Tuesday, October 28, 2014

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 you are seeing this in your fields too.  http://z.umn.edu/q6a
Dirty, Dusty Corn


Lisa Behnken, UM Extension Educator
Fritz Breitenbach, UM IPM Specialist
 

Friday, October 24, 2014

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


Friday, October 17, 2014

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 and soybean prices of recent years have significantly impacted land rents. Crop production expenses, farm profits and cropland rental rates all increased during the recent golden era of farming. Projected average input costs for 2015 based on adult farm management numbers for Southern Minnesota in the FINBIN database project to $639 for corn and $306 for soybeans before paying rent and paying no income for farmer labor and management. The numbers are in the red, using 180 bushels of corn per acre at $3.27 per bushel provides a gross income of $588.60 compared to $639 expense leave a loss of over $50 per acres before paying any rent. Using 50 bushels for soybeans at $8.84 generates $442 gross income, leaves $136 after $306 of expenses, to share between the farmer for labor and landlord for rent.  Read more at: http://z.umn.edu/pz0

Meeting dates are at: http://z.umn.edu/pz1