Category: Agriculture

Field day shares soil health tips and tricks from the pits

University of Minnesota Extension Educator Jodi DeJong-Hughes has spent much of career below ground analyzing soil health from pits on farms across Minnesota. This Sept. 10, she will be hosting a field day that will for the first time share how farmers can do this analysis on their own.

Held in Granite Falls, the field day will share how attendees can take a shovel to any part of their field and have a better understanding of what they are seeing for soil health.

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The latest farm research showcased at U of M Field Day

(Professor Jeff Coulter discusses the latest in corn agronomy at the field day)

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The annual Agronomy Field Tour at the University of Minnesota Southern Outreach and Research Center in Waseca brought out University of Minnesota researchers to discuss the latest research impacting on-farm practices. Here are some highlights:

Nitrogen rates

Assistant Professor Fabian Fernandez presented the latest work on nitrogen rates.

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Farmers facing decisions on prevented planting

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The crop progress reports from NASS/USDA have detailed the slow progress in the number of corn acres planted across America’s Farm Belt. Nationally, only 58 percent of corn acres had been planted by May 28, compared to 90 percent last year. Minnesota, specifically, was at 66 percent, compared to 91 percent a year ago.  

The slowed progress has made farmers like Richard Syverson, who farms north of Benson,

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Spring Planting

Prevented planting: Deadlines, resources for farmers impacted by wet spring

The weather models for much of Minnesota’s farm country look ominous, causing many farmers to start looking at prevented planting as the window for planting corn narrows.

The first step for corn farmers examining prevented planting is to contact their crop insurance agent, who can help determine eligibility and reporting requirements. An agent will be vital in determining acres eligible for prevented planting payments, as one example.

Final planting date is May 31 for corn in southern Minnesota,

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Palmer amaranth requires early farmer detection to prevent spreading

Palmer amaranth continues to be the top-of-mind invasive weed for all farmers this growing season as it finds its way into Minnesota farm operations. Early detection by farmers will continue to be the best method to prevent the spreading of this weed in 2019.

Already detected in Douglas, Jackson, Lyon, Redwood, Todd, and Yellow Medicine counties, Palmer amaranth continues to find new routes to farm fields.

Last week, the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) announced an investigation found Palmer amaranth made its way into a soybean field through cattle manure,

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MN corn farmers ready to plant, but waiting for drier soil

Written by Jonathan Eisenthal

The latest USDA crop progress report shows Minnesota farmers have yet to start planting corn this year. According to the five-year average, farmers have typically planted 11 percent of their corn by this date. In south-central and southeastern Minnesota, some of the larger operators have begun field work, but in western Minnesota, south to north, wet conditions have farmers waiting.

Jerry Demmer, who farms near Clarks Grove in south-central Minnesota,

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Nitrogen fertilizer application

Groundwater Protection Rule: What’s next?

The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) released the proposed Groundwater Protection Rule – previously referred to as the Nitrogen Fertilizer Rule – on April 24, 2018. The Groundwater Protection Rule was formally published in the Minnesota State Register on April 30th, followed by an 80-day comment period.

The proposed Groundwater Protection Rule, the statement of need and reasonableness, appendixes for the statement of need and reasonableness and the notice of public hearings are listed on the MDA website here. 

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Meet Kenzie Barth, MCGA’s 2018-2019 intern

By Kenzie Barth, Minnesota Corn Growers Association 2018-2019 student intern

Hello! My name is Kenzie Barth, and I’m the 2018-2019 Minnesota Corn Growers Association (MCGA) student intern. I just finished my sophomore year at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, double majoring in plant science and agricultural communication & marketing. I’m from Upsala in Morrison County. On campus, I’m serving as the 2018-2019 CFANS Student Senator, and I’m involved with the Beta of Clovia sorority and the Gopher Crops and Soils Club.

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USDA: Minnesota farmers decrease corn acreage in 2018

The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Prospective Plantings Report forecasts a 7-percent decrease in Minnesota corn acres planted in 2018. Nationally, corn acres are expected to decrease 2 percent. Of the 48 estimating states, 33 are forecasted to decrease or maintain corn acreage this spring.

In comparison, soybean acres are forecasted to decrease 2 percent this year in Minnesota. Nationally, a 1-percent drop in planted acres is expected. Wheat acres planted are expected to increase 38 percent in Minnesota and 3 percent nationally.

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Minnesota ag community unites for long-term sustainability

In 2015, the state legislature established the Agricultural Research, Education, Extension and Technology Transfer (AGREETT) Program to hire researchers and improve infrastructure at University of Minnesota colleges and Extension sites. The goal of the investment is to achieve long-term sustainability in agriculture.

Now three years in, the first round of funding has led to the hiring of 14 faculty positions, five Extension educators and a number of needed infrastructure upgrades in areas like crop and livestock productivity,

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