Malvick, Department of Plant Pathology, St. Paul

The soybean crop is growing well across most of Minnesota.  As of July 25, 80% of the state's ~7.4 million acres of soybeans was flowering and 25% was setting pods. Most of the soybean crop in Minnesota was rated in good (58%) or excellent (27%) condition.  With the frequent rains this season, however, disease problems are appearing in some fields and others may be brewing.  The leaf diseases downy mildew, bacterial blight, and Septoria brown spot are common now in Minnesota, but fortunately none of these diseases typically cause significant yield reductions.  Many areas in Minnesota have also had favorable conditions for development of Phytophthora root and stem rot, stem canker, white mold, and sudden death syndrome. 

You are invited to a field day located along highway 71 between Olivia and Blomkest on the southeast corner of the intersection of U.S. Highway 71 and Kandyohi/Renville county line road. Discussions will focus on recent research on iron deficiency chlorosis and a tour of the research plot at this location. Registration for the event will begin at 9 am with speakers starting at 9:30.


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.



By Jeff Gunsolus

After the recent stretch of rainy weather we are currently in a period of excellent conditions for finalizing postemergence weed control in soybean.  As crop stages progress, postemergence soybean herbicide options decrease due to growth stage or days before harvest restrictions.

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

 

Resources for Late Harvest Challenges - Fall 2009

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The 2009 harvest season continues to add challenge after challenge.  The University of Minnesota Extension has developed a website full of resources devoted to dealing with these challenges.

You will find these resources at Extension's late harvest resources web page.

Storing, Drying, and Handling Wet Soybeans

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By Lizabeth Stahl and Bill Wilcke

Extension Educator - Crops and Extension Agricultural Engineer

 

Soybean moisture levels of 16 to 20% or more at harvest have been reported throughout the state as this challenging harvest season continues.  If storage temperatures are below about 60F, soybeans at 13% moisture can usually be kept for about 6 months without having mold problems.  At a higher moisture content, how long can soybeans be stored before mold becomes a concern? 

 

By Dean Malvick, Department of Plant Pathology

Cool weather and low rainfall have held the soybean crop back in parts of Minnesota this summer. Now, significant diseases are a concern in some areas. Several diseases have started to appear recently that can significantly damage soybeans, especially sudden death syndrome (SDS), brown stem rot (BSR), and white mold. These diseases are favored by weather conditions that have occurred in large areas of Minnesota this season. The information we gather now can help to explain why yield may be low in some fields and can assist with targeting disease management where these diseases occur most often. There are no effective fungicide or other treatments that can be used this season to reduce damage from these diseases.

SDS has been reported at significant levels in Dodge, McLeod, and Waseca counties, and it is undoubtedly also appearing in other areas in Minnesota. Based on results from previous years, SDS probably occurs across much of the southern half of Minnesota, but it could occur anywhere in the state. Foliar symptoms of SDS have been developing for at least the past two weeks. The last two weeks of August and the first week of September is a good time to scout for SDS. Look for this disease first in low or compacted areas of fields and near field entry points. Initial symptoms are yellow areas on leaves, and these yellow areas turn into brown patches. Reports have indicated different levels of disease severity among some varieties. This would be a good time to look for different factors that could affect SDS severity, including soybean variety, tillage, drainage, crop rotation, and planting date. The map of the confirmed distribution for SDS in Minnesota, as well as more information and photos for SDS and other soybean diseases, can be found at the Minnesota Crop Diseases web site (www.extension.umn.edu/cropdiseases/soybean/index.html).

Foliar and stem symptoms of BSR are also starting to appear. BSR occurs in fields throughout Minnesota, including all areas where SDS occurs. When scouting fields or attempting to diagnose whether plants are infected with SDS or BSR, keep in mind that the foliar symptoms can look very similar for these two diseases. The key for BSR is to split the bottom 6" of the soybean stems and look for brown pith, especially at the nodes. Plants with BSR will have brown pith, but plants with SDS will have white pith. Keep in mind that plants with BSR always develops brown pith, but foliar symptoms (brown tissue between veins) do not always develop. The only way to know how much BSR is in a field is to split stems, and internal BSR stem infections alone can cause yield loss. BSR tends to be more severe when temperatures are cool (60- 80°F) during reproductive growth stages. When leaf symptoms develop, they can be most severe when soil has been wet at early flowering to pod fill growth stages and dry during maturation. The conditions in large areas of Minnesota appear to have been favorable for BSR this season.

White mold may also be significant in some parts of Minnesota based on growing conditions this year. We have had reports of white mold damaging and killing in several areas of Minnesota. This disease is favored by cool temperatures and rainfall from mid- July through August. All of Minnesota has had cool conditions, and the areas that received enough rain to maintain wet soil for short periods in July and early August are set to develop white mold. Look for scattered and patches of dead and dying plants, and the presence of white moldy growth and sclerotia (black to gray round to oblong structures up to 1/4") on and inside the stems. As with the other diseases, look to see if you can associate the more severe areas with factors that may affect white mold such as soybean variety, manure or fertility history, tillage, row spacing, or high plant population.

Finally, downy mildew is common in a number of areas. Although this soybean leaf disease rarely if ever reaches levels that damages yields in Minnesota, it can be fairly easy to see. Downy mildew typically only infects leaves at this time of the season, although later it can infect pods. Symptoms of downy mildew on the tops of leaves are irregular yellow to brown spots, and the bottom of the leaves under the spots have tan to gray tufts of fungal growth that can be seen easily with a hand-lens.

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?


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.

New spider mite fact sheet

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By Ken Ostlie and Bruce Potter

Reports of spider mite infestations continue from both soybean and corn, particularly from areas with prolonged drought.  Even if you've received rain recently, check for mite activity along field edges to determine if you've got a building problem.  You may need to factor spider mites into a soybean aphid spray decision.

The article is available on the web at: http://www.soybeans.umn.edu/crop/insects/spider_mites.htm.

Well so much for the relatively arthropod pest- free growing season.


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.

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.

Glyphosate-resistant biotypes of giant and common ragweed and common waterhemp have been confirmed in Minnesota and are listed on the International Survey of Resistant Weeds web site at: http://www.weedscience.org/in.asp Both species appear to be resistant to approximately four-times the labeled use rate of glyphosate (4X).

In the short time frame presented to us during the growing season, separating glyphosate nonperformance due to resistant weed biotypes from other factors is an inexact and qualitative process but a quick response could help reduce the spread of glyphosate resistant weeds and set-up long-term management plans.

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).

Volunteer Corn Management in Corn and Soybean

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Large populations of volunteer corn are being reported in some fields in Minnesota this year. What impact the volunteer corn will have on this year’s crop yield and the viable management options available will depend upon in which crop the volunteer corn is present. Making the assumptions that the majority of the volunteer corn present is glyphosate resistant and that glyphosate resistant crops were planted in the field this year, your only management option in corn at this time is cultivation. In soybean you have the herbicide options of the ACCase inhibiting herbicides such as: Select Max (clethodim), Fusilade DX (fluazifop-P), Fusion (fluazifop-P & fenoxaprop) and Assure II (quizalofop); note Poast Plus (sethoxydim) is not as active as the other herbicides on volunteer corn. The ACCase inhibiting herbicides are generally targeted on 12- to 24-inch tall volunteer corn. The ALS herbicide, Raptor can also effectively control smaller (2 to 8 inch) volunteer corn.

Considerations for Flooded Corn and Soybean

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Jeff Coulter, Extension Corn Agronomist Seth Naeve, Extension Soybean Agronomist and Dean Malvick, Extension Plant Pathologist

Thousands of Minnesota crop acres succumb to stresses from excess water each year. This typically occurs in small, low-lying areas of fields that "drown out" frequently. This spring, several areas of the state have become waterlogged again. Although Iowa, Illinois, and Indiana are more affected than most of Minnesota, significant production losses will occur in our state due to excess rainfall this spring. This article discusses agronomic and disease risks for corn and soybean exposed to prolonged periods of high soil moisture and cool temperatures.

Wet conditions lead to harvest delays

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Lizabeth Stahl
Regional Extension Educator-Crops

Soggy fields and submerged crops can be found in areas throughout the state due to recent rainfall events. What effect will these late-season wet conditions and even flooding have on corn and soybeans as we wait for field conditions to improve and harvest to resume?

Wet soil conditions this spring, pressure from corn rootworm and European corn borer, and plants attempting to a fill large number of kernels per ear have set some fields up for potential stalk rot problems. Although some of the fungi causing stalk rots are a player in the natural process of recycling nutrients and organic matter back into the soil, decay of stalk pith prior to harvest can increase lodging potential. Harvest delays increase the chance of lodging due to stalk rots and lodged plants decrease harvestability, leading to ears being left in the field.

To check for stalk rot, stalks can be split (check for stalk tissue disintegration) or squeezed between your fingers (check if stalks are easily crushed) or pushed from vertical (severely stalk rotted plants will kink or lodge). Fields with stalk quality issues should be targeted for harvest as soon as is feasible because of increased lodging potential. Fields with heavy infestations of European corn borer should also be targeted for harvest as soon as is feasible.

Corn grain quality can also be a concern when wet conditions delay harvest. Be on the lookout for ear rots and if grain becomes molded, be sure to test for mycotoxins prior to feeding to livestock.

In soybean fields where pods were submerged by standing water for a significant time period, seed quality is a concern. Wet conditions combined with warm temperatures increase the risk of damage from fungal pathogens. If areas were submerged for several days, stems may weaken or rot, increasing the chance of lodging and harvest losses. Prior hail damage or previous stem diseases may predispose plants to further injury. Pod shatter prior to harvest is also of concern, especially if soybeans go through several cycles of drying and re-wetting.

If soybeans were submerged in areas of the field, consider segregating these potentially lower quality soybeans. Segregation may be particularly beneficial if soybeans were intended to be sold to a specialty market where premiums are based on soybean quality.

Delayed harvest will also influence the ability to conduct fall tillage operations and fertilizer applications. The main focus is, of course, to get crops out of the field. As field conditions improve and harvest resumes, keep an eye on crop status when deciding which fields to harvest next to help maximize crop quality and yield.

S. L. Naeve and D.R. Hicks
Agronomy and Plant Genetics
University of Minnesota

A major portion (about 90 percent) of the Minnesota corn acres are planted but only ten percent has emerged. For soybeans, only 28 percent of the acres are planted and only a very few (1%) have emerged. Cold seed zones do not promote germination and emergence.

Paul Peterson, Jim Linn, and Dale Hicks
University of Minnesota Extension Service

Frost touched much of the state's corn and soybean acreage this past weekend. The degree to which the frost was a killing frost varies considerably, but a complete killing frost appears to have been the exception, not the rule. Where frost injury occurred without complete kill, it is too early to consider forage harvest because additional yield and forage quality accumulation is likely from surviving plant parts. However, where these crops were/are completely killed by frost before reaching optimum grain or even forage harvest maturity, harvesting as forage is a viable option. In addition, based on the delayed maturation of corn and soybeans to date, chances are good that there will many acres of these crops that will receive a killing frost before reaching maturity, so harvest as forage may still be one of the better options as the growing season plays out.

Frost on corn and soybeans

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Dale R. Hicks
Department of Agronomy and Plant Genetics, University of Minnesota

The growing season continues to be abnormally cold and now the cool temperatures of August 21 have caused frost injury to crops in Minnesota. This report gives an assessment of what I think is the situation.

Spring handling of wet corn and beans

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Bill Wilcke
Minnesota Extension Engineer

Because of wet conditions during harvest last fall, a number of farmers currently have shelled corn or soybeans in their bins that are too wet for safe storage into spring and summer. What moisture levels are safe for storage? Crop storability is a function of both temperature and moisture. The colder the storage temperature, the higher a crop's moisture can be before molds and insects cause quality loss. During winter, if stored crops are cooled to less than 30F, they can be held at fairly high moisture levels with minimal risk of storage. During spring and summer, we lose the ability to keep crops below 30F (unless we choose to spend money on refrigeration) and we need to reduce moisture content to avoid spoilage. Corn should be dried to 14 to 15% moisture for storage into spring, 14% for storage into summer, and 13% for longer-term storage. Soybeans should be 12 to 13% moisture for storage into spring, 12% for storage into summer, and 11% for longer-term storage.

If stored corn or soybeans are wetter than the values just listed, and the storage bin is only equipped with a duct-type aeration system and a small fan that delivers less than 0.5 cfm/bu (cubic feet of air per minute per bushel of grain in the bin), the crop will probably mold this spring or summer. Crops should be sold, fed, or moved out of the bin and dried to a safe moisture level before the weather gets too warm.

Using gas-fired dryers in late winter or early spring is an option for both corn and soybeans. After drying, the crop should be cooled to less than 50F for summer storage, so make sure drying is completed before average outdoor temperatures get above 50F. Expect energy costs for gas fired drying to be about $0.01 to $0.02 per bushel per percent point of moisture removed and total drying costs (energy plus labor, depreciation, repairs, etc.) to be $0.02 to 0.04 per bushel per point. Labor, equipment, and transportation costs for moving crops to the dryer and back to storage will add a few more cents per bushel. Soybeans can be dried in gas-fired dryers, but the seeds will split if dried too fast or at too high a temperature, so a much lower drying temperature should be used for soybeans than for corn. If any of the soybeans will be used for seed, drying temperature should be kept under about 110F to avoid killing the seed embryo.

If a bin is available that has a full perforated drying floor and a drying fan that can deliver about 1 cfm/bu, natural-air drying can be another option for slightly wet beans and corn. The University of Minnesota Extension Service bulletin, Natural-Air Corn Drying in the Upper Midwest, BU-6577, gives a good overview of natural-air drying and provides suggestions for spring drying. Spring drying must be started early because if a person waits too long, the weather will get too warm and the crop at the top of the bin will mold before it dries and the crop at the bottom of the bin will get drier than it needs to be. The wetter the crop is, the earlier you need to start. For corn wetter than 19% moisture, start watching the weather in mid-March, and as soon as it stops snowing and average outdoor temperatures stay above freezing, turn on the drying fan and let it run until the drying front moves through the top of the bin. For 17 to 19% moisture corn, start drying around April 1, and for 15 to 17% corn, start drying around April 15.

For natural-air drying of soybeans, use the same dates listed in the previous paragraph for corn, but reduce moisture values by about 2 percentage points. In other words, for soybeans wetter than 17%, start drying in mid-March. For soybeans that are 14 to 15% moisture, it might make sense to control the fan - either manually or by using a humidistat, so that the fan only runs when the relative humidity is less than about 70%.

For more information on soybean drying, see the drying, handling, and storage chapter in the University of Minnesota Extension Service Minnesota Soybean Field Book, MI-7290.

Soybean and corn diseases

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Dean Reynolds
Extension Plant Pathologist

The "Dreaded" Root Rots Of Soybeans
Finally, much of Minnesota is experiencing more than one warm, sunny day in a row. The soybeans, and other crops, were stuck in a slow growth mode for the last month due to the rainy, overcast conditions. But now the crops should start developing more rapidly. Fortunately, Pythium root rot is no longer a concern since it likes cool wet soils and preys on newly germinated soybean seeds and small seedling. However, Fusarium, Phytophthora, and Rhizoctonia root rots are still a threat to soybeans. The warm conditions contributing to the rapid growth of soybeans may actually result in more noticeable root rot symptoms. Now would be a good time to dig seedling in wet, poorly drained areas of fields to look for root lesions caused by the fungal pathogens. Lesions on roots that appear red, reddish brown, or brown are most likely caused by Fusarium or Phytophthora (see Figure 1). Reddish brown lesions that occur on the stem near the ground level are probably caused by Rhizoctonia (see Figure 2). Watch stands in those areas for stand loss. There is not much you can do this year about the diseases. It is probably too late to benefit from a replant if stand loss has occurred. It would be worth while to identify what root rot diseases predominate in your fields and plan for managing them in the future.

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