Thursday, July 10, 2014

Time to change direction

Below are some pictures of waterhemp, both were very tall (12-15") and both were treated with a quart of Roundup.  They were also found about 3 feet apart in the same field.  The surviving 12-15 inch tall waterhemp looks very healthy and coming back another quart of Roundup will most likely do nothing to impede its existence.  In fact, effective chemical control options are limited for the surviving individual in this year.  In future years it will be necessary to start with a strong preemergence herbicide program and then follow with alternative modes of action for postemergence control.

Given the fact that waterhemp can continue to emerge late into the season, it would be wisest to use postemegence herbicide options with some residual control.  In this particular field more flushes of weeds are coming, including some waterhemp along with some grass. A different mode of action will need to be used, and as for the tall survivor, it is advisable to get out and prevent this individual for flowering (hand pulling). It is the only way to keep this problem from persisting for years to come and to reverse this course.

Time to look for soybean cyst nematode

Visual symptoms of soybean cyst nematode (SCN) are showing in soybeans:

Not all fields will have this degree of chlorosis and stunting (above picture), this is a severely infested farm and a non-resistant soybean.  More often symptoms are much more subtle.  In the picture below the farm is moderately infested with SCN (manageable levels) on the left is non-resistant soybean and on the right is a resistant soybean. Notice the slight differences in growth.

These above ground symptoms are not always the most visible, so it a good time to check roots for the presence of females (picture below).  The nematodes will be much smaller than the root nodules and may require the use of a hand less or reading glasses for some people. The picture below is of a RESISTANT soybean, notice you can still observe females at low levels on this plant.

More on SCN management:

Soybean Aphids Appearing in latest Planted Soybeans

Its that time of year again to start monitor soybean aphid levels.  On July 9th we found some early colonization in the upper leaves of late May planted soybeans.  Levels were very low and do NOT require an insecticide application.  Unnecessary early applications of insecticide not only cost money, they can lead to many negative side effects including the need for more applications once aphids recolonize treated fields.

For more info on soybean aphid:

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Scouting for Worms

Over the weekend I found armyworm and black cutworm larvae in Steele County.  Its important to get out now and look for evidence of leaf feeding and/or plant cutting. Based on the cutworm monitoring network and GDU accumulation now is the time to look for black cutworms in corn.  It is important to look for both leaf feeding and cutting.  SOME fields MAY need to be treated.
Latest Cutworm Report:

Armyworms that I found were at very low levels and did NOT warrant treatment.  Here is a link on armyworms in corn:

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Frost on the Pumpkins this Morning, May 14

Frost on the Pumpkins....

The morning started with a nice white coating of frost across our farm.  The forecast for morning temperatures over the next few days sound like we will see frost every morning until this weekend.  The good news, the rain passed by and the sun is shining. Alfalfa fields are greening up and many stands look pretty good around the area.  However, there are some dead spots in fields, perhaps where water stood or ice ponds formed, but these are small. We just need some warm weather to push some growth of a very needed forage crop.

Having said this, there are reports of winter injury from areas west of Rochester. The potential issues: 1) snow blew off the fields, exposing crowns to bitter cold winter temperatures, 2) if the last cutting was taken in September, the plants would have gone into the long winter with lower than desirable root reserves, and 3) perhaps a late cutting left shorter than desirable residue, thus reducing the plants ability to hold the precious snow.  If you are seeing fields like that, evaluate the stand, dig some roots and assess the stand.   Here is a good resource to help you evaluate the stand: Alfalfa stand assessment: Is this stand good enough to keep?

More forage resources are located at:

Monday, May 12, 2014

Get Notified when New Posts are Available

Concerned about the transition to blog format?
Many questions and concerns have arisen since announcing we are transitioning to a blog formatted newsletter.  Rest assured we will give some guidance along the way.  First things first, we intend to keep the email list informed of new blog postings throughout the next several months.  So in other words if you have traditionally received the email newsletter, you will continue to get email notifications that “new” items are available on the blog.  However, we would like to encourage you to sign up for the RSS feed.

So what is an RSS feed?
RSS stands for “Really Simple Syndication”, many online resources (e.g. websites, blogs) have them.  Here is the standard symbol/link for an RSS feed (typically much smaller size than this one):

After you sign up for a RSS you will be notified when new content is available on the corresponding website, blog, etc.  Usually this is in the form of an email notification.  The email notification will usually contain a link that will take you to the new posting. has a RSS that looks like this:

The above box is how and where you subscribe to Southeast Minnesota Crops Connection blog newsletter RSS.  Notice you get two subscription options, the top one “posts” is the one you want. This will notify you when a new post is available to read.  You will find this RSS subscription box in the right-hand column near the bottom of the page (  As we transition to the blog formatted newsletter, you may consider signing up for our blog’s RSS feed.  Remember, we will continue to notify you of new postings via an email for several months.  This may create a “double” notification for those of you that sign up for the RSS, but please bear with us during the transition.
Another popular option for RSS subscriptions is to use and RSS reader program or application.  An RSS reader is a program or application that manages your RSS subscriptions.  You can think of a RSS reader as a kind of web browser, where you go to see all of your RSS feeds in one place.  Here are two links that critique a few different RSS readers (note these are NOT UNIVERITY links):

You may have to experiment with several different RSS readers until you find one that works for you.  Choosing the best RSS reader will depend on: user preference (e.g. catsup or ketchup), operation system (e.g. PC or iOS), and device used to read postings(e.g. Desktop computer, tablet, or phone).  Good luck choosing one, we would be interested in hearing what worked for you!