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Corn Hybrid Yield Results from SROC, Waseca

We are busy analyzing data from our corn and soybean trials in southeast Minnesota.  We have finished the corn hybrid yield trials located at the SROC in Waseca and the results can be found at the links below.  This trial were planted on May 17, 2014 and harvested on October 21 and 22, 2014.

 Results from other trials will be posted as they are available. Support for these trials comes from individual company entries, University of Minnesota SROC in Waseca, and University of Minnesota Extension, Rochester. 

2014 CONVENTIONAL Corn Hybrid Yields, Waseca, MN
Average Yield = 155 bu/a, Range = 137 - 173 bu/A

2014 EARLY (91-95 RM) Corn Hybrid Yield, Waseca, MN
Average Yield = 160 bu/A, Range = 149 - 178 bu/A

2014 MID (96-100 RM) Corn Hybrid Yields, Waseca, MN
Average Yield = 162 bu/A, Range = 148 - 175 bu/A
NOTE, however, this trial was a NS for significance.

2014 LATE (101-105 RM) Corn Hybrid Yields, Waseca, MN
Average Yield = 155 bu/A, Range 137 - 170 bu/A

Lisa M. Behnken
UM Extension E…
Drastic outdoor cooling may create some grain storage and drying problems The drastic outdoor cooling that has occurred may create some grain storage and drying problems. Following are some questions that I have received and my responses. The questions are italicized and my answers follow the questions.


Kenneth Hellevang, Ph.D., PE, Extension Engineer, Professor Fellow-American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers
North Dakota State University Extension Service
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- “With the sudden change in air temps. What is the best management strategy for running aeration fans on bins to cool grain without freezing the bin? “ The kernels will not freeze together if the corn moisture content is below 24%. There is extensive experience with cooling corn to well below freezing and the corn still being able to flow normally. The acceptable moisture cont…

Dusty, Dirty Corn Fields

Dusty, Dirty Corn Fields Earlier this week a corn sample was brought into our office (see photos).  The discussion centered on questions about the corn and why there was so much "black, sooty" mold on the leaves, making the fields dusty and dirty.  Fritz did a quick search and found a post from University of Nebraska in 2012 that seemed to explain one possibility of what we are seeing.

Here are a few thoughts. Remember the September 13th frost followed by several more frost events that followed?  The upper canopy of both beans and corn were killed in many fields.  This dead tissue is a great place for these decomposing fungi to start working.  These saprophytes live off of the dead tissue, creating the black, sooty mold on the dead leaves - which the corn fields now had plenty of.  They are simply "doing their job" decomposing the plant material - recycling. It's just a bit earlier perhaps, because of the frost killed tissue. 

Check out this article.  Perhaps y…

Soybean Trial Yields from Southeast Minnesota

Good Afternoon,


We finished harvesting the soybean variety plot located on the Lawler Farm (just east of Rochester) on October 17 and 18.  I am posting the yield results from this trial.  Click on each trial name to see the report. 

The Early Maturity (0.9 - 1.8) group out-performed the Late-Maturity (1.9 - 2.5) on average by ~4.5 bu/a.  The early group (31 entries) averaged 57.8 bu/a and the late group (38 entries) averaged 53.2 bu/a.  We did have frost damage on the plots and most of the damage was in the Late Maturity trial. 

 Results from other trials will be posted as they are available. Support for these trials comes from individual company entries and the Minnesota Soybean Research and Promotion Council.
Lisa Behnken
UM Extension Educator, Crops
Rochester, MN


Farmland Rental Rates for 2015 that Work for Both Parties

There have been a lot of questions and concerns about 2015 land rental rates. David Bau, Extension Educator in Farm Business Management is presenting over 40 meetings in the next two months to address this hot topic.  See more below.


Farmland Rental Rates for 2015 that Work for Both Parties
By David Bau, Extension Educator

I have completed two of 44 farmland rental workshops with most scheduled for November and December. The budgets for 2015 are ugly using current 2015 forward contract prices offered with both corn and soybean budgets in the red. Corn is negative by more than the average rent paid in 2014 and the farmer receiving no labor and management payment. The 2013 average rents in Southern Minnesota were $243 in the FINBIN database and the data provided by the Minnesota Agricultural Statistic Service in September listed the average rents as $227 per acre in 2013 and $237 in 2014.

Today's 2015 forward contract corn price is $3.27 and soybean price is $8.84. The record corn a…

How Did those Preemergence Herbicides Perform?

Lisa M. Behnken
Extension Educator, Crops
University of Minnesota Extension, Rochester

Lisa - 507-280-2867
Fritz - 507-280-2870

For many years now, Fritz Breitenbach and I have conducted corn and soybean weed management trials at our Rochester field location. We have a healthy population of giant ragweed, common lambsquarters and common waterhemp to evaluate in these trials - the three most common weed concerns of southern Minnesota farmers.

In early July, we hold a tour to show folks the plots and talk about weed management systems - how can we do a better job. I mention this because we also encourage and welcome visitors to view these plots throughout the growing season..Seeing is Believing.

In the past few weeks, several groups have come to view these plots again -  yes, there is still something to see. The big interest, " How did those preemergence herbicides perform on giant ragweed and waterhemp?" Also, "What looks good, where are the weaknesses, are there new option…

Growing Concern about Growing Degree Days and the Corn Crop

Will we accumulate enough GDD to finish the corn crop? People are a bit concerned and talking about corn development - will it make it, will we have to dry most of the corn crop, etc.? I put an article together in 2009, comparing it to another cool year, 2004. In pulling that chart forward, adding 2014 and a long term average, 2014 doesn't look too bad for heat unit accumulation in southeast Minnesota (Rochester data).  We had a cooler than average July but a warmer than average August.  However, the issue is planting date.  Corn was planted in May this year, much after mid-May.  Delayed planting was also the problem in 2009.  We lost those early season heat units, at least a months worth, by not being able to plant in April.  Considering a May 15 planting date, we are at ~2100 GDD as of Aug 31.  For most corn grown in our region, we need around ~2400 GDD to reach black layer.  An average September (415 GDD) could do that for us, but corn at black layer is still 32% moisture. We w…

Soybeans - Aphids, White Mold, and Weeds

August 26, 2014 - Much needed rain was received across the area this past week.  Crop conditions in SE MN are quite variable, from very good to so-so.  Here is what we are seeing. 1) Soybean aphids - Populations have continued to increase in SOME fields, thus still a problem that needs to be dealt with.  However, not all field have required treatment.  As we scouted across the area, populations remained low in some fields, where others exploded and needed to be sprayed.  Scouting should continue until soybeans reach R6.5 (seeds fill the pods and pods and leaves begin to turn yellow).   2) White Mold - This disease, unfortunately, is showing up in soybean fields that received more seasonal rain, have lush foliage, and were wet in June.  When you combine this with our cooler than normal summer, white mold becomes a problem.  3) Weed Escapes - Soybean fields that seemed clean early, don't look as clean any more.  Waterhemp, common lambsquarters and giant ragweed has been popping thro…

Soybean Aphid Update - August 11 & 12, 2014

Here are the results from the speed scouting fields around Olmsted County. We have been  scouting these fields over the past 3 weeks. The Speed Scouting Process - collect 30 plants throughout the field.  Count aphids on 11 plants, noting (+) if over 40 aphids/plant and (-) if less than 40 aphids/plant.  If  6 or less plants have over 40 aphids/plant, stop and then re-sample field in 7-10 days.  If you reach 7-10 plants with over 40 aphids/plant, continue counting aphids on 5 more plants, repeating the steps based on the number of plants with over 40 aphids/plant until you have counted all 30 plants.  The results will be a) Do Not Treat - re-sample in 7 -10 days, b) Re-sample field in 3-4 days or c) Confirm TREAT Decision by re-sampling in 3-4 days, then apply insecticide when confirmed.  

We will also make general observations in the field as we scout, population increasing, population exploding, presence of beneficial insects etc. As you can see, the population is increasing, and 3 Fi…

Monday, August 11 Update

Monday, August 11, 2014   Scouting fields around the area today and observed several things. 1. We need rain. 2. Soybean aphid numbers are on the rise. Some fields reaching treatable levels. I will post the speed scouting results tomorrow. 3. Spider mites are present in fields. 4. Japanese beetles are present in some fields. 



Keep Scouting for soybean aphids

Update on Soybean Aphid numbers around Rochester - Keep Scouting
August 8, 2014 Lisa M. Behnken
We have been scouting several soybean fields in the area for aphids over the past three weeks.  The soybean aphid numbers have been very low, most plants have very few aphids per plant, with only one or two plants at over 40 aphids/plant (counted as a positive plant using the Speed Scouting method).  This is well below the economic threshold of 250 aphids per plant, 80% of plants with aphids and population increasing.

The only "hot spot" we have is in our plot area at Rochester.  This location is the first place we found soybean aphids this year (always is) and the population has been increasing.  These are droughty soils, and there is plenty of buckthorn nearby to provide a source of aphids for early colonization.  Having said this, the population has not reached the economic threshold yet.  We will continue to scout these fields for a few more weeks, targeting Monday and Tuesday a…

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 individ…

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:http://www.extension.umn.edu/agriculture/soybean/soybean-cyst-nematode/



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: http://wiki.bugwood.org/NPIPM:Soybean_aphid


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:
http://swroc.cfans.umn.edu/prod/groups/cfans/@pub/@cfans/@swroc/documents/asset/cfans_asset_480988.pdf


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

http://www.ipm.iastate.edu/ipm/icm/2004/6-14-2004/armyworm.html



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 precio…

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